White Rock thirsts for control of municipal water supply

CBC News, Jun 12, 2013

White Rock city councillors have voted unanimously to buy the municipality’s water supply from the private corporation that owns it.

White Rock to buy back water system from Epcor
White Rock to buy back water system from Epcor

City councillors voted on Monday to enter into negotiations to buy the city’s water assets from Epcor, a company run by the City of Edmonton.

Mayor William Baldwin says the decision was based purely on its financial model. White Rock is one of the only cities in the province that doesn’t own its water supply.

“We’re looking at doing something that’s in the best interest of the taxpayers with respect to their money.”

Former city councillor Margaret Woods, who led the push to buy back the water supply, says it make financial sense.

“Why should the taxpayers pay the City of Edmonton for their water? You’re making the profits of one community for the benefit of another community.”

Earlier this year, Epcor announced upgrades to comply with Fraser Health standards by 2016 would cost up to $22 million.

Woods says the city can now explore other solutions instead of financing those expensive upgrades.

“Rather than spending $22 million, there are other options, and one of the options was to join the Metro Vancouver system.”

But council will have to decide quickly what it wants to do. The city has until Monday to submit a decision to the province’s Comptroller of Water Rights.

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