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Celebrate Drinking Water Week

Celebrate Drinking Water Week

columnHead-WayneRoweThe Town of Gibsons provides pure untreated water to approximately three-quarters of its population. We’re proud of our water system and aquifer and feel highly motivated to protect it. We’ve designed our policies and infrastructure with a strong conservation goal in mind, yet we also need our community members to recognize the important role they play in determining our rate of water usage. The unprecedented drought in summer and autumn of 2012, resulting in Stage Four Water Usage Restrictions for all Sunshine Coast residents, highlights the importance of protecting our water supply and sustaining it for future generations.

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In 2005, Gibsons earned the title of best drinking water in the world at the Berkeley Spring International Water Tasting Contest, beating out more than 60 municipal entries from around the world. Photo submitted

Since 2009 the Town has been engaged in an exhaustive study of the Gibsons Aquifer to determine the extents of the aquifer; where the aquifer water comes from, the potential population it could serve, and how to protect this valuable asset. The final report of this aquifer mapping exercise will be presented to Council and the public on May 16th at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.

The Aquifer Mapping report will guide staff and Council in assessing future development of the Town. The Town’s proactive action in mapping and protecting this water supply has been gaining national attention as it serves as an example in groundwater management practices that are being promoted by professionals in the field.

To mark the release of this report and to celebrate 2013 Drinking Water Week, Gibsons is hosting a “Walk on Water” event on May 25th. Take a 45 minute walk along the waterfront and through the Town to explore some of the features of the Gibsons Aquifer. This interpretive tour will provide a history of the Town’s supply of pure drinking water from the glacial creation of the aquifer to present day. Staff have been working on this pilot project and will be seeking feedback from the public as to their enjoyment of this event and whether this tour should become a permanent feature in the Town.

Gibsons residents are passionate about their aquifer, and preserving it is a high priority for Council. We understand about water’s contribution to supporting critical ecosystems that lay the foundation for our livelihoods. We hope you will join us on May 16th as we learn together how we can improve our role as stewards for this invaluable and natural asset and raise the awareness of the value and importance of water, as well as the associated costs and challenges.

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