Updated: April 4, 2018
The timeline below is showing troubling lack of oversight from some of our government agencies.
2010: Sechelt Official Community Plan states "Sechelt has far more residential land than is needed to meet future demands." Buildout is claimed to be 14,000 units and current build is less than 4,000 units. That leaves 10,000 units available under current zoning to be built. It continues to say that one of its growth strategy principles is to protect natural habitats, ecosystems and environments. But wait, where is the water coming from? The answer is from the already maxed out Chapman Lake watershed. How is that protection of natural habitat, ecosystems and environments?
June 2013: Sunshine Coast Regional District adopts the Comprehensive Regional Water Plan (CRWP). Chapman Lake is one part of the plan and supplies water to 85% of Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) water users.
2015: FSCI Biological Consultants (FSCI) determined that a flow of 200 liters/second is required for spawning salmon and to meet Environmental Flow Needs (EFN) in Chapman Creek. The EFN is required under the B.C. Water Sustainability Act. The SCRD blames the EFN for furthering the deficit of water storage that was identified in the CRWP. It claims that the EFN results in 20 to 30 days per annum that water is not available for SCRD water users.
Summer 2015: Bad drought. Chapman Lake expansion project is fast-tracked by Sunshine Coast Regional District.
2016: Consultants AECOM propose constructing a deeper water intake at Chapman Lake, raising the dam, adding a diesel or propane pump station and drawing down the lake by 8 meters. Construction was scheduled but never started. The project would increase drawdown of Chapman Lake from its current 3 meters to 8 meters of the 30 meter deep Chapman Lake. It would double the accessible water for extraction to benefit SCRD water users.
2016: Environmental assessment report from AECOM quotes shíshálh Nation that the additional drawdown should not be used to prevent Stage 4 drought restrictions. The additional drawdown must not be to facilitate increased growth, development and water consumption.
March 6, 2017: BC Parks informs SCRD that a boundary change or reclassification of Tetrahedron Provincial Park is needed before a park use permit is granted to construct a deeper channel to draw more water from Chapman Lake. Ministry of Forests and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) evaluates a new water licence application. As part of the water licence application, the SCRD reported Chapman Creek had insufficient flow for fish below the treatment plant 14% of the time in 2015 and 2% of the time in 2016. SCRD procedure is to permit only 77% of water flow required for fish habitat and water quality as stipulated by Department of Fisheries and Oceans during the summer dry period.
April 26, 2017: District of Sechelt representative Doug Wright is quoted as saying, "I'm really concerned... If [the Chapman Lake expansion project] doesn't get done by 2018 and we have another summer like we had two years ago, we are going to be in real difficulty here."
April 28, 2107: Sechelt municipality approves 1,600 new housing units according to Coast Reporter.
June 8, 2017: Lack of affordable housing reaches crisis levels according to Coast Reporter. Perhaps mega-homes are being approved and overbuilt leading to the affordability crisis.
Summer 2017: Another bad drought. Three siphon pipes are installed at Chapman Lake by SCRD. Was a park use permit or authorization issued for the work?
March 1, 2018: Janette Loveys, chief administration officer for the SCRD, releases a staff report that says, in part, that drawing down Chapman Lake by 8 meters is tapped as the most feasible and cost effective water source that can be exploited in the area. It also says it has the least environmental impact compared to other water sources and lakes. Ms. Loveys estimates the park boundary adjustment to remove Chapman Lake from Tetrahedron Provincial Park will be completed in fall of 2018 with the assistance of BC Parks. No word on planning for public participation in reaching the decision is announced. She further forecasts that BC Parks will issue a separate park use permit in spring of 2019 and that Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) will issue a water license.