I would like to express my frustration with our town’s water management strategy. I intuitively feel that summer water restrictions are unnecessary in a town surrounded by gigantic glaciers and subjected to eight months of virtually continuous rain every year.
Yet, we endure water restrictions every summer. How is this possible?
Seeking clarity, I found the town of Squamish Water Master Plan. I assumed I would find some justification for the restrictions. Unfortunately, no such evidence-based explanation is to be found. Our water supply comes from the Powerhouse Springs ground-water wells.
The existing wells have a capacity of 760 litres per second (L/s). We use, on our worst day, 188 L/s (2015 data). This is expected to increase to 299 L/s by 2031 with population growth.
Looking through the rationale cited in our water conservation plan, I can find no specific reason why we need to restrict our water use.
The Squamish document cites a provincial document for explanation: The Water Conservation Guide for British Columbia’s Communities. Both of these documents take for granted that water conservation is a good and necessary goal. This may be true if you live in Los Angeles or Las Vegas, but those cities do not have our superabundant water resources. I believe our community’s water restrictions are basically virtue signalling by our elected officials.
They reflect a concerning lack of critical thinking rather than any environmental necessity.