Pipe the water to Gabriola

Editorial

Wednesday, July 28 2021

There are - a lot - of islanders currently dependent on the water haulers who serve Gabriolans.

There’s not a lot of water left on the island for those haulers to haul. Which means trucks have to be on the ferry, back and forth, bringing water from the City of Nanaimo system.

A few years back, when BC Hydro was exploring the idea of putting in a tunnel from Cedar to Gabriola to replace the overhead lines, there was a suggestion that if there was room in that tunnel, Gabriola could benefit from a water pipe being connected into the city system.

Plenty of appropriate responses were that the city is already having a hard time meeting the need. That we - not only as an island but as a society - need to learn to be more efficient with our water use.

However, the trucks continue to haul water. From the city.

It would be more efficient, and more environmentally friendly, to have a pipe to a community-owned location on Gabriola where those same trucks could refill from. Charging a fee in line for what is already paid for in Nanaimo.

This isn’t about hooking up every home on Gabriola to the city water and septic. It is about reconsidering the reasons for not bringing access to city water from the water treatment plant closer to where that water is ending up. 

It also means fewer trucks on the ferry. While the water haulers are far from the most prevalent on sailings, every vehicle adds up. 

With the RDN examining water use throughout the RDN, this should be one of the points of discussion on the table.