The 21 Mile Creek Watershed provides on average 38 to 53 per cent of Whistler's water supply. Protecting it is important to keep our water clean.
The Twenty-One Mile Creek Watershed: Source Water Protection Plan is required by Vancouver Coastal Health as a condition of the permit issued to the Resort Municipality of Whistler.
The plan contains measures designed to minimize the impact to the source water quality from various potentially harmful natural and anthropogenic sources within and adjacent to the watershed. The two largest risks to the water source are recreational activities and wildfires.
- Recreational activities. The plan is designed to allow recreation activities that ensure the risks to the water supply remain acceptable. Presently the only recreational activities permitted are day hiking and back country skiing. Other measures include trail improvements, introduction of a Trail Ranger program, permanent water shed signage, slope mitigation investigation and fly out waste outhouses.
- Wildfires. As a result of the Fort McMurray wildfires the cost of providing clean drinking water has doubled. To reduce the risk of wildfire damage the RMOW is continuing to invest in FireSmart fuel reduction measures.
The first version of the Source Water Protection Plan was finalized in September 2015 by members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) including:
- Vancouver Coastal Health
- Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
- Resort Municipality of Whistler
The committee meets to twice a year to provide input to the RMOW for the ongoing implementation and the annual review and amendments to the work plan.
On July 11, 2018, Whistler Council endorsed the Source Water Protection Plan and the ongoing development of an annual work plan.