- Published on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 10:41
- Written by Michael James | © DrumhellerMail.com
The fate of the 2200 m³ per day water allocation to Kathryn has been a hot topic in the first half of 2012. Earlier this year, the Drumheller Town Council turned down a request from Rocky View County to allow the allocation to be used all over the county.
In a reversal of their previous decision in the June 4 meeting of Town Council, the water will be allowed to be used in the north east corner of Rocky View County (see map).
Representatives Jerry Wittstock and Kevin Miner from Aqua 7 Regional Water Commission presented the request. Upon being asked by Councillors Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk and Andrew Berdahl when the water would be used, the delegation stated it would be a minimum of two years before it was needed.
Councillor Tom Zariski expressed the water was needed to promote businesses and industry setting up shop in Drumheller as opposed to areas closer to Highway 2. Councillor Zariski asked the delegation if the volume and/or boundaries would expand in the future. The delegation did not seem to think that either would.
Councillor Doug Stanford added any requests for increases to Rocky View’s allocation would need to be approved by the provincial government.
After the delegation finished, a motion was made to accept the agreement. Councillor Berdahl made a motion to postpone the decision for two weeks, which was subsequently defeated.
The motion to accept the Aqua 7 request passed, with a vote of 5-2, with Councillors Berdahl and Zariski opposed.
One of the benefits to the decision, according to Mayor Terry Yemen, is it could help stabilize the price of water.
“We might not see a decrease in the price of water, but we might see some sustainability in the price. It’s going to help everyone along the Aqua 7 water line,” said Mayor Yemen.
By increasing the volume of water treated at the plant, it increases efficiency, thereby decreasing the cost per m³.
The factor that turned the tide of the discussion, according to Mayor Yemen, was the area in this proposal was well defined and did not include the entire county. The allocation will not encroach upon Drumheller’s need either.
“We have a lot of water and expansion capability in Drumheller that’s already set aside for the growth of Drumheller. We’re not infringing on that,” said Mayor Yemen. “There’s lots of water for everybody.”