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Whistler’s water consumption dips



Whistler’s water consumption is down by 25 per cent per person over the last five years.

Data from the municipal Water Conservation Program shows that during the long, dry summer of 1998 water consumption per person was 517 cubic metres per day. By the long dry summer of 2003 water consumption had decreased to 390 cubic metres for each person.

"I was very impressed with that information," said Brian Barnett, general manager of engineering and public works at the municipality.

Barnett presented council with what he called the "significant results" of the conservation program at Monday’s regular council meeting.

He said peak conditions like the summers of 1998 and 2003 are an important factor in water consumption.

Peak consumption reflects the municipality’s infrastructure requirements and if the peak demand can be decreased, the infrastructure plans can be reduced. This could result in cost savings for taxpayers, said Barnett.

The municipality has been working on its Water Conservation Program since the late 1990s. The initial goals from the outset were to tackle the low hanging fruit, like irrigation systems at golf courses and local parks.

For example, early on the municipality partnered with the Whistler Golf Course on the development of an independent irrigation well. Since that initiative there has been a significant decrease in municipal water for the operation of the golf course.

A low flow plumbing fixture bylaw was also introduced last year which required all new construction in the municipality to use low flow toilets, showerheads and other fixtures.

In the future there are plans to launch a leak detection program to examine the underground water pipes in the municipality. Barnett said there might not be a big leakage problem in the pipe system but this program will identify any problem areas and ensure they are repaired.

He is also working on a separate report to council that will investigate the possibility of water metering. Metering may provide even more opportunities for water conservation in the future.

Tamarisk, Gondola Village stratas to give input on WHA conversions

The Non-Cost Initiatives Task Force will revisit its recommendation that units in Tamarisk and Gondola Village may be bought for employee housing.

The review comes after the strata chairs of both complexes expressed serious concerns over the policy, which allows the Whistler Housing Authority to buy units, put a covenant on them and restrict the resale price.

It is a policy called off-site conversions.

In a previous council meeting Ross Ruddick, strata chair of the Gondola Village Strata Corporation, said that the policy was not fair or equitable to homeowners in the complexes.