Integrated Planning: Alignment of Comox Valley Regional Water Strategy with Regional Growth Strategy


Vancouver island - location map (360p)

Action by the Province

In July 2007, the Province of British Columbia divided the former Comox-Strathcona Regional District into two jurisdictions, namely: Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD); and Strathcona Regional District. At the same time, the Province mandated that the CVRD develop two strategies, namely:

The July 2007 notice of intervention from the Minister of Community Services stated that the Regional Growth Strategy “will have a very strong environmental focus and deal with critical issues of urban containment boundaries, urban intensification…”


Scope of Regional Water Supply Strategy

“The Comox Valley Regional Water Supply Strategy is examining the issue of Kevin lorette - comox valley regional districtwater supply to all communities and settlement areas within the CVRD. Because the scope is the entire regional district, all options are being considered,” states Kevin Lorette, General Manager of the CVRD Property Services Branch.

“At the end of the strategy development process, it is expected that there will be a clear definition and common understanding of what is meant by the term ‘regional system’ in a Comox Valley context.”


Alignment with Regional Growth Strategy

“The Regional Water Supply Strategy is one of a number of inter-connected regional Marc rutten (120p) - comox valley rdprocesses that are currently works-in-progress. The Regional Growth Strategy is a tool that helps promote alignment of regional and municipal actions pursuant to an implementation plan for the Regional Water Supply Strategy,” explains Marc Rutten, CVRD Senior Manager of Engineering Services.


Accommodating Population Growth

Mike zbarsky (60p) - comox valley regional districtAccording to Michael Zbarsky, CVRD Engineering Analyst, challenges that could be reconciled through the intersection and/or integration of the regional growth and regional water processes include:

  • managing supply and usage of drinking water,
  • handling rainwater, grey/black water and the attendant ecological concerns, 
  • adopting ‘design with nature’ strategies and technologies for green infrastructure,
  • location of developments (infill, brown-field, green-field), and
  • evaluating land uses, conservation uses, transportation services, and design footprint, etc., to manage green house gas emissions.

Comox valley regional growth strategy - cover (240p)“By 2031, it is estimated that the population in the Comox Valley will grow by almost 40% from 63,700 to 88,500 people. The Regional Growth Strategy will provide a framework for future decision-making and land use. The purpose of the Regional Growth Strategy is to coordinate growth among the local governments on issues that cross municipal boundaries.”

“A key message is that proposed new developments will have to be water-centric and water-efficient,” concludes Michael Zbarsky.


Understanding the Context

To learn about the context for watershed protection, population-support capacity, infrastructure upgrading and implementation issues in the Comox Valley, click on A Regional Perspective on Water Supply in the Comox Valley.

2009 comox valley series - story #4 cover (360p)

Posted November 2009