- I think it is important that we are ahead of the issue of fracking and do what we can to prevent it.
The Provincial government regulates this resource extraction, visit www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca. Any activity that puts our water sources at risk is of concern to the DWWP program and creating Integrated Watershed Management Plans is a good way to make sure there are measures in place to identify and protect against risks to our water.
- It would be good to see initiatives to address oil pollution from vehicles, mining pollution and fish habitat rejuvenation.
Team WaterSmart, DWWP’s community outreach and education team, provides information on proper oil disposal and stream protection. We support the work of local stewardship groups with similar initiatives. Thanks to these suggestions we can incorporate more of this material into our ongoing programs.
- The RDN should minimize growth and development in and near watersheds. Riparian buffer zone areas should be increased.
All of earth’s land is located within one watershed or another. A watershed defines the catchments area in which water drains; watersheds are commonly divided by mountain ranges (i.e. the water that travels down one side drains into x watershed and the water that travels down the other side drains into a watershed). In the RDN there are two municipal drinking-water watersheds (The Englishman River Watershed and the Nanaimo River Watershed) which supply municipal residents with their water. Rural residents are supplied from the watershed where their well is located. Riparian buffer zones are set by the Riparian Area Regulations of the Provincial government.
- It would be good to see research and implementation of water holding ponds (dug outs) to retain storm water. This allows contaminants from run-off to be filtered out before the water reaches our streams, lakes and ocean.
- Any thought of taxing run-off separately instead of having it included in the residents’ property tax as was approved in Victoria recently.
The use of storm water retention ponds is an excellent engineering solution for rain water management. However it is not always a feasible solution for all situations. We strongly encourage their use where appropriate. The run-off tax in Victoria will be implemented in 2014 and the RDN is interested in how this change in the City of Victoria unfolds. Check out the links below for more information on the use and benefits of storm water retention ponds and the Stormwater Utility program in Victoria.
- It would be good if there were plans to install more precipitation rate monitoring stations in the northern areas of the RDN as rain fall varies from location to location.
Precipitation monitoring in Canada and British Columbia is conducted by the Meteorological Service of Canada. In some cases, different Provincial departments may have specific sites where they manage a weather station for research or other professional purposes. The RDN does not currently monitor precipitation. Thank you for the suggestion.
- Is there any discussion to create an authority that can protect our watersheds?
- What about the development of initiatives to regulate land use and development and the regulation of corporate water users?
New legislation has been proposed as an update to the provincial Water Act. The new Water Sustainability Act helps to define governance structures and offers regulation to protect our water resources. http://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/
- Development proposals should have to provide data that show the impact of the proposed development of water demand.
In cases where proposed developments are perceived to negatively impact water resources hydrogeological assessments are required.
- Rainwater and greywater systems should be mandatory for new building permits and grey water re-use should be encouraged.
The updated BC Building Code touches on rainwater and greywater systems; still this is definitely an area that requires more research and attention. Because there are public health risks associated with the greywater systems it is essential that appropriate guidelines are developed. Rainwater harvesting systems are seeing more uptake as local guidelines are produced. Rainwater collection is mandatory for new dwellings over the Yellow Point aquifer.