Bypass pumping and lowered lake level (CRD photo)

Bypass pumping and lowered lake level (CRD photo)

Budget surpasses $3m for ‘absolutely necessary’ Lubbe Dam work

Reservoir represents about 30 per cent of the total storage in the Goldstream Water Supply System

Rick Stiebel

News staff

Not taking action on damage caused by erosion at the Lubbe Reservoir would be a dam shame for the salmon and the region’s summer water supply.

The Capital Regional District’s Regional Water Supply Commission approved an additional $581,000 on Thursday for work to replace Lubbe Dam No. 4, bringing the total budget for the project to $3,161,000.

READ ALSO: An alternate route for Malahat shouldn’t go through Sooke watershed, says CRD director

According to a CRD report to the water commission, the need for the work was identified in August 2018 after the original dam built in the 1800s was removed. An assessment in 2011 had determined that the original, 45-metre-wide earth-laden dam was experiencing internal erosion, and further analysis in 2014 called for the dam’s replacement. The additional costs are the result of geological conditions that include the presence of a large rock knob, channelization on both sides of the knob, an undulating bedrock surface and highly fractured, poor quality bedrock, the report noted.

Mike Hicks a member of the Regional Water Supply Commission board and CRD director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, said the work is “absolutely necessary.”

READ ALSO: Rural water delivery rates on the rise

“We ran into some incredible problems, but the work simply has to be done,” Hicks said. “In my opinion, (the work) is most important in combating climate change. We need to store as much water as we can so we’re prepared for droughts in the summer. Fixing that dam may mean the survival of salmon in the Goldstream River.” The work is an integral part of maintaining what Hicks considers one of the best water supply systems in North America.

Lubbe Reservoir holds approximately 3 million cubic metres of storage at full capacity, which represents about 30 per cent of the total storage in the Goldstream Water Supply System.