Both the province and Ottawa have stepped up to the plate with significant funding for three water projects in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
The projects are just three of the 144 projects in B.C. that were announced last week from the senior government’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
The 70 year-old Mesachie Lake sewer system will receive $1.2 million from the province and the feds towards the construction of new disposal fields that will be located away from its current location next to Bear Lake.
The project will also include the installation of two new pump stations and the pipe-works to transport the sewage to the new fields.
The CVRD will contribute $250,000 towards the project.
Ottawa and Victoria are also investing $220,000, along with $45,000 from the CVRD, to develop sustainable watershed systems throughout the district through asset management.
Collaborating under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative, the CVRD is one of five regional districts sharing and learning from each other to implement sustainable watershed systems.
The five represent 75 per cent of the British Columbia population.
Senior levels of government are also granting a total of $166,000, with $34,000 from the CVRD, to support water security planning in the Cowichan River system based on input from all interested parties.
The focus of this multi-stakeholder process is to determine optimal flow requirements in the Cowichan River for a range of interests and values and to identify water storage necessary to provide sufficient flows throughout the year.
This model is open and transparent and will assist the community and related agencies with future water security planning and decision-making.
“Safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater systems are essential infrastructure for all communities in our province,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
“The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund enables local governments to make the critical investments in essential services their citizens rely upon. The 144 newly approved projects will create close to 4,000 direct and indirect jobs that will benefit families here in the Cowichan region and across British Columbia.”
Jon Lefebure, chairman of the CVRD, said the district is “grateful” for the contributions from Ottawa and Victoria towards the three projects.
”We are particularly pleased with the support in upgrading Mesachie Lake wastewater treatment, an aging infrastructure in urgent need of improvements, as well as helping our community address the water flow issues in the Cowichan,” he said.