To better meet Whistler’s demand for drinking water year-round, the RMOW is looking to commission an additional ground water well to one already withdrawing from the Rainbow aquifer (W218).
- The well (W219) is already constructed, just not in use.
- Commissioning it will ensure Whistler has enough drinking water at times when 21 Mile Creek is highly turbid and demand is high.
- Approximately half of Whistler’s drinking water comes from 21 Mile Creek. When 21 Mile Creek is turbid, typically during periods of heavy rain, additional water is sourced from 13 ground wells. This generally occurs from April to June and October to November.
To operate the second 21 Mile Creek aquifer well, the RMOW is asking the Provincial Government for an exemption from Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) requirements. Exemption from EAC requirements is a rigorous process, granted only to projects that achieve certain conditions, including low environmental impact. Approval of an exemption is by a designee to the Minister of the Environment (usually the Executive Director of the EAO).
Operating both the existing and the second groundwater wells in the 21 Mile Creek aquifer at the same time would exceed the Provincial regulations of extracting no more than 75 litres of water per second. The RMOW intends to exceed this limit only if water demand cannot be met during April to June and October to November because 21 Mile Creek surface water is too turbid to use. During these times, no significant effects to fish, wetlands or aquifers have been identified.