A brief from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) Oct. 27 board meeting.
Before the 2018-2022 Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board leaves office, it will reiterate the community’s concerns about the Chapman water system’s supply to the province in writing.
At the board’s Oct. 27 meeting, staff was assigned to draft a letter to B.C.’s premier, a variety of cabinet ministers, local Member of the Legislative Assembly, Nicholas Simons and Member of Parliament Patrick Weiler from chair Darnelda Siegers. That correspondence will seek expedited attention to permanent upgrades to the current water diversion infrastructure at Chapman and Edwards Lakes. While looking to open a full discussion on all options, staff suggested examples to list in the letter include consideration on raising of the dam, deepening of the channel to Chapman creek, and allowing the siphons at those lakes to remain in place for multiple years.
“They [the province] are moving the bar every time we do something and that’s not right,” Area B director Lori Pratt said, in reference to a recent requirement that the lake siphons be removed in 2023.
In addition, the letter will request a review of the implications of the provincial park designation covering the lakes which serve as the system’s primary water source. It will ask for expedited review of the SCRD’s request for long-term reductions to the environmental flow needs for Chapman Creek and future water licence applications.
The need to make funding available for that list of initiatives will be another point the chair is to raise with senior governments in the letter.
In making the motion on the letter, Pratt stressed that it needed to be sent as soon as possible. Seconding the motion, Sechelt area director Alton Toth said that if the new board wanted to follow up with another letter next month, that would reinforce that the concerns are not only those of the outgoing board.
Board discussion on the letter followed an hour-long update from staff on the situation with the Chapman water system. It ended with a round of applause from the board and those in the meeting gallery in recognition of the efforts of all staff working to keep water supplies online for system users.