To the Community of Salt Spring Island,
In 2013, North Salt Spring Waterworks District engaged Kerr Wood Leidal Consulting Engineers to assess water availability to meet the District’s licensed allocation for both St. Mary and Maxwell Lakes.
These investigations examined the specific cases of average rainfall, and a single drought year followed by an average year. Recent experience has shown, however, that we are now experiencing low rainfall years in succession. There is certainly the possibility that level 3 or 4 drought conditions could occur in close proximity, with the result that the lakes do not re-fill (spill over the weir) each year. Such events are very dire, and indicate that there is much less water available than previously thought, requiring very careful planning by the District.
In response, NSSWD has developed a Sustainable Water Management Strategy, outlined in the document below. It clearly lays out what steps, to-date, the District has taken in response to the conclusions and recommendations in the reports, and its assessment of recent trends in rainfall over the past decade. In addition, it identifies further efforts and initiatives required by the District, such as the raising the Duck Creek Weir, working with other agencies to calculate current and future water demand, continued conservation awareness and adopting a precautionary approach to additional water services.
These are the first steps in an ongoing process to manage the water available, under license, to NSSWD. Going forward, environmental monitoring at both Maxwell and St. Mary Lakes will continue in order to improve our current understanding and facilitate implementation of our management plan.
If you have questions or comments please direct them to the to the Board of Trustees by email or letter addressed to 761 Upper Ganges Road, Sslt Spring Island, BC V8K 1S1
Board of Trustees
(These reports are available for view or download in pdf format.)