Opinion

Let's reassess water sharing

The glass is more than half full, now.

Lantzville’s water supply might have gained a whole lot of litres this week with the revelation that developers have discovered significant water resources right underneath the Foothills.

It’s interesting timing. Just two weeks ago, Nanaimo city councillors approved a long-term water-sharing agreement with Lantzville, allowing the smaller district to pay to tap into the pipes.

Lantzville council hasn’t decided one way or the other on the agreement, but certainly the mayor has publicly lauded the notion of water security for his community.

The agreement should now be reassessed by both sides, especially by Lantzville, which should take a moment to reconsider what Nanaimo’s water is worth.

Nanaimoites might look at the issue differently, too. Some of the people opposed to sharing water were concerned that Foothills developers, specifically, would be the ones benefiting from all the Harbour City’s hard work over the years digging reservoirs, laying pipes and treating water. Now the Foothills project doesn’t necessarily need Nanaimo, and can proceed autonomously and build on its own timeline.

We should understand though, too, that the development project is trying to create goodwill in the region right now and trumpeting fresh, clean water is shrewd public relations.

The Foothills wells would change things for Lantzville water supply, but they wouldn’t change everything. Logistically, some parts of that district would be best sourced by Nanaimo water, and sooner rather than later. There will always be need. And it’s still important for neighbours to share when there is drought and thirst.

However we choose to share our water, it seems there’s enough to keep both communities happy and hydrated.

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