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Bulk water agreement for Tlowitsis First Nation gets Strathcona Regional District green light

SRD Director’s questions about project answered by City of Campbell River
An agreement that the City of Campbell River provide the Tlowitsis First Nation with bulk drinking water got consent from the Strathcona Regional District after directors’ concerns were addressed. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

After getting answers from the City of Campbell River on a range of questions, the Strathcona Regional District board has given the go ahead for a bulk water connection for the Tlowitsis Reserve located south of the city.

Last month, Strathcona Regional District Area D director Brenda Leigh had asked for more information before the board consider consenting to a bulk water connection agreement between the city and the First Nation. According to the Community Charter, the regional district must consent to infrastructure plans like this before they can go ahead. A motion put forward by the board to that effect was deferred until the April 27 meeting.

The proposal is that the city provide bulk water to the Tlowitsis First Nation, which will be delivered to a point of connection in the city’s infrastructure. At that point, the system will be controlled by the First Nation.

RELATED: SRD Director wants more info before consenting to Tlowitsis water supply agreement

Between meetings, the city provided the SRD with a list of answers to questions brought up by Leigh, mainly about what impact the bulk water supply would have on Area D — which has been affected by high water rates and supply impacts in previous years.

Leigh did have an additional question at the April 27 meeting: “I’m wondering if the Tlowitsis development drops water pressure to Area D customers, will they be responsible for fixing the problem?”

According to a staff report detailing the city’s response, the proposed system would not use any SRD infrastructure or impact the SRD’s agreement with the city.

Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch replied to Leigh that no matter what happens with the Tlowitsis system and agreement, the city would still be responsible for meeting their agreement with the regional district.

RELATED: Area D Director Leigh says water rate case is appealable

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Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Campbell River Mirror in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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