You are on page 1of 6

COUNCIL PRIORITIES COMMITTEE

July 8, 2009, commencing at 3:36 p.m.


Salmon River Committee Room
th
4 Floor, 20338 – 65 Avenue, Langley, BC

MINUTES

PRESENT: Councillor J. Bateman, Chair

Mayor R. Green and Councillors B. Dornan, S. Ferguson and G. Ward

STAFF REPRESENTATIVES:
M. Bakken, A. Dixon-Warren, K. Larsen, M. Sloat, J. Winslade and C. Wright

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT REPRESENTATIVES:


K. Stinchcombe, Water Stewardship Division
H. Smart, Water Stewardship Division

A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

1. Council Priorities Committee


July 8, 2009

A Notice of Motion on the Proposed Water Management Plan was added under
Item D.1. Other Business.

Moved by Councillor Ward,


Seconded by Councillor Green,
That the Council Priorities Committee adopt the Agenda of the July 8, 2009 meeting,
as amended.
CARRIED

B. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1. Council Priorities Committee


December 3, 2008

Moved by Councillor Ferguson,


Seconded by Councillor Ward,
That Council Priorities Committee adopt the Minutes of the December 3, 2008
meeting.
CARRIED
July 8, 2009
Council Priorities Committee Minutes -2-

C. PRESENTATIONS

1. Consultation Summary Report

K. Stinchcombe provided an overview of the Living Water Smart (LWS), the


Province’s water plan, and its relationship to the Township of Langley Water
Management Plan (WMP). He commented that there is a growing awareness of the
importance of water in today’s changing climate worldwide. There are three broad
themes in the LWS: doing business differently, preparing communities for change
and choosing to be water smart. He noted that the plan commits the government to
regulate groundwater use in priority areas and large groundwater withdrawals by
2012, to secure access to and require more efficient use of water for agricultural
lands, to improve water laws to ensure the protection of ecological values, to provide
for more community involvement, and to require more efficient water use in certain
sectors. Adapting to climate change and reducing our impact on the environment
will be a condition for receiving provincial infrastructure funding, and fifty percent of
new municipal water needs will be acquired through conservation by 2020. Water
Act modernization will be a key focus area under the LWS.

He noted that the province provided $300,000 in direct funding, an equivalent in staff
time, facilitation of the Ministerial Order, and that the Township process is the first
WMP undertaken in BC under Part 4 of the Water Act. He continued that the
Township would be eligible to apply for provincial infrastructure funding as it
becomes available. He discussed next steps and advised that the Township Water
Management Plan implementation regulation would take approximately a year to
complete.

2. Draft Final Water Management Plan

A. Dixon-Warren provided a presentation on the draft Final Water Management


Plan. She commented that issues and challenges facing the Township include
growing population, intensification of land use, dropping groundwater levels,
reduced stream flows, vulnerable aquifers, climate change, and limitations under
existing legislation. She noted that there was support for the objectives of the
WMP, for water conservation programs for new developments, conservation
initiatives such as rebate programs and efficient irrigation, drilling authorizations,
and hiring a conservation officer. Support for expanded sprinkling restrictions to
non-municipal users, metering of municipal residential users and voluntary private
well metering program was mixed. She noted that there were no substantial
changes recommended to the WMP regarding new subdivisions and developments,
commercial pesticides and fertilizers, well construction and closure, and large users
as these were already addressed by the plan or provincial initiatives. In terms of
other issues, staff continue to support Township wide lawn sprinkling restrictions as
they were fair and consistent with the plan objectives, a metering (voluntary and
required) study should be completed prior to meter implementation, and enhanced
public awareness is required around agricultural water use and cosmetic pesticides.
New recommendations include voluntary private well metering program if outside
funding secured, interim reporting process to evaluate the plan effectiveness, and
ensure provincial statutory decision makers consider the plan in their decisions.
July 8, 2009
Council Priorities Committee Minutes -3-

C. PRESENTATIONS

MOTION TO EXTEND MEETING

Moved by Councillor Mayor Green,


Seconded by Councillor Dornan,
That the meeting be extended.
CARRIED

K. Stinchcombe and H. Smart left the meeting at 5:31 p.m.

COUNCIL

Moved by Mayor Green,


Seconded by Councillor Dornan,
That the Council Priorities Committee recommends:
(i) That Council receive the Consultation Summary Report and the draft Final Water
Management Plan;
(ii) That Council endorse the following components of the Plan:

1. Mandate drilling authorizations for new or altered water supply wells.


b) Mandate riparian 60 metre setback for new non-domestic wells less than
30 metres deep located next to a fish bearing stream.
c) Mandate hydrogeologic assessments for any new water supply wells with
a pump capacity greater than 190 litres per minute (50 US gallons per
minute).
2. Enhance municipal planning and development initiatives.
a) Ensure WMP and other plans affecting water and land are harmonized.
b) Mandate new developments to maintain their pre-development infiltration
rates.
c) Mandate municipal connections for all new developments and
subdivisions if, and when, services exist nearby.
d) Require proper closure of abandoned wells after new municipal water
supply connections are installed.
g) Expand xeriscaping initiatives (drought resistant landscaping).
3. Enhance municipal water supply system.
b) Initiate a municipal zone tracking and pressure managing.
5. Develop an integrated system for issuing drilling authorizations and surface
WLs.
6. Review water supply and licensing on fish bearing streams within the
Township.
7. Identify flowing artesian wells and make sure they are stopped or brought
under control.
8.* Prohibit new groundwater bottling operations.
9. Ensure specified provincial statutory decision makers consider the WMP in
making their decisions.
10. Implement a management plan for decentralized sewage in the Township of
Langley.
13. Eliminate the exemption in the Water Act that allows persons who are not
qualified well drillers to undertake certain activities.
July 8, 2009
Council Priorities Committee Minutes -4-

C. PRESENTATIONS

14. Require proper closure of an unused well within a time period that is shorter
than allowed under the GWPR.
15. Require all contaminated sites be remediated to soil and groundwater
standards for the protection of drinking water.
16. Support the provincial government to ensure local compliance with
contaminated site regulations.
17. Collaborate with BC Agriculture Council and MAL to enhance local
participation in the EFP program 18. Collaborate with real estate sector to
ensure GWPR requirements are met during property acquisition.
19. Restrict the production, use, storage and/or disposal of high risk contaminants
in areas above highly vulnerable aquifers and/or within municipal well capture
zones.
20. Undertake source water assessments of municipal wells with the Township
working on conjunction with the local Drinking Water Officer.
21.* Coordinate abandoned well closure through a voluntary registry program.
22. Promote eco-friendly alternatives to emergency response chemicals (e.g. fire
retardants).
23. Mandate submission of new and existing well data to provincial WELLS
database.
24. a) Water Use Study.
b) Expand MOE’s Observation Well Network.
c) Township-Wise Contaminated Inventory Study / Nitrate Loading Analysis.
d) Stream Flow Monitoring Program.
e) Water Balance Study.
f) Groundwater Surface Interactions.
25. Enhance public awareness, education, and incentives.
a) Expand the Township’s Water Wise and rebate programs.
b) Encourage participation in the Private Well Network.
c) Raise awareness about the risks of improperly closed or abandoned
wells.
d) Promote rain barrels, water efficient appliances, waterwise gardens, and
grey water recycling initiatives for new developments.
e) Encourage efficient irrigation scheduling practices.
f) Strengthen awareness about the risks of cosmetic pesticides.
g) Enhance awareness of local food production and agricultural practices.
26. Review the WMP in Year 5 and provide interim progress reports.
27. Establish a funding mechanism for approved WMPs under Part 4 of the Water
Act.
28. Establish a community stakeholder advisory committee to provide input into
the WMP and its implementation.
29. Establish a local (environmental) protection officer.
30. Review EMA and the Water Act to identify offenses that are appropriate for
ticketing and take steps to make them ticketable.
31. Instigate more rigorous inspection and enforcement of existing regulations
affecting groundwater quality.
July 8, 2009
Council Priorities Committee Minutes -5-

C. PRESENTATIONS

(iii)That Council refer the following components to a Council Priorities Committee


meeting and invite the Ministry of Agriculture staff to attend to determine their
position on these elements:

1. a) Place peak flow restrictions on specified new or altered water supply


wells.
2. e) Encourage development standards to better meet the WMP goals.
f) Require certified irrigation plans for new developments, and upgraded
or replacement irrigation systems (including systems on municipal
land).
3. a) Limit the amount of water extracted by municipal supply wells.
4. Mandate summertime lawn sprinkling restrictions for private well owners.
8.* Mandate the prohibition of new groundwater bottling operations through
legislation.
11. Adopt a series of locally enforceable agricultural practices in the Township.
12. Initiate a pilot Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) in the Hopington area.
21.* Coordinate abandoned well closure through a mandatory registry program.
24. Fund and implement a comprehensive monitoring and study program to
inform future groundwater decisions.
g) Residential metering assessment for the municipal water supply
system.
25. h) Support a voluntary metering program, if external funding is secured.

(iv) That Council inform the Ministry of Environment of progress to date, however,
delay finalizing the Plan until the referred items are considered.
CARRIED

D. OTHER BUSINESS

1. Proposed Water Management Plan

Moved by Mayor Green,


Seconded by Councillor Ward,
That the Council Priorities Committee receive the following Notice of Motion:

Whereas there is considerable concern and continuing issues with wells and their
draw on the aquifers in the Township of Langley; and

Whereas there is need to address the issues associated with wells in an expedient
manner;

Therefore be it resolved that we move to implement recommendations #1, #7, #12,


#13, #21 and #23 to the proposed Water Management Plan commencing
immediately; and further

That staff investigate funding for the implementation of these recommendations with
the Provincial Government; and further

That staff investigate an implementation strategy to provide an incentive to


encourage residents to cap unused wells.
CARRIED
July 8, 2009
Council Priorities Committee Minutes -6-

E. NEXT MEETING

Date: TBA
Location: Salmon River Committee Room
4th Floor, 20338 – 65 Avenue
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Chair: Councillor C. Fox

F. TERMINATE

Moved by Councillor Ferguson


Seconded by Mayor Green
That the meeting terminate at 5:40 p.m.
CARRIED

CERTIFIED CORRECT:

_________________________
Chair, Councillor Jordan Bateman