Since at least 2001, the SCRD has been sitting on a plan to increase the water supply to the Sunshine Coast. For years, there has been no substantial changes to the Strategic Plan for increasing the supply. It is well known that the plan was to utilize and expand an existing quarry near the Chapman Creek Water Treatment Plant.
Instead of moving forward years ago, the SCRD failed to negotiate an agreement to use the quarry. In 2006 the land in question was leased to Construction Aggregates Ltd. of Sechelt until 2050.
With the loss of the existing quarry and the significance of climate change, the SCRD is now trying to place Band-Aids on the supply problem. Drawing down Chapman Lake further with a pumping station is environmentally foolish and will not do anything for long-term supply. Raising the level of Chapman Lake (inside a park) by damming is also environmentally foolish.
As stated in the SCRD plan: “Overall, the decision analysis rated the manufactured lake situated in the mine quarry as the preferred option, followed by raising Chapman Lake dam. The criteria that most influenced the decision result were reliability of service and permitting. The manufactured lake also scored highly in the environmental criteria; it was the only option that would be located outside of the park boundary.”
The SCRD needs to find a new, suitable location for an engineered lake that is outside park boundaries and able to be connected to Chapman Lake. Failing this, they need to negotiate with appropriate players to relocate the Construction Aggregates quarry so the existing quarry can be used. Failing that they need to find another supply like Clowhom Lake and cost it out.
They need to do all of this with speed. Once they have the preferred site and costs they need to bring it to taxpayers in the form of a yes/no referendum on the cost of borrowing long term for this project.
I think people are tired of inactive governance. The cost of borrowing funds will never be lower. We have already lost eight years of low interest rates. Pick a long-term site, cost it out and bring it to the people. Get it done now!
Blake Cyr, Sechelt