August 2021 Newsletter
Hello Roberts Creek and here is a highly irregular mid-August update. There are some good reasons for it.
We’re running out. That is the truth. “We are currently using on average about 12.5 million litres of water in the Chapman Water System per day,” says Remko Rosenboom, General Manager of Infrastructure Services. “This is not sustainable, so we need to get our daily use below 11 million litres per day. This is just an initial target as we continue to work to reduce consumption, potentially towards a level that we might be able to sustain in an emergency situation. Such an emergency level could be below 9 million litres a day, even as low as 6 million litres depending on the emergency water supply sources we are able to secure.”
When do we hit these emergency levels? Maybe as soon as September 15th. So let’s conserve, spread the word and report flagrant abusers.
Here is a weblink to our let’s talk SCRD platform where we can share conservation tips.
More water – please!
We did have an emergency board meeting Aug 17th and gave provincially registered farmers a two week grace period to arrange for alternative irrigation options. The impact on our water supply is minimal - 7h worth of water for our community - and it helps those that rely on their farms for a living in the most important time of the year.
Even more water – please!
We also discussed on the 17th whether we should halt any new connections in the Chapman Water System until such time that we have the license in hand for our new Church Rd well, which we are still waiting on from the Province. We voted against that because while our population has grown over the last 10 years, our actual water consumption as a community has gone down due to conservation measures like water meters and better water management.
The shortage is ultimately caused by a combination of climate change and the altering of the Environmental Flow Needs (EFN). The EFN determine the minimum flow that needs to go down Chapman Creek to the ocean at all times, and it was increased by the provincial government in 2016 in order to help Salmon return in late summer. Chapman Creek never had a native run of late summer salmon and those only started due to the hatchery. Ironically the hatchery has had to close the last few years because they did not have enough water to run their operation. We have written a letter to the Minister of Forestry, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development (FLNRORD), Katrine Conroy, to once again ask for an expedient granting of the water license of the Church Rd well. It is not an easy matter though, the aquifer the Church Rd well will be on ends up to be the same aquifer the Town of Gibsons is on (Initial studies showed different results). This means that they have primary water rights and the Province is not certain whether the new well on Church Rd will jeopardize the viability of the aquifer to service everyone. We are working towards a solution, but it’s not easy.
Garbage pickup has been in shambles as of late. Waste management (WM), our contractor in charge of waste and organics pickup, recently lost a number of staff and was having a hard time replacing them. They have apologized profusely and have now hired 3 new staff members. Hopefully things will settle down soon. Some folks on Lower and Pell Rd were accidentally missed as well. Staff has been in constant communication with WM and some better communication paths are being explored for future occurrences.
In order to stay up to date, I recommend downloading the app, which you can find at your app store under “SCRD collects”.
For more information about service alerts and contact info, here is a link to the relevant SCRD website page.
Vaccine or no vaccine
We seem to be close to maxing out at about 74% vaccination rates for the eligible population here in BC. I just want to share my thoughts on the matter to help those that are still on the fence. I’m not going to go into the various conspiracy theories as there are simply too many players involved for this to not be real, and not enough to be gained by any one party for there to be some ulterior motive. I’m also not going to get into misinformation because that’s what it is. No, you won’t become infertile or have a chip implanted. COVID is here to stay. The elimination of the virus is not going to happen, as we will not get enough buy-in on vaccinations and it transmits too easily to be eliminated. It will stay in our population and continue to mutate into just another flu. Whether it will become more benign over time or more aggressive we don’t know. It comes down to two choices: Get vaccinated or don’t. If you do, you still stand a small chance of getting infected (5% of COVID cases with delta variant are double-vaccinated). Those that are infected and are vaccinated tend to be affected less badly than those that aren’t. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will eventually get it. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. The risk to your health is much higher when you get infected than any risk you take getting vaccinated. No, we don’t know what happens in 10 years as a result of the vaccine, but the risk that something could go wrong in the long term is also much lower than the risk you take contracting COVID. Other reasons to get vaccinated are: -The ability to travel -The ability to go to mass gatherings -Reducing the strain on our medical system -Reducing the risk for those that can’t get vaccinated (Children under 12) I do carry some resentment for those that choose not to get vaccinated because they are unnecessarily putting my 10-year old daughter at risk. Otherwise they do have the option to do and don’t do with their body as they wish, although I don’t understand their rationale, as getting vaccinated is the logical choice. Humans are social animals. That means we have to live in community, and do things that are for the greater good at times. The reason we don’t have people dying from the plague or polio anymore is because of vaccines. It’s a risk versus reward calculation that clearly lands on vaccines.
Active Transportation Week
I may not send another newsletter until the beginning of October, so I will put a plug in for Active Transportation Week, Sept. 28-Oct 4th. For more info, click here.
That’s it from me for now. In case you have any questions or concerns, you can always email me.