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State of Local Emergency Due to Drought

Posted: 46 days ago

State of Local Emergency Declared Due to Drought

Sechelt, BC—UPDATED October 18, 2022— An updated Order was issued Oct 18. The changes are highlighted in yellow below.

On Octrober 17, 2022, Darnelda Siegers, Board Chair of the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) and District of Sechelt Mayor ordered a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) due to the ongoing drought period and associated risk to water supply for users on the Chapman Water System. The  shíshálh Nation have also ordered a SOLE.

  • The SOLE for the SCRD can be found linked here.
  • The SOLE for the District of Sechelt can be found linked here.
  • The SOLE for shíshálh Nation can be found linked here.

At this time, the SCRD has secured water supply through to early November. The SOLE is being put in place to further secure and expand water supply should there be no significant rainfall on the Sunshine Coast in the coming weeks.

The first order of the SOLE can be found linked here. The first order affects several large non-essential commercial uses of water including:

  • Swimming Pools
  • Breweries, Cideries and Distilleries
  • Businesses that bottle water, unless the water is provided to properties without access to a suitable source of drinking water
  • Non-medical cannabis production
  • Businesses that involve the transport, processing, cleaning, installation or repair of concrete, cement, asphalt, gravel, or aggregate.

If your business involves any of the above, you are asked to review the order which, again is linked here. You must cease use of treated drinking water from the Chapman Water System by Tuesday, October 18 at 11:59 p.m. SCRD staff will reach out directly to affected businesses to make them aware of this requirement.

“We have unfortunately been left with no choice but to order non-essential large commercial users to cease their use of drinking water,” says SCRD Board Chair Darnelda Siegers. “At this time, we must prioritize our water supply for essential use by residents, the Sechelt Hospital and fire protection.”

This order will also affect the Sechelt Aquatic Centre, which will close on Tuesday night until the order is lifted. Further information on extended hours at pools in Gibsons and Pender Harbour will be issued tomorrow along with direction for those who have swimming lessons booked at the Sechelt Aquatic Centre in the coming weeks.

The SCRD is still awaiting responses from Provincial and Federal ministries in relation to reduction of Environmental Flow Needs (EFN) for Chapman Creek. The responses were anticipated on Friday, but unfortunately were not received. The SCRD releases water from Chapman Lake to Chapman Creek for both human consumption through the Chapman Treatment Plant and ensures sufficient flow to support fish and the creek’s aquatic ecosystem, as per provincial requirements. In accordance with our provincial permit, the SCRD releases roughly 1.7 times more water for EFN than for human consumption. A small reduction in EFN would allow for more water to be available for community use and would further extend our water supply.

An update on community use, ongoing actions through the SCRD’s Emergency Operations Centre and water supply projects will be provided tomorrow, on October 18.

 

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Contact:

Lindsay Vickers

Manager of Communications

lvickers@sechelt.ca

604-885-1986