Water is a precious commodity on Salt Spring Island in general, and Scott Point in particular. Water on Scott Point comes from 3 wells that tap into a shallow, underground aquifer consisting of cracks in the sandstone that fill with water. The aquifer slowly recharges from surface rainfall on our long, skinny peninsula geologically isolated from the island and bound on all sides by the influence of seawater.
During summer months, with lower groundwater levels and increased population, it may become necessary to put Watering Restrictions in place. During extended drought or other water stresses, watering restrictions may become more strict.
Dr. G. Wendling of GW Solutions of Nanaimo was engaged in 2015 to improve our understanding of hydrogeology of Scott Point and the impact of seawater intrusion on the District’s wells.
Summers on Scott Point are characterized by a large increase in water use as people come to vacation; and long spells of dry weather where there is little recharge of the aquifer. Therefore, conservation is of primary concern to all residents if adquate supplies of water are to be available throughout the year.
The District encourages conservation through 3 measures:
- Education – Click Here for tips on how to reduce water consumption or Click Here for information on rainwater harvesting for gardening.
- Notification – Meters are read every month. Residents with usage anomalies or excess consumption are contacted directly to ensure any leaks are addressed as quickly as possible, or to highlight high usage practices.
- Water Billing Structure – Supply to all residents is metered for usage. Residents are encouraged to use less than 5000 gallons in a 2-month period with consumption above 5000 gallons for a 2-month period billed at a higher rate.
NOTE: All water consumed at levels above 10,000 gallons in a 2-month period is billed at a punitive $1 per gallon rate. Further, upon notice any property using more than 10,000 gallons per 2-month period is subject to having its water supply discontinued. There is no reserve supply to draw upon.
These measures have been successful at reducing consumption over the past few years. The graph below shows consumption and production trends for the past 10 years.