Why is the Strathcona Regional District unwilling to allow residents from Oyster Bay to the Oyster River and beyond the opportunity for a sustainable water supply?
These southern residents of Area D have been waiting for the SRD to allow access to Oyster River Nature Park for the purpose of drilling a desperately-needed third well so household water use and fire protection can be maintained. A detailed study (G.W. Solutions 2015/16) has determined that the present two wells are not sufficient to maintain peak demand supply for the Black Creek/Oyster Bay system.
Therefore the Comox Valley Regional District (who maintains the system as dictated by the province when the two regional districts were created) applied for and received a $540,000 grant (Clean Water and Wastewater Fund) to add the third well to the system so those southern Area D residents and residents of Black Creek could be assured adequate water. Everything is in place. Ground penetrating radar has determined the site. A test well is complete.
However, the CVRD has requested permission from the SRD (as SRD has title to the park land) to add the third well, but the SRD seems intent on allowing the twice extended grant to expire (March) without allowing the drilling to proceed. We all know that the SRD has water issues in the rest of Area D, but this southern portion of the regional district has had a reliable water service for years and deserves to have it continue.
The residents of southern Area D, as well as the residents of Black Creek, should not suffer due to whatever other issues may be affecting the SRD decision. If the new well increases system production enough to extend the service northward – by all means!
But it’s time to proceed with the well. I’m not sure residents between Oyster Bay and the Oyster River are even aware of this problem. Their local area Regional District representative favours this project. What is the problem?
Neil H. Ross