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Public trickles in to SCRD water events

Water strategy public engagement to carry SCRD areas, including Pender Harbour, Halfmoon Bay, Sechelt, Langdale and Keats Island to 2050 on during June.
SCRD water roundtable
SCRD Water Strategy Round Table discussions move outdoors on June 8 in Pender Harbour.

There has been ample seating available at the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) water strategy consultation sessions over the past weeks.

The strategy’s goal is to set direction and priorities for drinking water initiatives for the next five years and on how to ensure supplies are available to meet the Coast’s changing needs up to 2050.

The June 15 event hosted at the SCRD’s Field Road offices, aimed at users on the Chapman system, a water system that serves 90 per cent of the population of the Sunshine Coast, attracted six attendees.

Power outage doesn't stop Pender events

Events held earlier in the Pender Harbour and Egmont areas earlier saw even fewer people. The early evening event, focusing on the South Pender system and hosted in Madeira Park on June 8 got started with a “bang” as a bird interacted with a nearby BC Hydro transformer, causing an explosion that startled the three public attendees and caused a power outage. As the community hall where the event was being hosted was in darkness, the attendees, the three SCRD staffers and Area A Director Leonard Lee moved to a nearby outdoor picnic table the continue the discussions. Staff stayed onsite for a second event focusing on the North Pender system.

Events have also been hosted in Roberts Creek and in West Howe Sound, for the users of the Soames, Granthams and Langdale systems.

Engagement continues through June

An online engagement opportunity for residents on the Eastbourne system on Keats Island is scheduled for June 27 starting at 3 p.m. on Zoom. An information display will be available for public viewing at the SCRD Field Road office from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on June 28. Users from all areas are encouraged to download the strategy document, and post or email in questions There is also an online public survey open until June 30.

SCRD communications manager Aidan Buckley told Coast Reporter by email that to date, questions have been raised by members of the public about supplies and water storage, fairness around pay per use billing and how to ensure that the public knows about costs and future water supply plans. During discussions hosted in Egmont, concerns were identified related to fire protection for the numerous properties in that area that have private water systems, and water quality protection for sources that are also used for recreation purposes, such as Waugh Lake.