New drinking water management plan for Metro Vancouver
The Metro Vancouver Board has approved a new Drinking Water Management Plan that ensures residents will continue to have access to safe and affordable drinking water and that the region’s drinking water resources and infrastructure are managed sustainably.
“The programs and initiatives in the plan will result in superior drinking water quality, improved supply reliability and greater environmental protection,” said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Lois Jackson. “Efficient operation and an emphasis on water conservation will help defer the need for expensive new infrastructure.”
The 2011 Drinking Water Management Plan is one of a suite of strategic plans developed under the Metro Vancouver Sustainable Region Initiative and includes new actions to:
- reduce greenhouse gases and help Metro Vancouver become energy neutral;
- implement a Tap Water Campaign to encourage sustainable water use;
- develop and implement a joint Water Use Plan for the Seymour and Capilano Watersheds to ensure a continued reliable drinking water supply while developing green hydropower in balance with protecting the environment;
- apply Metro Vancouver’s Management System for Drinking Water to ensure continued delivery of top quality water;
- develop the Seymour Water Treatment and Watershed Academy to further study and promote tap water
“Protecting our source watersheds and providing high quality tap water in our region for both current and future generations is a key part of Metro Vancouver’s long-term vision” said Metro Vancouver Water Committee Chair Tim Stevenson. “We need to remember how precious our water is.”
Since 2010, a new state-of-the-art Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant has been treating much of Metro Vancouver’s water. Treatment of the Coquitlam source is currently also being upgraded by adding ultraviolet disinfection to the existing ozone treatment system.
This new plan ensures the region’s water needs will be met affordably and sustainably, even as the population continues to grow. It provides the means by which municipalities can achieve water conservation and other sustainability objectives, and encourages the use of water pricing strategies, for example, as well as partnerships with the industrial, commercial, institutional and agricultural sectors, and public education initiatives.
The plan was developed in a joint effort between Metro Vancouver and member municipalities and included consultation with external agencies and the public. Metro Vancouver owns and operates the regional water supply, treatment and distribution system and supplies water to the region’s municipalities who in turn distribute the water to residents and businesses. Three protected mountain watersheds, Capilano, Seymour, and Coquitlam are the sources of water supply for Metro Vancouver.