New $84.4M water system in Abbotsford, B.C., aims for climate resilience

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WHISTLER, B.C. — The City of Abbotsford is getting funding help from the B.C. government to bolster its drinking water system against extreme weather and climate-related disasters.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs says in a news release it's providing $62 million to the city to build a new well and water-treatment system that will serve more than 165,000 people in Abbotsford, Mission and the Matsqui First Nation.

It says when parts of Abbotsford were struck by catastrophic floods in November last year, 85 per cent of the water supply system went offline.

The total budget for the project is $84.4 million and the remainder of the funds will come from the Abbotsford Mission Water Sewer Commission, which operates the system.

The project includes the installation of about 12 new wells, the construction of a water treatment plant and a pump station to tie into the existing regional system to bring the new water source to the community.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun says in the statement a more reliable and resilient water source is one of the community's most critical needs.

Municipal Affairs Minister Nathan Cullen says the new water supply will be more resilient in the face of growing, climate-related threats.

"This project will create climate resilience by helping protect people, sustain public health services and keep businesses operating during these ever-increasing climate disasters," he says in the statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2022.

The Canadian Press