By Andrea Arnold
David Franzman and Rob Radloff from Radloff and Associates presented to McBride Council on Tuesday August 22nd regarding impacts of drought on the Dominion Creek Community Drinking Water System.
Franzman said the creek is very low for this time of year and they are concerned that if it stays this low and freezes it will create a block for water entering the village system. They are also worried about the fire suppression water supply, as it all comes from the same place. At this point, it is estimated that the village is drawing about half of the water that comes down the creek. The province can restrict water use in order to maintain aquatic life if needed, through the Water Sustainability Act. This step has not been taken yet, but village staff are concerned that it may happen.
On July 11, 2023 a notice was sent out to all village of McBride water users asking for water conservation. It asked that only homes with even numbers water on even days and odd numbered homes on odd days. Also, that watering does not happen during the heat of the day. Franzman pointed out that in the days following that release, water usage increased and has stayed in the high range most days since.
Franzman suggested that in addition to amending the bylaw the Village look for an alternate backup water source, the Village of McBride Water Emergency Response Plan be edited to include procedures required in the event of low flows in Dominion Creek and to educate the public.
Following the presentation, Council approved the creation of a bylaw amendment to the Village of McBride Water Emergency Response Plan to add procedures required in the event of low flows in Dominion Creek.
Council also voted to use postal mailout, posting on Village Facebook, posting on Village website.
direct staff to communicate the Village of McBride Watering Restrictions as outlined in Water Bylaw No. 737, 2013. The multiple methods will help reach more of the residents.
Finally, Council also directed staff to schedule a Town Hall meeting on September 28, 2023 for the purposes of providing information to the community on the current drought situation.
They will be inviting key stakeholders are to attend and provide an update from their respective organizations.