The Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society
Ganges PO Box 555,
Salt Spring Island, BC
V8K 2W3 Canada
Email Address: email@example.com.
(a) To engage in and otherwise promote the protection and preservation of the sources of potable water on Salt Spring Island for the benefit of the General Public;
(b) To acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, real property deemed important for the protection or preservation of potable water on Salt Spring Island and to hold or dispose of such property in such manner as may further or carry out the above purpose:
(c) To engage in and to otherwise promote the scientific study of and research into water resources;
(d) To promote and increase the public awareness of the value of water resources;
The History of the Society
1981-The Society was founded for the purpose of protecting the sources of drinking water on SSI, to promote research into water resources, and to promote public awareness of the value of water resources. The original founders were: Sidney Filkow, Tom Gossett, Michael Larmour, Gail Secor and John Crofton.
1983 - The society became a CRA Registered Charity with the ability to issue tax receipts. The Society is well known through its efforts to preserve the quality of drinking water in the St. Mary and Maxwell Lakes, and its long struggle to keep gasoline power motors out of St. Mary Lake.
1984-1994 - The Society took the legal case to the Supreme Court of Canada. After 10 years, the eventual victory in court established the important precedent that communities nation-wide can declare their lakes electric motor only (EMO) for the purpose of preventing pollution. Before that, a Canadian community could only use the Canada Shipping Act to declare a lake EMO for the purpose of safety.
1985-86 - The SSI Islands Trust asked the Water Preservation Society to work out an Environmental Accord with the Salt Spring Centre prior to their application to amend the Land Use Contract.
1986 - The Society along with other interested and affected individuals, governmental agencies and NGOs signed an agreement and covenant with Channel Ridge Properties regarding the development of the 1172 acre property including a 272 acre portion of the St. Mary Lake watershed. Specified in this agreement and covenant was the understanding that in return for 577 residential dwelling units and access to water from St. Mary Lake, Channel Ridge Properties would transfer the 272 acre watershed lands to the Society in three parcels over a period of fifteen years. The Society also agreed to allow limited public access to hiking trails on the watershed lands.
1987- The Water Preservation Society signed the Environmental Management Accord with the Salt Spring Centre. This accord was completed to amend Land Use Contract Bylaw 12. The SSI Islands Trust later amended Bylaw 12 by creating Bylaw 195 in August 1988.
2002 -The Society helped raise a significant portion of the total funds (1.2 million dollars), which were used to purchase the primary and secondary watersheds of Maxwell Lake from the Texada Land Co. It was primarily because of the Society that this land was purchased with its' forest cover intact. The Society felt it was important to protect the source of water for Maxwell Lake because it is the only intact and relatively undeveloped potable water-producing watershed on the island. The Society owns an additional 20 acres in the Maxwell Lake primary watershed.
2003 - The final transfer of the St. Mary Lake Watershed Land in Channel Ridge was completed. It was beyond the 15 years but the Society finally received the land to protect the drinking water. In March 2003, the Society donated $1000.00 for Cusheon Watershed Management Plan. This allowed the Steering Committee to apply for a grant in aid from the CRD. The completed plan was presented to the public on World Water Day in March 2007.
2005 - the WPS worked with other island groups to defeat a proposal by our own Trustee Eric Booth, which would have weakened Trust Policy Statement Directive 4.4.2. This Directive states that local land use plans should “ensure that neither the density or intensity of land use is increased in areas which are known to have a problem with the quality or quantity of the supply of fresh water…” This Directive makes it illegal for the Local Trust Committee to increase zoning density on parcels in drinking watersheds that have specific protective zoning.
2005- In spite of initiatives by Channel Ridge to have the covenants of the 1986 agreement discharged, the Society's board of directors felt that such a discharge would not be in the best interests of the community. They worked to prevent the discharge of the 1986 agreement and were successful.
2006 -A covenant was developed for the eight separate parcels of land along the west side of St. Mary Lake. The land, owned by WPS, is important to protect for the water quality of the lake and local aquifers, as well for wildlife habitat, particularly since it contains several old growth Douglas-fir. A limited number of footpaths on the lands exist for recreational purposes.
2008- The covenant was signed with the covenant holders being the Salt Spring Conservancy and the Land Conservancy of British Columbia.