Regional Water Supply Master Plan

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The Capital Regional District has developed the 2022 Regional Water Supply Master Plan that includes a proposed infrastructure program intended to improve the water supply and transmission system and add redundancy to critical components to address hazards and risks. The Plan recommends projects to be implemented over the next 30 years based on the projected population, the impacts of climate change, and water treatment needs resulting from changing raw water quality characteristics and regulatory requirements over time. Modeling indicates that additional water will need to be sourced from the deep northern basin of Sooke Lake Reservoir and the Leech River water catchment area by 2045.

Here’s how to learn more and share your input:

The Capital Regional District has developed the 2022 Regional Water Supply Master Plan that includes a proposed infrastructure program intended to improve the water supply and transmission system and add redundancy to critical components to address hazards and risks. The Plan recommends projects to be implemented over the next 30 years based on the projected population, the impacts of climate change, and water treatment needs resulting from changing raw water quality characteristics and regulatory requirements over time. Modeling indicates that additional water will need to be sourced from the deep northern basin of Sooke Lake Reservoir and the Leech River water catchment area by 2045.

Here’s how to learn more and share your input:

  • About the Regional Water Supply System

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    The CRD Regional Water Supply System delivers safe and sustainable drinking water to more than 400,000 people living in Greater Victoria. This work includes protecting the source, disinfecting the water and monitoring water quality, operating and maintaining transmission and distribution systems and investing in infrastructure renewal.

    The Regional Water Supply Service delivers water to customers situated in 13 local municipalities, 8 First Nations and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area through a mix of sub-regional and local distribution systems.


  • Water Supply and Demand

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    Determining the future water demand involves establishing the volume of water required to meet the projected demand based on future population projections. It also establishes the capacity of the supply system components such as transmission main sizing, water treatment plant process rate, and balancing storage volumes.

    There is sufficient water supply for the short term. Modeling indicates that by 2045 additional water will need to be sourced and the plan outlines the ability to invest in new infrastructure to draw water from the deep north basin of Sooke Lake Reservoir and diverting the Leech River into Sooke Lake Reservoir to increase the capacity of the system.

  • Water Quality and Treatment

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    Drinking water is treated to meet current drinking water quality regulations; a new filtration process will be required in the future to supplement the existing disinfection processes, particularly when water from the Goldstream and Leech water sources are used to supplement supply. The addition of filtration in combination with existing disinfection processes (ultraviolet disinfection followed by the addition of chlorine and ammonia) would provide a robust multi-barrier system able to better mitigate potential adverse raw water quality due to climate change impacts, reduce the vulnerability of the current treatment system, and protect public health.

  • Water Storage and Transmission

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    There are two general needs for water storage: raw water storage within the watershed(s) (reservoirs and related dams) and treated water balancing or equalization storage (storage tanks), an integral part of the transmission system.

    Currently, the transmission system has limited balancing storage which results in higher than necessary (or desirable) peak flows through the transmission system during high daily and seasonal demand periods. Additional balancing storage at Smith Hill in the City of Victoria and at the upstream end of the transmission system are proposed to enable the transmission system to perform optimally and provide emergency water storage.

  • Recommended Projects

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    Each of the recommended projects will undergo further planning and evaluation prior to proceeding with detailed engineering design and construction. The recommended projects that make up the 30 year program of improvements are summarized below:




    1. Goldstream Water Filtration Plant

    Estimated Cost: $1.07 Billion
    Estimated Completion Date: 2037

    A single direct filtration plant located upstream of the Goldstream Disinfection Facility to better protect the Regional Water Supply from potential raw water quality fluctuations due to climate change, forest fires and the eventual integration of water from the Leech and Goldstream Water Supply Areas.

    Includes a pump station, clearwell, balancing tank and the decommissioning of the Japan Gulch Dam and Reservoir.

    Refer to sections T2/T4/M2 in Project Overview Map


    2. East – West Connector

    Estimated Cost: $77.64 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2037

    A transmission main to connect the proposed Filtration Plant with the Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Service.

    Refer to section M12 in Project Overview Map


    3. Smith Hill Tank and Pump Station

    Estimated Cost: $41.75 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2039

    A storage tank and associated pump station at the existing, decommissioned Smith Hill site to provide a number of benefits including emergency storage, balancing of instantaneous/peak demands, reduce the capacity required at treatment plants, reduce risk of transient pressure surges, reduce head losses and deferral of transmission main hydraulic upgrade.

    Refer to sections M13/M14 in Project Overview Map


    4. Deep Northern Intake- Floating Pump Station and Transmission Main to Head Tank

    Estimated Cost: $135.41 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2033

    A second intake and raw water transmission main pumped to the Head Tank to add redundancy to the existing single southern intake, allow access to deeper, high quality water and allow for further drawdown of the Sooke Lake Reservoir to increase supply.

    Refer to sections S3/M3 in Project Overview Map


    5. Third Main: SLD to Head Tank

    Estimated Cost: $9.13 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2033

    A third raw water main extending between the Sooke Lake Dam and the Head Tank to increase capacity, improve redundancy and ensure service continuation in the event of a natural disaster or failure.

    Refer to sections M4 in Project Overview Map


    6. Goldstream Reservoir Connector Including Stage 1 Balancing Tank

    Estimated Cost: $89.82 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2033

    A piped connection between Goldstream Lake Reservoir and the proposed Goldstream Treatment Plant to protect the water quality of the secondary water supply for use during emergencies, Kapoor Tunnel shut down, and eventually allow Kapoor Tunnel redundancy and increased raw water transmission capacity.

    Refer to section M5/M6 in Project Overview Map


    7. Jack Lake Raw Water Transmission Main

    Estimated Cost: $284.96 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2039

    A piped connection between the existing Head Tank and Goldstream Treatment Plant to provide redundancy to the Kapoor Tunnel for backup or emergency purposes and increased raw water transmission capacity.

    Refer to section RWT5 in Project Overview Map and related Project Map


    8. Leech River Diversion and Sooke Lake Saddle Dam Hydraulic Upgrades

    Estimated Cost: $41.9 Million
    Estimated Completion Date: 2045

    An intake structure to divert Leech River water through the existing Leech Tunnel to Deception Gulch Reservoir as a supplemental source to Sooke Lake Reservoir.

    Sooke Lake Saddle Dam and Deception Gulch Dam will both require upgrades in order to transfer water from Deception Gulch Reservoir to Sooke Lake Reservoir.

    Refer to sections S4/RWT1/M1 in Project Overview Map


    9. Treated Water Transmission Main Upgrades (Phases 1-4.2)

    Estimated Cost: $295.42 Million
    Project Timeline: 2027-2050, Annual Program

    A variety of renewal and capacity-related transmission system upgrades throughout the Regional Water Supply (RWS) aligned into a $10M/year re-occurring annual program.

    Refer to sections M7/ M8/ M9/ M10/ M11 in Project Overview Map

  • Financing and Implementation

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    The recommended projects will be implemented over the next 30 years and come at considerable cost, but they are deemed critical to improve the resiliency of the Regional Water Supply Treatment and Transmission System and will be necessary in the longer term in order to provide enough drinking water to support the growing Region.

    For each of the projects, present and future conceptual inflated capital costs to mid-construction year have been developed for budgeting and financial planning purposes. In total, the recommended projects are valued at $1.53 billion in 2022 dollars and $2.05 billion in inflated dollars to 2050 to account for future design and construction costs. A 2% per year inflationary factor has been used to derive future costs from 2022 estimates. There will also be new operating costs associated with the new infrastructure. All of the existing and new capital and operating costs have been conceptually forecast to 2050. To fund the capital program, it would be necessary to debt finance a significant portion.

    Capital spending is projected to begin increasing in 2024, and peak and stabilize in the late 2030s. The CRD considers water rate implications and an equitable allocation of capital costs between current and future ratepayers.

    In order to forecast the revenue requirements to fund the long term capital program, the wholesale water rate was conceptually modeled. In order to balance the annual budgets to 2050, the rate would have to substantially increase on a year over basis at least until the late 2030s, when it is forecast that growth related demand and revenue would begin to mitigate larger year over year increases. Through the mid to late 2020s, into the 2030s, the rate could increase in the 10% to 20% range on a year over year basis, based on projected water demand with increasing population.

    The funding and water rate implications noted above are based on 100% of the required funding being derived from the service ratepayers. There has been no allowance for senior government grant funding or allowance for a portion of the capital funding that is expected to be provided through RWS development cost charges in the near future (CRD staff are currently advancing this initiative). CRD staff will actively seek grant opportunities where the eligibility criteria align with the recommended projects and make application for funding. Grant funding would help offset the debt burden and help mitigate water rate increases. Although development cost charges will increase the cost of development, these funds would also help mitigate the cost of water for the average ratepayer over time.

    The 2022 Master Plan recommendations and proposed infrastructure will continue to be reassessed, on a five to 10 year cycle, to consider new information and latest trends in population growth and water demand, and evaluate risks to the service, including climate change and water quality. Current technology and construction costs will also be evaluated. As a result of this continuous and adaptive process, the 2022 Master Plan implementation will be adjusted moving forward, to reflect any changes in assumptions or conditions.

Page last updated: 22 Jun 2022, 12:51 PM