Thursday, December 21, 2017

Town of Pincher Creek agrees to water license temporary transfer to help MD

Chris Davis - After an in camera discussion at their November 14 meeting council for the Town of Pincher Creek accepted a proposed Water License Transfer agreement requested by the MD of Pincher Creek as information, and directed their administration to forward a Memorandum of Understanding to the MD "for consideration with an amendment to the agreement regarding costs and that the Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer be authorized to sign the agreement once complete."

According to a report by MD Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, "Water for Licenses for the Village of Cowley and the Hamlet of Lundbreck are drawn from the Castle River in the SE 2-7-1-W5M. On July 25, 2017 Alberta Environment notified the municipality that the instream objectives for our water license were not being met and we would need to find an alternate source of water... Public Works staff ran an emergency water pump or hauled water to the Regional Water Treatment Plant as necessary over summer and fall as a means of supplying water to Cowley and Lundbreck."
At their September 26, 2017 meeting MD council passed a resolution directing their administration to "draft a letter to the Town of Pincher Creek for the Reeve's signature, requesting a temporary water transfer from the Town of Pincher Creek."  According to Reedyk's report, both councils met with Alberta Environment and Parks on November 9, 2017 "to discuss the specifics of a temporary transfer".  On November 30 "the Town of Pincher Creek forwarded a Draft Temporary Transfer Agreement for Councils consideration".  On December 1 "the Alberta Environment and Parks monitoring stations on waterways are removed from service for the winter. This year, the flow rate was above the water conservation objectives in the Village of Cowley ' s License and the Municipal Districts License for Lundbreck. The stations are checked on a monthly basis over winter, and the resulting measurements could result in the municipality being forced to find an alternative water source."

According to the aforementioned Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) received by the MD from the Town on December 12, the MD is requesting "a Temporary Transfer of water licence from its allocation on the Castle River to a maximum of (24 acre feet)". A number of conditions apply, including a clause that states "Any allocation of water pursuant to the Temporary Transfer shall only be operative when the Castle River flow is below the limits identified in the water licences of the Village of Cowley and the Grantee (MD of Pincher Creek)." Another section of the MOU notes "all three municipalities involved in this agreement have water conservation initiatives in place". 

The agreement is to remain in place for two years or until the MD of Pincher Creek "has acquired an alternate source of raw water to meet the needs of the regional water system users."

All costs are to be borne by the MD.

At their December 12 meeting council for the MD of Pincher Creek agreed unanimously to have Reeve Quentin Stevick sign the MOU.

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