Communication around water issues in the District of Sechelt could be improved, especially after council just issued Stage 4 water restrictions today.
That’s according to a survey of 278 residents conducted by the Sechelt Community Associations Forum, providing council with a clear direction on improving the current water situation.
SCAF chair Katie Clogg says the survey was designed to offer council an in-depth look into improvements that could be made on a variety of topics and for community members to have a voice.
“Our aim was to gather diverse opinions,” she says. “We want to be a stronger, collective voice on behalf of our neighborhoods so the district can listen and respond to questions, concerns, and ideas of our association members on a variety of topics.”
The survey is aimed to tackle some of the key delivery components of the water system for large-scale storage solutions and infrastructure investments, but most respondents said those issues weren’t as high as being kept informed.
Clogg says providing more communication will go a long way to keeping the public educated.
“Communication was also cited as an issue that residents would like to see improved,” she says. “There is a desire for transparency, increased public awareness of our water status, as well as more public education and input on the future of water on the Sunshine Coast.”
Mayor John Henderson says surveys such as this provide council with a clear indication of how the district should proceed, not just when it comes to the water shortage but in any situation.
“It outlines the urgent need for better communication about our current water supply situation,” he says. “It also gives us some ideas going forward.”
According to the district’s website the current water storage level at Chapman Lake is 14 per cent and with water levels approaching dangerously low levels Henderson says it is imperative to keep the lines of communication open. Especially when it comes to restrictions, bans, and water conservation methods.
“Let’s tell the public every day where we stand,” he says. “We need to provide more information to the public, so they have the whole picture.
“In some cases, the situation is dire short-term.”
One of the solutions, but not the only one, proposed to mitigate water shortages is the installation of water meters and according to the survey it received a positive review from most respondents.
The Sechelt Community Association presented the results of the survey at the Sept. 6 council meeting.