Chilliwack may study low flows in the Vedder River

Chilliwack was to vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to support a provincial infrastructure grant application on low flows

Chilliwack may soon be studying the 'low flows' of the Vedder River in terms of impacts on the future water supply.

Chilliwack may soon be studying the 'low flows' of the Vedder River in terms of impacts on the future water supply.

Chilliwack has studied the “peak flows” in the Vedder River in the past for flood protection. Now officials may look at the “low flows” in terms impacts on the future water supply.

With an eye to long-term management tools, city council was set to vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to support a provincial infrastructure grant application for a “low flow assessment” of the Vedder River.

In keeping with future water management planning, it’s considered “beneficial to assess how low flows on the Vedder River may change over time and how those changes may affect water levels in the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer,” according to a staff report.

Chilliwack’s municipal water supply source, the Sardis-Vedder aquifer, is largely fed by the Vedder River.

A proposal from Northwest Hydraulic Consultants urged Chilliwack to support a provincial infrastructure panning grant application for the Vedder River Low Flow Assessment.

The study would cost about $15,000, and if the application is successful, the cost to the city would be $5,000.

The modelling done so far has focused on peak flows in the Vedder given concerns about flooding impacts.

“Extreme low flows can potentially impact the amount of water available in the Sardis Vedder Aquifer for the municipal water supply and downstream users. It is prudent for the City to evaluate this low flow condition so that a reasonable plan for managing this condition can be developed in advance,” according to the staff report.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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