Are there people in Clearwater who use the water system as a source of heat to heat their homes?
That was one explanation put forward during a discussion by town council during its June 7 meeting for why water usage in the community is unusually high, especially in winter.
The system would work similarly to a geo-thermal heating system, with a heat pump extracting warmth from the water and then disposing of the water, possibly into the sewer system.
Another possible explanation for the high water usage during winter might be people leaving taps dripping to avoid freezing, suggested councillor Barry Banford.
A leak detection program underway now should help identify where the problem originates, said chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx.
Community Forest protects watershed
Protecting Clearwater’s watershed is an important priority for Wells Gray Community Forest, reported George Brcko, the community forest’s general manager.
Since taking over harvesting in the watershed (located behind the ski hill), the community forest has taken such steps as replacing undersized culverts with larger ones, and gravelling muddy sections of road.
There is little point in removing culverts from roads in the watershed to discourage people from using them, he said. People use the roads anyway.
Over the past few years, logging in the watershed has focussed on salvaging dead pine, he said.
Now the focus is on harvesting green timber, which is more profitable.
A recently announced reduction in the annual allowable cut for the Kamloops Timber Supply Area should result in increased demand and better prices for wood from the community forest.
Council might want to look at raising the water level in Russell Lake with a dam in order to increase the reserve for low water years, he suggested.