By Justin Seward
Water issues arose once again at the Cypress County council meeting on Feb. 21. At the Feb. 7 meeting, council had asked administration to come back with more information on water licenses because they were undecided on whether or not to pay the $35,000 in studies for the 13 Parramatta households, who have been out of potable water for a year and a half.
County director of public works Curtis Richter brought forward fuel for thought to council on water licenses and clarified the St. Mary’s (SMRID) Irrigation District supplying raw water through the Redcliff water treatment facility.
While it was determined that SMRID had no access to water in the South Saskatchewan River and cannot use the river to transport water from their license to Redcliff because the river is not SMRID property, Richter mentioned that Parramatta currently holds two water licenses, one for domestic use at 5 acre a foot and the other for irrigation at 75 acre a foot to be drawn out of the South Saskatchewan River annually.
Additionally, Redcliff had indicated that they have enough water licenses for the near future. If the town were to do future developments, they would like to work with the County for projects but would need their assistance in obtaining more water licenses.
Coun. Richard Oster took to the floor to express his concern about future projects.
Oster asked if there was any confirmation from Redcliff in terms of not having water for the County to purchase to send to Suffield, if the base decides they do not want water supply from the County. He was hoping this was a good enough reasoning to Alberta Environment to approve the possibility of new a pipeline from Redcliff to Suffield.
“No it’s not a good enough reason,” said Cypress County CAO Doug Henderson.
“They need engineered drawings. They need real data on amounts and they need information from the base saying they’re going to be cut off, which the base has not said. You’re a long ways from that.”
Richter added the Town of Redcliff has some license available for future growth in Redcliff and they can supply capacity to Suffield and would require a license to get the go ahead.
Oster moved to direct administration to continue working with Parramata Water Co-op for a feasible solution to supply potable water. The rest of council voted in favour.