Project Highlights

KWL supported the City of Nanaimo in developing its comprehensive Water Supply Strategy (WSS).  The 40-year strategy was developed to support REIMAGINE NANAIMO (now City Plan) to balance human and environmental needs well into the future.  The strategy also aimed to enhance the City’s water supply system resilience in the face of future growth, climate change, and emergencies.

The work included an analysis of water demand and supply capacity, a review of water treatment and conveyance infrastructure resilience and a high-level financing strategy.

The demand analysis extended into the 2060s using an end‑use-based water demand forecast for the entire Nanaimo water supply system.  This more reliable long‑term forecast fed into the water supply and storage capacity analysis to determine long-term water storage requirements for the community.  This analysis included watershed modelling of the complex multi‑catchment, a multi-dam system with the community’s current and future water demands and continuous year-round and pulse environmental flow releases in the fall to support fish spawning.  The modelling also considered the impacts of climate change and drought on reservoir water levels.

KWL’s analysis enabled the City to fundamentally shift the focus of its strategic water plan from the supply side to demand side management, deferring a high-risk and costly dam upgrade.  As a result, the City can now better manage its water supply, securing its future and promoting continued growth and development in harmony with the natural environment.