Nelson’s Water Master Plan highlights success to date and provides additional direction

Water Master Plan highlights success to date and provides additional direction; 2018 Water and Sewer Rates adopted 


Nelson, BC – Monday evening’s Regular Council Meeting saw Council approve updates to the original 2007 Water Master Plan and final adoption of the 2018 Water Sewer rates in the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

The City of Nelson implemented the original Water Master Plan back in 2007. Since that time, Nelson has been able to achieve a 30% reduction in water consumption per person, which is a significant achievement. In fact, the daily summer maximum use per person has been reduced from almost 2,000 liters per day to less than 750 liters per day – which is staggering.  This reduction is the result of much needed upgrades and repairs to our aging underground infrastructure, including the replacement of corroded and leaking galvanized pipes throughout the city and removing the irrigation of many parks from the water supply. Along with these actions, the City promoted water conservation through a targeted campaign starting in 2015 which has seen a high level of buy-in from residents.  The 2017 Water Master Plan (WMP) recognizes the significant achievements the city has realized in upgrading and improving its water system and provides some new direction that will guide future improvements.  Highlights from the updated 2017 WMP include the renewal of our main water source at Five Mile Creek, the proposed development of secondary water sources and the development of an emergency source/secondary source from Kootenay Lake.

“Consistent, long-term access to clean water is a main priority for this Council”, says Mayor Deb Kozak. She adds “The combination of infrastructure renewal and conservation measures has resulted in our community reducing our water consumption by 40% from what it was only 20 years ago. We should all be proud of this achievement.”

The City reviews the long-term operating and capital plan for the water and sewer utilities each year in order to ensure that rates are set at a level which will are sufficient to fund annual operating costs, capital expenditures and provide adequate funds for future capital projects related to water/sewer infrastructure. Council reviewed the current year projected results and the forecasted operational and capital requirements and approved an annual rate increase of 2% for water and 1.5% for sewer.

“Our water and sewer utilities are based on a fee for service model” says Colin McClure, Chief Financial Officer. “It is important that residents understand that the rates charged for water and sewer pay are only used for these purposes. Nelson is one of the few communities in Canada where the water and sewer rates are able to sufficiently fund both projected capital upgrades and build the necessary reserves to maintain our infrastructure.”

Detailed information on the rate increases and the updated Water Master Plan will be posted at www.nelson.ca.