Vancouver’s drinking water is in “serious trouble”, and “we need to fix it” with a $1.3-billion injection of money into water systems and infrastructure, according to the City of Vancouver.
The city says $500 million is being raised for water infrastructure projects in the next year, and $100 million more will be available in 2020 to support new water treatment plants.
“We need a change,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said.
“That change will require funding, we can’t go without.”
A recent study by the BC Green Building Council found that water use is expected to double by 2030.
The water system also has to meet new standards that will require additional investment.
It says the cost of water for residential and commercial uses has doubled since 2010.
The BC Greens also released a report saying the provincial government’s water plan for the Vancouver region needs to be revised.
“The Vancouver region is a leader in water conservation and climate action,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.
“But in order to do this, we need a strong, clear plan that is grounded in science and action to meet our sustainability targets and our carbon reduction targets.”
Water systems and equipment can be repaired, and infrastructure projects such as pumping stations and water treatment facilities can be put in place.
But it won’t be cheap.
“In the next few years, the water system will need to be repaired and replaced.
And it won: more than $1 billion to do that,” Robertson said, noting that the costs will be passed onto consumers.
Water systems are expensive to maintain.
They also require the use of millions of litres of water per day to make water treatment.
Robertson said the city wants to see a new plan developed that will “build on” the work done to repair water systems.
The new plan will also require a review of all municipal and provincial water infrastructure, he said.