A new water conservation plan adopted by the City of Prince Rupert aims to protect water assets, raise awareness, promote water-use efficiency and help reduce overall water usage by 10 percent based by population over the next 20 years.
“The reason for the plan coming forward at this time is that it’s a requirement for funding that we’ve received from the federal and provincial governments for the Hays Creek sewer upgrade. We’re at a point now where we will be applying for additional funds for some of the pay down of that,” City Manager Gordon Howie told council.
He described the three-page conservation plan as a short policy, but more succinct than lacking in direction for council.
“I think some of the things in it are looking at making sure we have adequate supply, which we do, and looking at the City’s overall water operation costs, and look at additional protections if necessary for our environmental resources,” Howie said.
Prince Rupert’s water supply comes from Woodworth Lake, which is located across the harbour on the main land. The water is held back by a 100-year-old dam, and is gravity fed through an 8 km transmission main.
The steel pipeline closest to the dam is the same age as the dam, and the section furthest, a ductile iron pipe was installed around 1995. The newer pipe is at the point where the line is divided into two submarine pipelines that cross Fern Passage to Kaien Island, emerging at two different locations near the Industrial Park.
Howie said the city is fortunate that Woodworth Lake and Shawatlans Lake, which is used as the back-up water supply, are remote.
“But they are also in an area where all of that watershed is part of our watershed reserve so we monitor any traffic that goes in there. Anyone that wants to go in there has to come in here and explain why,” he explained.
Prince Rupert has an extensive water system for the size of the community so the City has to be aware when installing new pipes that they are the optimum size.
In addition to the conservation plan, City Staff will also be presenting a Water Strategic Plan with the 2012 budget that will look at ways the City can replace pipes and aging water infrastructure.