Mayors see no need for independent water review

Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman and his counterpart Ted Adlem in Mission say a review of water issues would cost hundreds of thousands.

Neither Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman, nor his counterpart Ted Adlem in Mission see any financial justification to perform an independent peer review of the cities’ water system.

Adlem said he was surprised to see comments from Abbotsford Coun. Henry Braun in last Thursday’s edition of the Abbotsford News.

Braun made public his intention to make a motion to have an independent review of the water supply system conducted to establish Abbotsford and Mission’s future water needs.

Braun said he was concerned that the current supply system couldn’t accommodate a new water source, whether it was Stave Lake or another choice.

His remarks were first made during last month’s Abbotsford Mission Water Sewer Commission  (AMWSC) meeting.

Adlem said he thought it was understood that the commission would discuss the issue again during the next AMWSC meeting in September.

“I didn’t expect to read about it in the media,” he said.

While he knows that the commission meetings are public events, he isn’t sure why Braun chose to comment publicly.

“I think Coun. Braun stepped a bit out of line,” said Adlem, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars would need to be spent on a review.

Banman echoed that sentiment.

“From my perspective, potentially having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a peer review isn’t going to provide us with any information we don’t already have,” he said.

While he can’t speak on behalf of the entire commission, Banman said the issue is scheduled for the next meeting and he believes “that is the proper and right forum” for that discussion.

“At the end of the day, we have a water issue that we need to address. My tendency is to focus on solutions rather than spending valuable time and resources re-examining the problem.”

Banman added that Abbotsford’s partnership with Mission is back on track and Mission will be bringing information regarding a water source from Miracle Valley to the next meeting.

As for Braun’s assertion that the city’s water supply system needs major work, Banman said, “we’ll find out in September.”

He did say peak day water use has decreased substantially as citizens continue to conserve.

In 2007 the city hit a maximum peak rate of 139.2 million litres of water in a day.

So far, in 2012 the peak day use has only hit the 95.5 million litre mark on Aug. 16.

“Conservation efforts have given us some much needed breathing room.”

He added that significant rates of conservation would not have been imagined when the Stave Lake plan began.

The next AMWSC meeting is set for Sept. 13 and is open to the public.

The AMWSC consists of six members, three from Abbotsford and three from Mission. Both mayors are on the commission.

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