Letter: Region’s top funding priority should be water

Editor: This is a copy of the letter I send to some of the municipalities in the Lower Mainland about our water problems:

TransLink keeps talking about one million people moving into the Lower Mainland over the next 10 years.

TransLink says that they need $7 billion to build the transit infrastructure to handle all the people moving into the Lower Mainland, but nothing has been said about the need for water so that all these people can live here.

I would say that the first thing the GVRD needs is to have larger water reservoirs to make sure that the people of the Lower Mainland have enough water to make it through the summer months going into the future.

Back around 1994, the GVRD had a choice to make the Seymour dam higher and earthquake proof.

But the GVRD decided that they would only make the current dam earthquake proof.

The GVRD brought in water restrictions to deal with the water shortage during the summer months since then.

Also, at the time it was brought up that water meters should be in stalled in order to help reduce water waste.

But the GVRD could not decide on who would pay for the water meters, so no water meters were installed.

Now 20-plus years later we still have the same sized reservoirs as in 1994, and water restrictions every summer with no water meters installed.

Now the GVRD want to make the water restriction time period longer with no plans to increase the water supply or to install water meters.

Had the GVRD increased the size of the Seymour dam back in the ’90s, they would have saved a lot of money. Now they are going to need to upgrade the size of the dam in order to accommodate the one million-plus people moving to the Lower Mainland over the next 10 years.

The regional government should also require all municipalities install water meters on every home and business, with the cost going to the owners since it will be part of the property. The meters themselves should belong to the GVRD just like hydro and gas meters belong to the companies that supply the product.

I live in a small house with two people, and the house down the street has eight people living in it and we pay the same rate for water.

If  we were on water meters then we would be paying based on how much we use.

So all you mayors and council people need to step up and have the GVRD start the process of having the Seymour dam raised to double the volume of water in the reservoir. This needs to be done sooner rather than later, since it has been delayed for over 20 years already.

This needs to be done before any more funding for TransLink

Alexander Hannig,

Langley City