Nanaimo, Lantzville to pursue water deal

NANAIMO – Critics say conservation, other issues not being addressed.

Nanaimo city council voted 5-3 Monday night to go ahead and finalize a water supply agreement with the District of Lantzville.

The controversial agreement, the result of a 2005 memorandum of understanding between the two municipalities, will include a 20-year renewable term with Lantzville paying the full cost to connect to the system.

Critics of the agreement say that Lantzville has not shown itself to be an adequate conservation steward of water, that Nanaimo’s own water supply is not secure enough, and that a regional water strategy needs to be established before inter-municipal deals can be struck.

The agreement on the table is to supply only Upper Lantzville residents and businesses with water.

Terms of the agreement include: water will not be used for major agricultural production or golf courses; Lantzville cannot sell or permit the sale of bulk water or bottled water outside the municipality; and Lantzville must keep its existing wells operating at current levels.

Connections to new development will also be limited to 50 units a year.

A city report estimates that Lantzville’s annual consumption of Nanaimo-provided water would equal about 36 hours of current consumption by Nanaimo residents and businesses.

Coun. Bill Bestwick, who voted against the motion, said Nanaimo’s own uncertain water future makes the deal hard to swallow.

“It appears to me we have our own issues and we have our own concerns that we need to address and deal with first,” said Bestwick. “We have some extremely big issues that represent extremely big dollars and until we have a regional growth strategy as it relates to water preservation … I cannot support this motion.”

Nanaimo is currently building a $65-million water treatment facility and new No. 1 reservoir to ensure safe drinking water for citizens in the future. A new dam to store more water is also being explored by the city, a project that could cost $70 million.

Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan, a Lantzville resident, excused himself from the vote and discussion on the issue.

Though the two municipalities have been working on an agreement for more than seven years, Nanaimo officials left the discussions over the past two years to address the city’s own water needs.

A formal agreement has not yet been signed, but council’s decision Monday gives staff from both municipalities the go-ahead to get it done.

“For years our community has been pursuing an alternate water source to supplement our current water system given our depleted aquifer,” said Jack de Jong, Lantzville’s mayor. “Now that the city has agreed to supply water to Lantzville, our community is now in a position to enjoy a safe, secure, and reliable source of water for years to come.”

Just Posted

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools passes $164.3M budget

School district decides against reducing number of community school coordinators

Hospice gets some help thanks to community hike

Nanaimo Community Hospice Society’s Hike for Hospice was held Saturday at Westwood Lake

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Prevent ‘reno-victions’

Lack of vacancy control results in rent hikes far exceeding allowable increases, says letter writer

Space rock band Possum will make Nanaimo debut

This month the group releases its first full-length record, ‘Space Grade Assembly’

Dogs, dogs and more dogs in Nanoose this weekend

Nanaimo Kennel Club hosts annual show

Dogs, dogs and more dogs in Nanoose this weekend

Nanaimo Kennel Club hosts annual show

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Every cigarette and lottery ticket stolen from Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Break-in, theft occurred late on June 10 or early June 11

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

Suspect arrested following gunpoint robbery in Qualicum Beach

Stop and Shop Grocery was robbed June 5; man now in custody

Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival comes to Nanaimo

Performances to take place over two days at St. Paul’s Anglican Church

Truck loaded with culverts tips over on highway exit in Nanaimo

Crash blocks northbound access to Trans Canada Highway from Duke Point Highway

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Most Read