Thursday, February 09, 2012

Nanaimo Water Supply Urgency??

Is 2020 Really Crunch Time?

The city recently approved the expenditure of $500,000 to do preliminary geo-tech work for the feasibility of a new dam to supply water to Nanaimo's growing population.

At the same time discussions are in the preliminary stage to see if a suitable agreement can be worked out with Harmac which has water licenses which could make a dam unnecessary.

You might wonder at the wisdom of spending half a million on a project that could prove pointless. But, after all it is only tax dollars we are talking about.

One of the reasons given for this urgency is the notion that Nanaimo's current supply can only meet the needs of a population of 100,000, which the experts at city hall estimate we will meet by the year 2020.

The recent census figures released by Stats Canada would indicate that the figure of 100,000 would not be reached for at least 16 years and not 8 as the current projections are suggesting. Chief White has made a valid argument for the fact this need could be pushed several years into the future through some concerted conservation measures. But even without reducing our consumption, the most recent growth numbers indicate that 2028 is a more accurate 'crunch' date.

This date of course is dependent on the current rate of growth continuing, which may or may not be an accurate assumption as it would appear that our growth is starting to slow down considerably from the 2001 - 2006 period when annual growth was 1138 people per year. That number tapered off to 1023 for the 2006 - 2011 period.

Again, city hall may be demonstrating some of their shortcomings when it comes to taking care of the Nanaimo taxpayers need for water. There is a serious argument to be made for the cost of a future water supply being born by future development and not put on the backs of the already over-taxed Nanaimo taxpayer.


1 comment:

  1. Would we be any worse off if we adopted the approach "Let's not build it, and maybe they won't come"?
    It seems the more that come, the more taxes keep going up to make room.


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