New water reservoir for Tofino

Tofino’s Barr’s Mountain reservoir will be replaced by a larger and more earthquake resistant facility.

The project will cost $1.2 million and will be paid for through a three-way split between the federal government, provincial government and Tofino with each player putting in roughly $388,000.

Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan made the announcement from a podium set up outside the Tofino Fire Hall on June 26. 

“The community of Tofino will replace the existing Barr’s Mountain treated water reservoir with a large reservoir to better meet the fire protection and emergency water storage needs of the community,” he said.

“We all remember the community running out of water in 2006, this larger and more earthquake resistant reservoir will ensure that area businesses and residents will have access to adequate water supplies to meet their current and future needs.”

He suggested Tofino’s water infrastructure was overdue for an upgrade.

 â€œI was delighted to make this announcement because I know this is the most needed infrastructure project for your community,” Duncan said.

“In all of your minds I’m sure it’s long overdue. It would be great if it was in place for this year given our circumstances; low snowpack and little rain, but at least you’ve got something to look forward to.”

Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne said the Barr’s Mountain reservoir has served Tofino since it’s installation in the 1960’s.

“The requirement for additional storage up on Barr’s Mountain was first identified in 1980, then in 1981, then it 1996, and then in the year 2000,” she said.

“35 years is a long time to wait and plan for a project and I really want to extend my thanks to the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia for helping us realize this incredibly important project.”

She said the new reservoir would provide a significant boost to Tofino.

“This project will almost quadruple the capacity for storing water up on Barr’s Mountain, which is great for drinking water, but what it’s really, really, great for is our ability to fight fires,” she said.

“This project is going to make a tremendous amount of difference.”

Osborne also read a letter sent by BC’s Minister of Community Sport and Development Coralee Oakes congratulating the community.

 â€œI know that in the past Tofino has endured water shortages and been affected by water restrictions this larger Barr’s Mountain reservoir will help ensure that residents and business operators alike will now have a reliable source of clean water for current and future generations,” Oakes wrote.

“I commend your local government leaders for their vision and commitment to this project.”

 

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca