Regional District of Nanaimo directors are pleased with passage of a potable rainwater motion at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ conference.
The regional district approved a potable rainwater motion in January, with intention to bring it to last week’s conference in Nanaimo. The AVICC motion aims to strengthen the ability of small water service providers and health authorities to implement and approve sources of drinkable rainwater, as well as urge the provincial government to develop treatment standards.
Howard Houle, regional district director for the Gabriola Island area, introduced the motion and said it is necessary, as there is a critical water shortage places like the Gulf Islands and rural areas, which he said doesn’t have public water.
“Presently, there’s no regulations involved there, but if you’re using it for public use, let’s say you have a [bed and breakfast], you can’t use it for drinking water because it doesn’t meet regulations,” said Houle.
“If you were in a small town, where we see water sellers now … that has to have come from a potable water source and now with this new legislation, if it comes forward, we’ll be able to use rainwater for that same source,” Houle said.
Bob Rogers, Nanoose regional district director, was in favour of the motion and said 2,300 land parcels in his area are reliant on the Englishman River Water Service and he’s trying to reduce water usage there.
“If we collect … rainwater, to be able to use it as potable water is very important, I think, for everybody,” said Rogers.
The next step, said Houle, is to forward the motion to the 2016 Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention, which takes place in Victoria in September.
“If it goes to UBCM, we have more ability to push this forward at the provincial level and then we can seek provincial legislation,” Houle said.