They were presented with four options to ensure water security for the community, including upgrading the current system, building a new raw-water storage reservoir, tapping into groundwater aquifers, or building a new water pipeline.
Despite coming at a higher cost, the strongest support came for building a new pipeline to either the Peace or Murray River, which would run an estimated $57 million over 20 years, with 66 per cent. 15 per cent of respondents each supported a new reservoir or upgrading the existing system, at a cost of $22 million or $16 million over 20 years respectively, while only four per cent preferred using groundwater aquifers.
Similarly, survey results also show that residents are strongly opposed to using fresh water for industrial purposes like fracking, with 82 per cent voicing their disapproval. Another 62 per cent support increased public education about water conservation.
This public consultation is just one step in the City’s process of ensuring the future of its water supply, which currently relies solely on the Kiskatinaw River. After the river was at historic lows last summer, leading to water restrictions, Acting Mayor Charlie Parslow says this feedback will help in assessing options.
“Thank-you to the people of our community who took the time to learn about the process and provide their comments, both in person and online,” he says. “This is exactly the type of engaged input we need to move forward, and to continue this community consultation into the future.”
City council will consider the results over the next few months, along with the financial implications of each option. A copy of the final report, including the feedback received, is available on the Sure Water page on the City’s website at www.dawsoncreek.ca.