Unlike Vancouverites, whose water comes from a few large mountain reservoirs, Bowen Islanders get their water from diverse sources such as reservoirs, wells, and streams. Increasingly, islanders are also using rooftop water.
Think about it. Most of the food, energy, and manufactured goods come from far away. Only our water is home grown. Almost all of it comes from Bowen Island. So we control the future of our water. It's for us to decide!
Bottled water has become very popular. While it seems safe and convenient, there are disadvantages: it's expensive, it creates waste containers, and trucking water generates air pollution, causing problems like asthma and global warming.
All the land area that drains into a stream system is called a watershed. Most areas of Bowen Island drain into some stream, so it is likely that you live in a watershed. A water-supply watershed is the part of a watershed upstream of a water-supply intake. Many parts of Bowen Island are water-supply watershed areas. Do you live in one?
Living in our water-supply watersheds
Vancouver protects water quality in its watersheds by restricting access. Things are different on Bowen Island. Some water-supply watersheds lie within forested Crown Lands and are relatively pristine. But others, such as the Grafton Lake water supply, include residential and commercial areas, roads, and livestock. All of these uses represent potential sources of contamination. Should we be concerned?