I am writing to clarify some information that appeared in Mark Rushton’s Oct. 2 column that suggests the city is planning to meter private wells.
The City of Abbotsford has no plans to meter private wells, and it is unclear where this suggestion may have originated.
It is possible that the author may have misunderstood some information from a recent ‘Groundwater Management Strategy’ (GMS) report submitted to the Abbotsford-Mission Water & Sewer Commission and council, which discusses options for effectively managing the Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer water quantity and quality. The report discusses numerous aquifer protection measures and mentions the possibility of monitoring large groundwater extractions. This report aligns with the Province’s Water Act Modernization, which includes a proposal to regulate groundwater use through mechanisms such as well licensing and flow monitoring of large groundwater users.
Neither the GMS nor the Water Act Modernization suggest or recommend monitoring small private domestic well users. Any direction to consider private well monitoring would need to come from the provincial government.
More information about the Province’s Water Act Modernization project can be found at: http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/water-act/
The GMS report can be found at: http://www.ourwatermatters.ca/files/File/Historical%20Reports/GW_Protection_Mgt_Governance_FINAL.pdf
Frank Pizzuto, city manager