Water district to update comprehensive plan


Work on an update to the Point Roberts water district’s (PRWD) comprehensive plan is about to get underway. On Friday, November 18, district staff will be meeting with state department of health staff, and engineers from Pace, a Washington state-based engineering firm to discuss the scope of work involved. The board of commissioners approved a proposed estimate of $185,000 for the work at their October meeting.

Washington state requires water districts to update their comprehensive plans every six to ten years. Among other requirements, the comp update looks at whether the district is complying with state laws governing drinking water, determines the maximum daily usage which governs the total number of allowable connections and an update to capital system improvements. A current plan is required for a system to be eligible for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund applications and may be applicable for other water funding programs, such as Public Works Trust grants, and USDA Rural Development funds.

Updating the plan involves meeting with the state department of health (DOH) to determine the scope of work and establish a time schedule for completion, submission and approval of the plan. According to the DOH, “All public water systems must develop and implement a technical, managerial, and financial plan appropriate to the system’s size, complexity, and performance; expected demographic changes; community-specific resource constraints; and planning history … water systems with resilient capacity continually plan, do, check, and plan again in a step-by-step process to achieve their strategic objectives, including delivery of safe and reliable drinking water.”

A key element of any water district system is the source of the water supply. Point Roberts gets its water from the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) in an agreement dated August 28, 1987.

The contract “shall continue until the later of the 50th anniversary of [August 28, 1987] or the end of the useful life of the GVWD Main and all pipes, meters, controls, valves or pumps used to deliver the water to be supplied under this agreement from the Pebble Hill Reservoir to the Delivery Point, unless extended by mutual agreement of the parties.” The construction of the Pebble Hill Reservoir was paid for by the Point Roberts water district.

The contract goes on to say that if the parties are unable to agree upon when the end of the useful life occurs, the decision will be made by the chief executive officer of the Professional Engineers Association of B.C. or a person appointed by that officer.

Under the contract, the GVWD is obligated to supply up to 700,000 Imperial gallons (840,000 U.S. gallons) which the PRWD pays for, regardless of whether the district uses all or only a portion of that amount.

The price of the water has greatly increased over the years but is the same price that is paid by the municipalities that make up the GVWD.


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