Water Supply Projects Update – May

Tags:  2024 | News Release
Date Released: May 15, 2024

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), along with the shíshálh Nation and other local governments on the Sunshine Coast are working on several projects to increase water supply. Moving forward, updates will be provided on these projects monthly.

This is the May update on projects and initiatives underway in the Region.

Many of these initiatives are being moved forward through a Water Supply Technical Working Group. This group meets regularly and includes representatives from the SCRD, shíshálh Nation, the District of Sechelt, Town of Gibson, and the Provincial Government.


Water Meter Program

The residential portion of the water meter installation program is underway in the District of Sechelt. This project will see over 4,000 meters installed by next year. Once in place, these meters will greatly assist with leak detection in the system and will also provide the community with valuable information about their own water use.

The SCRD is aware of recent social media discussions expressing concern over the fittings used in the water meter installation project within the District of Sechelt. To clarify, the contractor for the project has advised they are only using brass compression fittings for this project and not the fittings referred to as ‘sharkbite’ fittings. For any inquiries or to access accurate information regarding the water meter installation process, our staff are ready to assist. You can reach out through the Water Meter Project Let’s Talk Page (https://letstalk.scrd.ca/water-metering) or via email at infrastructure@scrd.ca.

Lower Crown Raw Water Reservoir

With the generous support of Province of B.C. grant funding of over $1.2 Million, the shíshálh Nation and the SCRD are confirming the technical feasibility of the Lower Crown Raw Water Reservoir project and the annual operating costs for the SCRD regional water service participants associated with the operation of the reservoir.

A decision is pending on grant applications for funding of the construction costs for this project. In addition to funding confirmation, the project requires final approval from the SCRD Board and elector approval from the regional water system participants.

Environmental Flow Needs (EFN)

The SCRD releases 200 litres of water per second from Chapman Lake, into Chapman Creek to maintain the health of the ecosystem. The SCRD has requested a reduction in this number for the early summer months which would allow for more water to be stored in Chapman Lake for late summer.

The Provincial Government has asked for a considerable amount of data, through two plans, an Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) and Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP). SCRD staff are working closely with staff from shíshálh Nation and the Province to develop a plan for EFN management that could be implemented starting this summer.


Since 2017 siphons have been available for use at Chapman Lake and Edwards Lake during Stage 4 water conservation regulations. The SCRD have asked for the ability to leave siphons in place at Chapman Lake and Edwards Lake for the foreseeable future. As with EFN, SCRD staff are working closely with staff from shíshálh Nation and the Province. This is currently under review by the shíshálh Nation and multiple ministries at the Province.

Groundwater Wells – Sechelt

The SCRD has initiated another phase of groundwater investigations to explore the feasibility of supplementing the Chapman Water System with a new groundwater source. This investigation focuses on the Sechelt area, with five identified sites where test wells will be drilled. SCRD staff are working closely with staff from shíshálh Nation to determine shíshálh support for drilling on the selected sites. Drilling is planned to take place this summer. If results of test wells are favourable, the next phase would be design, engineering and permitting of production wells in the chosen locations.

Pender Water Systems

There are several projects underway in North and South Pender water service areas.

Many of these projects are focused on maintenance and replacement of water infrastructure. For example, several water main upgrades, upgrades to McNeil Lake dam and the design of a brand new water treatment plant for Garden Bay. The water main replacements could reduce water main breaks and associated leaks for both systems.

There are also two projects recently approved by the Board to support water supply for the South Pender Water System. A study to confirm the necessity and feasibility of several options to improve water supply for the system and a study to confirm the potential to connect the North Pender and South Pender Water Systems. This project will begin later in the year.

You can learn more about water projects under way in the region at letstalk.scrd.ca/water.