Drought-driven state of emergency extended on Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast Regional District has put various water restrictions in place since the end of August as the area deals with a prolonged dry spell. Global News

Sunshine Coast residents will need to keep conserving water, following an extension of a state of local emergency due to drought conditions.

The province approved the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s request for an extension Monday.

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The move extends a ban on using water from the Chapman Water System to fill hot tubs and pools, installing ice surfaces, growing non-medical cannabis or producing concrete and gravel until at least Nov. 21.

In a media release Tuesday, the district said icy conditions at Chapman Lake had prevented the watershed from recharging, despite wetter weather.

Click to play video: 'Local state of emergency declared over water supply on Sunshine Coast'
Local state of emergency declared over water supply on Sunshine Coast

“Rain that is in the forecast next week will provide a short-term improvement in supply for Chapman Creek, however we depend on recharge of the entire Chapman Watershed, including the filling of the Chapman Lake for our long-term supply,” the district said.

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“Until the entire watershed receives a lot of rain and Chapman Lake fills considerably, Stage  4 Water Regulations must remain in place.”

The district said staff were working to bring another water source online at the Church Road Well Field site, and that the Town of Gibsons’ emergency water supply could be activated if needed.

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It also said water could potentially be sourced from Grey Creek or Trout Lake, but that a boil water advisory would need to be issued if those sources were used.

“Diversifying the water sources of the Chapman Water System is required to provide safe and reliable water supply to the community,” the district said.

“The SCRD is currently working on multiple groundwater and surface water projects to bring further redundancy to the Chapman Water System.”

It also praised residents for keeping water use below the target of 8.5 million litres per day over the past week.

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