Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login


Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

2018 Elections – Candidates Perspectives on Water

    Editorial & Opinions, Election Candidates    October 12, 2018

In the lead up to Election Day on October 20th, 2018, the Community Alliance will post answers from candidates to crucial questions. Today, we focus on water.

Question: How will you use the numerous reports and knowledge currently available on Salt Spring’s water stresses and vulnerabilities to resolve concerns and deliver safer, more sustainable, water to our residents?

Sabrina Ali (candidate for Islands Trustee):

I enthusiastically support the development of a comprehensive Water Management Strategy, specifically to address rainwater catchment, gray water and irrigation.

It seems to be a consensus that the development of ‘measureables’, against which we can chart our progress would be advisable. This would include monitoring and management of species at risk, invasive species and ecological restoration. Clear goal setting includes the development of checkpoints.
I would like to investigate what opportunities exist or can be created to encourage voluntary stewardship and I would look into the appropriateness of restrictive covenants to address water when considering rezoning applications.
I would also consult with those islanders who have water-specific knowledge and work in the field.
I would investigate working with CRD to develop tax exemptions for the protection of riparian habitat and investigate all opportunities for government funding.
I would use Development Permit Area designations for protection of the natural environment to protect watershed for community surface water supplies (OCP: A.5.2.6)
I would assist to Coordinate the implementation of the St. Mary Lake Integrated Watershed Management Plan
I would investigate solar domestic hot water rental program (OCP: A.6.2.25)
I would investigate the possibility of having site plans available for new owners for best practices in terms of environmental stewardship.
I would promote community participation in conservation through information sharing and education about private land stewardship options during the town hall meetings.

Kylie Coates (candidate for Islands Trustee):

First of all Salt spring waterworks should be one
We are one island

Changing the CRD building code that all new construction must have a 500 gallon Storage tank

And going to the Ministry of environment and asking for a government subsidies on water tanks and gray water Systems

Also building water catchment systems and a Multi Island water storage System that can be used a drought or even an earthquake As emergency water

Writing Reports are good but it seems like all we’re doing is writing them and not getting anything done

Peter Grove (candidate for Islands Trustee):

No one can “resolve” the concerns about water, but we must certainly strive to improve the way we manage and protect this essential resource. The issues are many, from mapping and identification of groundwater, to storing of surface and rainwater, to distribution, to safety. Many agencies are involved including the Islands Trust, CRD, the provincial government and the improvement districts such as North Saltspring. North Salt Spring Water certainly has its challenges, which are well known in our community. They have served their ratepayers well and do an excellent job. Unfortunately the realities of infrastructure replacement costs are such that they must make some significant changes. Negotiations are presently underway with the CRD for a long term solution. SSIWPA, consisting of representatives from all the agencies involved with water services on the island, has done good work for the island. It is in the process of developing a long term strategic plan which will help our community assess its value.

Gary Holman (candidate for CRD Director):

Water governance involves a number of agencies, each with their own jurisdiction and available tools. At a broader level, I support the continuation of the SSI Water Protection Agency (SSIWPA) on which a number of such agencies sit, and which represents an evolution of the Water Council that I first established as former CRD Director. I believe that SSIWPA, which has just developed a strategic plan, can be more effective and that the CRD can play a stronger, more constructive role.

The most pressing water-related issue facing SSI today is the moratorium on new water connections in the North SSI Water District (NSSWD), which is a key obstacle to five affordable housing projects, one of which is on the CRD Drake Road property, proposed in the Ganges area. All of these projects are developing alternative water supplies such as drilled wells and rainwater catchment, and aggressive conservation measures including use of grey water for toilet flushing. The CRD can play a role in assisting with such initiatives, depending on the specific circumstances, for example with gas tax funding, regulatory reforms, or advocacy.

Water conservation measures should be more broadly encouraged or mandated in all water districts through metering (which most water districts already have) and progressive water use rate structures, and possible financial incentives (e.g., rebates) for water conservation retrofits in residential and commercial uses. All water districts should be undertaking supply and demand studies, taking into account build out potential and the long term effects of climate change, as has NSSWD, to avoid future water supply shortages. Studies of groundwater supply capacity and vulnerabilities, should continue and more monitoring wells established, for example under the auspices of SSIWPA.

The Ganges treatment plant currently pumps millions of gallons of waste water, treated to almost potable quality standards, into Ganges Harbour. This is a waste of a scarce resource. I will secure funding for more detailed feasibility analysis, including an update of marketing analysis I initiated as CRD Director, and eventual construction of water reclamation facilities and distribution. School District 64 has reaffirmed its interest in using reclaimed water to irrigate its playing fields and in contributing to further feasibility work. I will also pursue a partnership between the CRD, NSSWD and the SSI Fire District regarding distribution and storage of treated waste water for fire fighting and other non-potable uses. CRD already contracts NSSWD to operate some of its water utilities on SSI. Both agencies continue to discuss the possibility of further integration of their operations, which could enhance coordination and provide administrative and other efficiencies, a process I support. NSSWD ratepayers would have to approve any formal integration.

Climate change is already resulting in longer drought periods during the summer, which means that storage of water will become increasingly important over time. CRD building bylaws and other rules should be reviewed and changed when they are creating unnecessary obstacles to investments in rainwater catchment. Island Health currently does not have a regulatory standard with respect to rainwater catchment for (the remainder of this response was deleted, as it exceeded the 500 word count limit).

Howard Holzapfel (candidate for Islands Trustee):

Conservation must be the first step with mandatory refitting of houses when being sold to new owners. Fresh water sources on the Island constitute a common resource and should be regulated as such with permits required for new wells. Water should not be pumped out of the watershed where it falls. We don’t have a water problem – we have a water storage problem whether from roof drainage or from sources that ultimately run off the land. I propose working with NSSWWD to install a large-capacity tank to both pressurize the Ganges area distribution system and provide fire-flow for the safety of the Ganges community.

Laura Patrick (candidate for Islands Trustee):

We can do better by managing and conserving our water supplies and employing standards to ensure long-term ecological sustainability of our watersheds while encouraging ecologically-sound housing solutions.

I understand the fragility of our island’s freshwater supplies and the increasing stress of a warming climate. We must develop a culture of water conservation within the Trust Area. We should consider evolving the Salt Spring Water Protection Alliance (SSWPA) to a Trust Area-wide conservation authority. We need to consider changes to the building code to allow, for example, ultra-low water use fixtures, dual plumbing and rainwater collection systems. These are not new concepts and have proven effective in other communities.

We need to find the right partners to offer incentive programs to help existing homeowners upgrade their homes with water conservation features. We need an education program about water conservation that targets residents, farmers, businesses, visitors, and schools. Real estate agents across the Trust Area should inform prospective purchasers as to why conservation is necessary to sustain the island’s water supplies. We must and can live with the water resources we have on our islands – communities within the Trust Area can be healthy, vibrant, and live in harmony with the natural environment, both for today and, more importantly, for tomorrow.

With our island’s natural water resources interconnected, our approach to managing and distributing these resources must be interconnected as well. I will work to improve coordination and collaboration with the Trust, CRD, the water improvement districts, and other island organizations to better share knowledge and technical expertise and understanding. I will advocate for increased water conservation measures across all organizations and uses of water resources on the island.

Robin Williams (candidate for CRD Director):

It is clear Salt Spring needs to make several break thought’s in water management. The most significant are in rainwater catchment, reclamation and reduced demand. I see to the installation of a CRD “Green Practices ” policy for all new infrastructure construction and upgrades. Finally I want to see Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands receive a seat on the Island Health Board and lobby which controls many water related issues for the island.

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags

  

Post an Event

Community News

  • Islands Trust Council Makes Reconciliati...

    by on March 19, 2019

    The Islands Trust Council acknowledges that the lands and waters that encompass the Islands Trust Area have been home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial and honours the rich history, stewardship, and cultural heritage that embody this place we all call home. The Islands Trust Council is committed to establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships […]

  • BC Ferries Reveals 25-year Vision for Sw...

    by on March 19, 2019

    Community input used to shape long-term plan – BC Ferries released the Swartz Bay Terminal Development Plan (TDP) today. The TDP outlines a long-term vision for the terminal’s future, and a phased approach for implementing the changes envisioned in the plan. BC Ferries employees will be at the terminal from April 10 to 13 to […]

  • Forum: Human Rights, Evidence for Hope?

    by on March 18, 2019

    We live in a world where horrific human rights violations occur, like the recent mass shootings of 50 Muslim worshippers in two Christchurch mosques. This is a world where several countries sentence LGBTQ individuals to death, China has detained over a million Uyghur Muslims, and Canada arrests First Nations people for peacefully trying to protect […]

  • Salt Spring Island Centennial Park Playg...

    by on March 18, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has adopted a 20 year Master Plan to prioritize infrastructure investments for Centennial Park. With site assessments and central drainage complete, and the washroom facility anticipated to be finished in a few weeks, planning can begin to replace the playground. This much needed replacement project was made […]

  • Pipeline Activism: Thoughts On My Trial,...

    by on March 18, 2019

    I’m back from the rabbit hole of court – the B.C. Supreme Court, in downtown Vancouver. Last fall, I spent five days there, self-representing my not guilty plea, after arrest for protesting on March 23rd in front of Texas oil-giant Kinder Morgan’s tank farm in Burnaby, now Trans Mountain Canada, owned by all Canadians. Three […]

  • Building a Tiny Home Community for the U...

    by on March 15, 2019

    “A community safely housed.  A path to stability.  A better quality of life”  Housing forms the building blocks of a community. The recent housing crisis has illustrated exactly how important stable housing is to the solidity of our island. When people don’t have secure housing, their work, school, family life, and even the community suffer. […]

  • 100+ Women Who Care Raise $17,000 in Und...

    by on March 13, 2019

    On the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring held its second meeting. Prior to this meeting, members had nominated 18 local charities. Members randomly drew three of the nominees during this meeting: Greenwoods Eldercare Society, Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association, and Island Pathways. Members heard a compelling presentation for each […]

  • Island Health Assumes Responsibility for...

    by on March 13, 2019

    Island Health will be assuming responsibility for publicly funded home support service delivery on Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands this fall to ensure a consistent approach to implement government’s team-based primary and community care model across the health authority. Home support helps people live independently in their home and be safe. For clients […]

  • NASA Astronaut Lands on Salt Spring: Fri...

    by on March 11, 2019

    From space tourism to settlements on Mars, what is humanity’s future in space? How dangerous is space travel to human health? What benefits do we obtain from space research? Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor returned to Earth from the International Space Station in December—after 197 days in space. On Friday, March 15th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring, […]

Pin It on Pinterest