SCRD to Address Fire Flow Issue in Water Systems

Tags:  2024 | News Release
Date Released: February 27, 2024

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is moving forward with an action plan to address deficiencies in SCRD water systems concerning fire flow standards. This follows a presentation to the SCRD’s Committee of the Whole last Thursday which provided further insight into the issue. You can view the presentation via this document or here on YouTube.


For the past year, the SCRD has undertaken water modelling as part of the update to the SCRD’s Water Master Plans. Water modelling helps the SCRD gain further insight into the water systems’ performance. Water models and the associated analysis are used to inform decision making processes in areas such as planning and development. The water model can be used to assess potential impacts from population growth, changes in water use by the community and to ensure adequate water is available to fight fires.

This water modelling has shown that upgrades are necessary within some SCRD water systems to ensure adequate water is available for fire flow. Fire flow is defined as water flow (calculated in litres per second) that should be available for firefighting purposes, usually from a fire hydrant.

When defining fire flow, more extreme scenarios are used. For example, required fire flow on the Sunshine Coast would be defined as the amount of water available from a fire hydrant in a community using a large amount of water during a warm summers day, at a time when stringent water conservation regulations are not in place.

There is no immediate concern around fire flow outside of these scenarios but with warmer, drier weather being experienced on the Sunshine Coast, the SCRD must plan for such scenarios. The modelling presented during last week’s meeting provided a forecast into the mid-2040’s. This showed that without investment, increasing fire flow deficiencies will be experienced in SCRD water systems.

The plan

To address fire flow concerns, the SCRD Board has approved budget for a Fire Flow Action Plan (FFAP). The FFAP will outline strategic actions to tackle fire flow concerns. As fire flow will impact areas of potential development, the SCRD will work to align the plan with renewals currently underway of Official Community Plans for the SCRD and the District of Sechelt.

A map showing information on fire flows in the Region can be viewed in the February 8, Committee of the Whole report here.

It is important to note that there are no changes to how fire flow will be provided should there be a fire within an SCRD water service area on the Sunshine Coast. Fire departments on the Sunshine Coast have plans in place to deal with situations when lower fire flow pressure may be available.

The SCRD remains dedicated to working collaboratively with the community, development partners, other local governments, and first responders to address concerns and ensure the continued safety and well-being of our residents.