September 9th 2022
The Fairmont Hot Springs Utilities company is regulated by The BC Water Utility Act and Utilities Commission Act that is administered by the BC Comptroller of Water Rights assisted by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and its Utility Regulation Section, Water Management Branch.
In 2014 an application, which identified current users, known development, and future development was made to the BC Comptroller of Water Rights. Authorization was granted to source groundwater supply to produce 730 gallons per minutes or 1,055,325 gallons per day, (819,080 gallons per day for 2014 current users, 121,245 gallons per day for current committed development, and 115,000 gallons per day future development). The new reservoir that was built provides water storage capacity for firefighting, system balancing, and system emergency use requirements.
FHS Utilities took over the billing in November 2021 when the previous provider gave notice that they would no longer be interested in performing that function. In late February, FHS Utilities hired Sampson Water to run the day-to-day operations.
In early Spring, FSH Utilities hired an independent firm to x-ray the water lines for potential leaks and water loss. Two leaks were found and repaired in the spring. During these past hot summer months consumption levels were higher than normal due mainly to irrigation usage, resulting in irrigation water use restriction being put in place. Such restrictions are not unique to Fairmont Hot Springs.
Approximately a month ago, FHS Utilities hired Mulyk Consulting Inc., the engineering firm who designed the water system and reviewed the application that was submitted prior to its construction. A meeting was held with them on August 2nd to discuss the preliminary results. During this meeting, Mulyk Consulting confirmed that the water system is producing as designed, and that the shortage of water is the result of higher irrigation usage.
Mulyk Consulting Inc. is currently assessing options to increase the water systems capacity to accommodate higher than normal irrigation demands during the summer months due to the impact of global warming. Once received, these various options, including metering consumption, the system ability to increase the supply of water will be reviewed by FHS Utilities. Any increase in the supply of water would need approval from the BC Comptroller of Water Rights.
During the last couple of weeks, we have received several emails with questions regarding what is happening with the Fairmont Hot Springs water supply. Emails have included allegations of intentionally ignoring the restrictions and sabotaging our systems. This is disconcerting as we all rely on the supply of potable drinking water for all aspects of our community.
In the meantime, I encourage everyone to follow our restrictions so the entire community can enjoy the use of our wonderful water.
I will provide an update once we understand more about what the options are.
Bill Woods, CPA, CMA
Chief Executive & Financial Officer
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ltd.