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30th September 2017
Draft water master plan recommends triggering Nanaimo water agreement

NICHOLAS PESCOD Fri Sep 29th, 2017 4:05pm

It appears a small majority of Lantzville residents currently living without municipal water have a thirst for it, a draft water plan shows.

The District of Lantzville released a copy of its water master plan earlier this month. Included in the 78-page report written by Lanarc Consultants, were results from a community survey mailed to residents back in March.

According to the survey, which was completed by an estimated 543 households, 54 per cent of respondents who had community water supported the idea of extending community to areas in Lantzville that needed or wanted water. However, 49 per cent of respondents who did not have community water, indicated they didn’t want it either. Furthermore, 73 per cent of respondents indicated their water quality was sufficient. The top three neighbourhoods that expressed interest for water were Clark Drive, Fernmar and the Winds.

The results are similar to a 2016 public engagement report conducted by Lanarc, where 52 per cent of respondents not on the community water system said they didn’t want to be on it.

Also included in the plan is a proposed middle pressure zone, which encompasses properties in the Clark Drive neighbourhood. The draft suggests that the middle zone would be serviced by a proposed new dual reservoir that would be located within the Foothills property, but would use groundwater pumped from a reservoir on Ware Road.

The draft also provided a number of immediate recommendations for the district, such as requiring new developments to incorporate water-saving elements. It also recommended the district trigger the 2014 Lantzville-Nanaimo water agreement, citing a need for an emergency supply of water.

Frank Limshue, district community planner, said the next step is for councillors to adopt the draft and make it an official planning document. He said there will likely be a few adjustments made before councillors vote on adoption.

Coun. Bob Colclough said he was generally pleased with the draft, but felt some recommendations were not concrete enough and needed to be more action oriented. He would like to see the consultants meet with residents from each neighbourhood and discuss the various options.

“I would like to see a plan … that shows the pipes getting water to each of those seven neighbourhoods. Then I would like to see a meeting with each individual neighbourhood to see if we can come up with a plan to see if we can get water to them for something that they are willing to pay for.”

Coun. Denise Haime said while she appreciates the amount of work by Lanarc and district staff so far, she still has concerns about transparency, which had been raised by some councillors earlier this year.

“There was a lot of information in the water master plan that was useful in the discussions. But for me, what I don’t like is the transparency, whether we’re getting all the information and the whole package,” she said. “We need to take the politics out of it. It should be based on the residents and their needs. If it happens to coincide so that a developer can develop, so be it, but it shouldn’t be driven the other way around, which it feels to me.”

This is the link to the Lanarc draft report to council;