Go ahead and flush twice: Point sees very low water use

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With Canadian seasonal residents barred from crossing the border for most of the year, the water district pumped in less water from Canada than it has in over 30 years.

“It’s the lowest since I started here in 1989,” said water district manager Dan Bourks.

In 2020, the district pumped in 54.5 million gallons of water for domestic use on the Point from their supplier, the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD). With the golf course closed due to travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, they did not draw water for irrigation.

The last time Bourks said he has records of it approaching that low a number was in 1990, when the district drew 67.6 million gallons from the GVWD. In 2019, they pumped 121 million gallons.

Since the district pays for approximately 307 million gallons of water per year under its contract with the GVWD, almost three quarters of the water ratepayers paid for went unused.

“The vast majority of what we collect in rates comes from the base rate,” Bourks said, which all system users pay regardless of how much water they use to keep the system operating.

“Last year we kind of squeaked by,” Bourks said. “We had $1.3 million in revenue and that’s pretty much what we spent. The golf course is a big influence.”

Connections to the system, only five in total in 2020, were also at an all-time low since Bourks has been with the district, with the exception of during a water connection moratorium that took place in 2007 and 2008.,

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