Well here we are again, on stage 3 water restrictions and having the same tired old round of talks about why we have water shortages and how we can fix this problem. Our mayor says this points to the need for an additional,very expensive and insanely large water reservoir. Reg Whiten,the city's water shed steward,says the gas and oil industry is a relatively low consumer of water from the Kiskatinaw River compared to Dawson Creek's usage.
Let's dispel these myths. In the 70s our population was the same as it is now. We had a much smaller, less efficient water system, much less reservoir capacity and guess what? We were never short of water. What has changed? There has been an insane increase in the proliferation of the oil and gas industry. Also, we often have less precipitation now. Why? It is because of climate change from the constant increase of extraction and burning of fossil fuel.
A larger reservoir may help in the short term but it is not the long term solution. Stopping climate change is the answer. If indeed the oil and gas industry is not taking a lot of water from the Kiskatinaw, that is because they are taking it from the city water supply instead. What do you think all the gas and oil related businesses are doing with their bulk water connections? I'm sure they are not using them for brushing their teeth.
None of these companies should have a bulk water connection. Incidentally, it is absolutely ridiculous that any company is allowed to use our precious,expensive city water for oil and gas field operations other than camp water.
For those that don't know,the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission was set up for the purpose of supplying the oil and gas industry with our fresh water from whatever source and in whatever quantities they desire. Therefore, it makes no sense for the City of Dawson Creek to be supplying water for oil and gas industry field operations. I dare say that we will have no water shortages if we prevent oil and gas companies from taking water from the Kiskatinaw and we only use our city water for normal city purposes.
Fixing the root cause of these problems is a slightly different matter. It requires throwing Stephen Harper out on his ear along with Christy Clark, Alison Redford, Brad Wall and some others that are at the beckon call of the gas and oil industry. Fracking is insanely water consuming and destructive in many other short and long term ways.
We need an honest, impartial study of its effects and the authority to change it,reduce it or shut it down entirely. We need governments that have the guts to restrict production and export of fossil fuels to sustainable levels. Obviously this calls for reductions. This would reduce water usage to sustainable levels and kick-start the process of reversing climate change. Voila.
Dawson Creek, B.C.