Skidegate water shortage unprecedented

  • Aug. 18, 2015 11:00 a.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverAs of July 28 the Village of Skidegate water levers were continuing to fall. Measurements Slarkedus Lake, from which the village receives all its potable water, were 40.5 inches below the safe level. The Band Council is now enforcing mandatory Level-4 water restrictions. This means all uses are prohibited except for drinking and household uses. There is no enforcement program for the water conservation, as it is an new process for the band.  Watering of lawns and gardens along with washing cars and boats are all prohibited. The use of sprinklers, hoses and pressure washers and the filling pools are also among the prohibited uses for water. Skidegate depends entirely on surface water of Slarkedus lake, rather than well water as with other communities on Haida Gwaii. The rain that has preceded the fire warning have not nearly been enough to fill the aquifer. All of the precipitation on Haida Gwaii has been soaked up by the forest and the moss. Having a mild winter with low rainfall has also contributed to significantly low lake levels. This is the first time Skidegate has seen any water restrictions, let alone a Level 4, which is the highest level in water restrictions. The Skidegate Band Council held a meeting July 23, to which over 100 residents attended. “People have come up with brilliant water conservation methods,” Babs Stevens Skidegate Band CAO, said.”This is a way for the public to make a decision along with us.” The Villages of Port Clements and Queen Charlotte have extended an invitation to help Skidegate with their water supply. “We are thankful to Port Clements and Queen Charlotte for their offer, we haven’t hit the state where it’s needed, but it is nice to know it’s there,” Ms. Stevens said. There are many teams working on solutions for Skidegate and the lack of water. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) have been working closely with the band council to assist in the efforts. The Band did not have any backup plans for this situation as they had never faced a water shortage. “Water conservation is part of our energy efficiency plans for Skidegate,” Trent Moraes, with the Skidegate housing department said. “We already were working on it, [but] we were rushed into this now with the drought.”The band council is asking residents to report any household leaks and running toilets so they can assist in repairing the issues as quickly as possible. “We are creating options for our band and our people so this will not happen again,” Ms. Stevens said.According to Queen Charlotte Village CAO Lori Wiedeman, the water levels at Stanley Lake Weir have risen significantly to within safe levels since the drought. Masset and Port Clements water levels continue to hold.

Just Posted

Mark Perry in concert at the old Driftwood School (Marty Clemens photo)
Mark Perry releases new single ahead of Northwest album.

“Golden Spruce” tells the story of a forester who cut down an old-growth Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Coho is one of many fish species that will benefit from a project to assess fish passage in the Falls River Watershed and offer options for improved connectivity and habitat restoration. The project will be delivered with funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program announced on June 8. (Photo: supplied by FWCP, istock, M.Haring)
More than $2.1 million for Northcoast fish and wildlife projects

Falls River Watershed SE of Prince Rupert to have fish passage and habitat study

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)
NDP motion calling for immediate reconciliation action passes

Skeena-Bulkley MP Taylor Bachrach addresses federal Parliament

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

Most Read