Spe­cial Ar­eas Wa­ter Sup­ply Project pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion re­port re­leased to pub­lic

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - SPECIAL AREAS - Con­trib­uted

Spe­cial Ar­eas shared their re­port on the re­cent pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion for the Spe­cial Ar­eas Wa­ter Sup­ply Project (SAWSP), avail­able at www. spe­cialar­eas.ab.ca. This re­port sum­ma­rizes feed­back pro­vided dur­ing March’s con­sul­ta­tion, in­clud­ing what peo­ple thought the next steps should be for the project. This feed­back will be used by the Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil and Board to help in­form their de­ci­sion on whether Spe­cial Ar­eas should move ahead with ad­di­tional in­vest­ment in the project.

“We were pleased to see how en­gaged ratepay­ers and other stake­hold­ers were dur­ing our con­sul­ta­tion on SAWSP. From at­tend­ing com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion ses­sions to shar­ing their thoughts on the sur­vey, peo­ple through­out the Spe­cial Ar­eas pro­vided clear feed­back on what we should be do­ing next for SAWSP. This feed­back will be crit­i­cal in help­ing the Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil and the Board make a well-in­formed de­ci­sion that con­sid­ers po­ten­tial im­pacts to dif­fer­ent project stake­hold­ers.” ex­plained Jor­don Chris­tian­son, Chair.

The con­sul­ta­tion in­cluded three com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion ses­sions hosted through­out the re­gion and a sur­vey which gath­ered spe­cific feed­back. The sur­vey, which was avail­able on­line and at Dis­trict Of­fices, asked for feed­back on whether Spe­cial Ar­eas should con­tinue in­vest­ing in the project. Spe­cial Ar­eas pre­sented the three op­tions be­ing con­sid­ered, in­clud­ing shelv­ing the En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Assess­ment (EIA) re­port, re­quest­ing a tech­ni­cal re­view on the EIA by Al­berta En­vi­ron­ment and Parks, or pur­su­ing a for­mal pub­lic in­ter­est de­ter­mi­na­tion from the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Con­ser­va­tion Board (NRCB). These op­tions had es­ti­mated costs which ranged from noth­ing up to $10 mil­lion dol­lars.

Stake­hold­ers through­out the re­gion shared their feed­back on next steps for SAWSP, and most re­sponses came from ratepay­ers re­sid­ing in the Spe­cial Ar­eas. Re­sponses were di­vided be­tween not want­ing the Board to make any fur­ther in­vest­ment in the project to ask­ing for a pub­lic in­ter­est de­ter­mi­na­tion by the NRCB. The last op­tion, which in­cluded re­quest­ing a for­mal de­ter­mi­na­tion by the NRCB, was es­ti­mated to cost be­tween $2 mil­lion and $10 mil­lion dol­lars.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the SAWSP, or to view the re­port on the con­sul­ta­tion, con­tact your lo­cal Dis­trict Of­fice or head to www.spe­cialar­eas.ab.ca.

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