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CRD board approves 30-year, $2 billion water master plan

A master plan that includes nearly $2 billion in water infrastructure projects over the next 30 years has been approved by the Capital Regional District board.
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Water runs over the spillway at the Sooke Lake reservoir and dam. The Capital Regional District board has approved a 30-year master plan for the region’s water supply. TIMES COLONIST FILE PHOTO

A master plan that includes nearly $2 billion in water infrastructure projects over the next 30 years has been approved by the Capital Regional District board.

The plan, which was approved by the district’s Regional Water Supply Commission last month, guides water-supply planning and includes an infrastructure program to improve the water supply and transmission system and add redundancy to critical components to address hazards and risks.

“This plan outlines our vision to ensure continued delivery of high quality, clean, and sustainable drinking water for the next 30 years, a significant asset for our region,” said CRD chair Colin Plant.

“Through responsible stewardship and efficient management, our region can rely on an adequate supply of clean drinking water,” said Lillian Spzak, chair of the Regional Water Supply Commission.

The master plan will dictate steps the CRD must take to handle population growth, the impacts of climate change, water treatment requirements resulting from changing raw water quality and regulatory requirements.

The plan will be reassessed on a five-to-10-year cycle to consider new information and latest trends. Each infrastructure project will still require CRD board budget approval.

The 21 projects in the plan include a $1-billion water-filtration plant that could be built by 2037 to address climate-change effects on water supply and demand, anticipated changes in raw water characteristics and in regulations.

According to the CRD, modelling indicates that by 2045, additional water will need to be sourced from the deep northern basin of Sooke Lake Reservoir and the Leech River water supply catchment area.

The $2-billion price tag for the projects would be paid for through water rates with the potential for grant funding.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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