Comox Valley water plan proposes 50 per cent reduction by 2050

A regional Water Efficiency Plan proposes to cut water consumption in half, Valley-wide, by 2050. Courtenay’s target is 304 litres per capita per day for average day demand (ADD), and 580 litres/day for peak month demand.

“The good news is some of the demand for reductions is already achieved,” Neal Whiteside of Water Street Engineering said Monday at Courtenay committee of the whole.

A $10,000 provincial grant enabled the City to hire the Vancouver-based consultant to develop a Water Smart Action Plan. The idea is to reduce indoor and outdoor water use. The goal is to reduce non-agricultural per capita consumption by 50 per cent by 2050 in order to meet targets set out in the regional district’s Water Efficiency Plan. Intermediate targets are 30 per cent reduction by 2020, 40 per cent by 2030 and 45 per cent by 2040.

Despite an increasing population, average consumption rates in Courtenay are 18 per cent lower than in 2006. The consultant attributes the decreases to a combination of ‘fixture unit turnover’ (such as low-flush toilets) and water conservation efforts by the City and the CVRD. However, the 2050 goal will require “significant reductions beyond what can be achieved by fixture turnover alone.”

Water Street Engineering recommends universal water metering, which includes institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties. In response to a question from Coun. David Frisch, Whiteside said it would be possible — but more difficult — to reach the goals without universal metering.

The City meters about 60 per cent of its institutional, commercial and industrial customers, and has a funded operating program to meter the remaining 40 per cent, based on priority (high-volume users) over the next five years, said Trevor Kushner, director of public works services. There are more than 8,000 single family dwellings in Courtenay. Nearly 3,000 are meter ready. The other 5,000 homes would require chambers and setters before meters could be installed. These are primarily in older areas in west Courtenay.

Kushner thinks the 2050 targets are achievable.

“A water and sewer rates review is a critical first step in determining a potential residential water metered rate structure,” he said. “The intent is to ensure a sustainable utility, and to reflect fairness and equality in a user-pay system.”

Water user rates generally fund operations, while frontage rates help to upgrade infrastructure, he added.

Kushner notes that council approval is required before any changes are made to the City’s rate system.

Just Posted

North Island College Foundation helping more students than ever before

More than 235 North Island College students in the Comox Valley received… Continue reading

VIDEO: Comox Valley welcomes Eritrean refugees

Organizer Idris also fled Eritrea back in 2008

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

McKinnon joins Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North team

Karen McKinnon has joined Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN)… Continue reading

Everybody Deserves a Smile’s 2019 campaign coming to fruition

The 2019 Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign is reaching its crescendo. Thursday… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Comox Valley RCMP issue arrest warrant for local man

Comox Valley RCMP warrant of the week

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read