Block rate effective in water conservation

Recent newspaper articles concerning water supply and treatment have raised concerns for Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island.

To the Editor,

Recent newspaper articles concerning water supply and treatment have raised concerns for Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island.

Regional and municipal governments claimed that our naturally derived water is some of the purest available.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority mandated the construction of a water treatment plant for an estimated cost of $65 million due to apparent water quality concerns.

The City of Nanaimo claimed that we would need to look for other sources of water. A dam costing approximately $72 million was suggested.

Water supply is not infinite nor can water quality be assured since water demands can exceed the ability for aquifers to recharge, resulting in increased levels of manganese and sulphur.

Qualicum Beach faced similar concerns, so it implemented a water conservation program and an inclining block rate providing incredible results.

Their maximum/day consumption 3.29 cubic metres/day/capita in 1986 was reduced to 1.36 cubic metres/day/capita in 2010.

Maintenance, pumping, energy and treatment costs were also reduced, delaying the need to connect to the RDN Arrowsmith Water System.

We believe that with an inclining block rate, along with support for education, cisterns, rain barrels, grey water use/reuse, dual flush/composting toilets, xeriscaping etc., we will make a difference.

Education in the schools would help us all as families, share the knowledge and work together to protect and enhance our environment.

Brian E. Dietrich

Director, ESVI

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