By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov. 23, 2012
Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) proponents are back with a revised plans on at least one issue that held back their proposal for over two years:
At public information meeting at the Squamish Adventure Centre on Thursday, Nov. 22, GAS proponents laid bare new plans for sourcing water for the proposed ski resort on Brohm Ridge.
GAS has proposed a plan to extract groundwater from an aquifer at a site adjacent to the Cheakamus River.
It’s at a conceptual stage yet, but these three sites are on the south west corner of Paradise Valley Road, about 250 metres north of Tenderfoot fish hatchery, 15 kilometres from Squamish.
A test run begins in February, with a 12 inch test well drilled to120 feet on the site to determine flow.
They plan to extract 70.1 litres per second from the ground aquifer, a conservative number, said Chris Gillham, an infrastructure consultant for the project.
Gillham said at a low tide in Chekamus, the effect of such an extraction would be 1.2 per cent.
“That is considered insignificant, we are not taking anything from the river” he said.
There are also plans to have a water reservoir for making snow at the site.
“If we can pump at 70.1 litres per second, our demand is going to be a third of that, he said.
With water conservation and some extraction of surface water at the site, there will be enough water to use and store.
“We would have enough water to store,” he said.
Among other things, GAS has been panned by critics—and the EAO–for plans to build large reservoir dams to store water diverted from Brohm.
GAS now has now until June to submit the results of its water extraction test runs to the EAO office.
Gillham said the proponents realises the earlier proposal to extracting water from Brohm was led to opposition to the project.
Extracting water from the aquifer is a much more reasonable solution, he said.
The idea didn’t strike John Buchanan as too reasonable.
He said it was a costly, unsustainable solution, one that has the potential to harm fish in the Cheakamus River.
“I’m in a shock that they are planning to pull water out of the basin,” he said.
Janice Brown, a director with the project, said the project would be an “economic engine” for Squamish.
She said with Squamish fast becoming a bedroom community, GAS would help bring jobs closer to home.
It has the potential of becoming a partnership for the future economic development of Squamish, she added.
Wolfgang Richter said GAS is terribly ambitious but entirely possible
“We are not dead yet, we have a strong market, we have strong partners that will not roll over,” he said.
The current proposal is a four-season resort to be developed as a resort community similar on 3,238 hectares of Crown land on Brohm Ridge. The plan would have up to 21,922 residential and commercial units, along with two golf courses and 25 ski lifts.
Two years ago, the GAS proponents had also revived the idea of a 1997 proposal, which was to be built on 2,580 hectares, up to 13,000 bed units and a daily skier capacity of only 12,000.