Water commission members split over Cruickshank dam feasibility study

An engineer has said a dam might not prevent sedimentation issues but could be helpful in terms of water volume management.

Members of the regional district water committee were divided over the cost of conducting pre-feasibility work to determine if a dam on the Cruikshank River would be a viable solution for flood control, water storage and turbidity prevention. Initial cost estimates are $180,000 to $250,000.

An engineer has said a dam might not prevent sedimentation issues but could be helpful in terms of water volume management.

Courtenay director Erik Eriksson was encouraged by the cost-sharing potential with TimberWest, which owns the dam site and access to the site. But Area C director Edwin Grieve foresees a “daunting issue to try to take this on,” considering the number of players involved.

“We’re fighting a bit of a losing battle with a water plant (mandated by Island Health),” Grieve said. “Whether or not we want to lay out another $200k on a feasibility study, I would not be in favour.”

Likewise, Comox director Barbara Price could not support a $250,000 expense.

Courtenay director Larry Jangula suggests not throwing in the towel too quickly, but instead garnering input from the provincial government and the farming community.

“What director Eriksson is talking about is following up on exactly what they had asked us to do,” Jangula said. “I think this has some potential. We keep hearing it from people in our community about wanting us to be greener, wanting us to have more access to electrical cars and getting away from fossil fuels.”

Comox director Ken Grant questions how the district can garner anything positive considering the challenges faced with constructing a dam on the Cruikshank — which accounts for about half the inflows to the Comox Lake reservoir.

Innergex, a Canadian power producer, has been investigating construction on the Cruikshank for over 15 years. Their proposed dam — for hydro power generation — would be four to seven metres high with less than 100,000 cubic metres of storage. According to the company’s engineering manager, a dam for water regulation purposes would need to be higher and accommodate at least five million cubic metres of storage.

“Innergex had not been successful in negotiating a land purchase agreement with TimberWest,” said Zoe Norcross-Nu’u, engineering analyst with the CVRD.

TimberWest is concerned about possible interference between heli-logging and power transmission lines.

“Flooding the valley with a new reservoir would also reduce their harvestable land and impact their active road networks,” Norcross-Nu’u states in a report.

Other dam construction challenges include fish passage, water licensing, environmental impacts, First Nations considerations and impacts to BC Hydro operations.

“Even if it were shown that a dam would be helpful in addressing the issues of turbidity, drought and/or flooding, a water treatment plant would still need to be constructed,” Norcross-Nu’u told the committee.

Just Posted

Comox Bike Company YANA Ride early bird registration deadline looming

Comox Bike Company YANA Ride early bird registration deadline is approaching fast.… Continue reading

Sailing cancellations as Baynes Sound Connector set to undergo maintenance

Travellers and residents travelling to/from Buckley Bay and Denman Island will have… Continue reading

Team effort rescues injured mountain biker in Cumberland

A team effort between Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, the Cumberland… Continue reading

Museum hosts birthday celebration for 103-year-old Comox Valley resident

HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial welcomes June Gillrie

Tales from MusicFest: The sweet, down-home sounds of ‘Americana’

Asleep at the Wheel, Los Texmaniacs among legendary acts coming to the Comox Valley

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Most Read