• Nature, Recreation, Jurisdiction: How We Squared the Circle to protect Whistler’s Water Supply

  • Project Components:
    Planning, Conference Presentation, Water Supply
Nature, Recreation, Jurisdiction: How We Squared the Circle to protect Whistler’s Water Supply
2016 BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) Conference

KWL's Gillian Woodward made a presentation with Michael Day from the Resort Municipality of Whistler at the BCWWA conference in Whistler, BC.


Twenty-One Mile Creek watershed represents between 45-55% of the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW’s) water supply.  The primary objectives of the Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) required by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) operational permit are to ensure that exposure to unacceptable concentrations of contaminants in the source water are minimized, to implement procedures and policies that will support the long-term sustainability of the surface water resource, and to maintain public confidence in Whistler’s drinking water quality.

To facilitate stakeholder involvement, the 21-Mile Creek Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was formed to guide the development and implement the risk mitigation actions documented in the SWPP.  The TAC consists of members from VCHA (Drinking Water Officer) MFLNRO (land jurisdiction), RMOW Parks (Rainbow Lake Trail maintenance), RMOW Parks Planning (resort experience), RMOW Environmental Stewardship (community forests), and RMOW Utilities Group (water supply).

For the 21-Mile Creek source, both intrinsic and anthropogenic hazards pose a risk to the water supply availability and the water supply quality; however, relatively speaking, the intrinsic risks pose a greater threat to the availability, and the anthropogenic risks pose a greater threat to the quality, of the source water supply.  While there are a number of other hazards identified in the SWPP, the most complex component of the SWPP has been developing risk management strategies for recreation and its potential impacts to source water quality.  A thought model of acceptable risk was employed to facilitate that discussion.  RMOW received credit for the SWPP in September of 2015.


Stream8_WoodwardG_20160503.pdf (application/pdf, 0.948Mb)