We’re fortunate that Langley Township hasn’t had any major water supply issues in recent years.
The recent audit of the system by the province’s Auditor General for Local Government found plenty that was positive in the way the system is managed.
It also had plenty of suggestions to make for how to improve the system, however.
The theme of most of those recommendations seems to be that long term is more important than short term.
Individuals, businesses, governments – it’s too easy for any person or group to fall victim to fixing problems without looking to the future.
This report does look to the future. Its first section of recommendations is all about the overall sustainability of water as a resource – whether that means monitoring the amount used, to preventing overuse, to using rainwater to avoid drawing from aquifers.
The shortest timeline we should use to consider our water system is a century – and longer than that is better.
If we keep drawing on aquifers, how long until they are drained? How long does it take for rainfall to replenish an aquifer? How can we conserve water for household use, industry, and farming, and how can we get people to adopt the best practices in each of those areas?
Living here on the Wet Coast, we tend to think about water as an ever-renewable resource. More of it falls from the sky all the time, after all. But potable water, whether from our natural aquifers or from Metro Vancouver’s reservoirs, is finite. We have to preserve it, conserve it, and make sure there is plenty for future generations of Langley residents.