The province announced Wednesday (Sept. 14) that it is providing $62 million to the City of Abbotsford to build a new well and water-treatment system.
The project includes installation of approximately 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.
The remainder of the $84.4 million budget will be covered by the Abbotsford Mission Water Sewer Commission. The commission operates the drinking water system which serves Abbotsford, Mission, the Matsqui First Nation and the Stave-Cedar connection in the Fraser Valley Regional District.
The current water source is vulnerable to climate-related events, such as floods or wildfires, and was compromised during the November 2021 floods, which caused 85 per cent of Abbotsford’s water supply to be offline.
The funding announcement was made by Nathan Cullen, minister of municipal affairs, who said the project will ensure a safe water source during climate-related events.
“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 said.
Mayor Henry Braun said the city is “truly grateful” for the funding.
“A more reliable and resilient water source is one of our community’s most critical infrastructure needs, and we are thankful to be receiving support for this vital project,” he said.
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith said many industries – including agriculture, senior care, health care and education – count on a reliable water supply.
“Ensuring our water system remains reliable in the event of a climate disaster is essential to the future of the economy of the region, and to the well-being of the people that live here,” he said.
Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis also applauded the announcement.
“We know the damage that atmospheric rivers can wreak, and by tackling these climate threats head on, Abbotsford and the surrounding area will be better prepared for the future,” she said.