Open letter to Mayor John Levi from the Mississippi Mills Riverkeepers Association

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Mr. John Levi Thursday, July-19-12

Mayor of Mississippi Mills

3131 Old Perth Road

Almonte, ON

 

Dear Mayor Levi:

Re:  Please help insure future development in Almonte.

  Water only makes headlines when there is too much or too little of it, and right now Almonte residents are concerned about the latter. We are, understandably, restricted from coming to the aid of our drought stressed lawns and gardens. Water management is a growing community concern. The ground water aquifer supplying the town’s four wells is under increasing usage pressure, as the wells continue to serve an expanding Almonte population. The current municipal water usage restrictions clearly indicate that the ground water supply is reaching a point of stress, and is unsustainable in the longer term.

  The municipal water supply could become the town's next barrier to development.

  Fortunately, Almonte is blessed with a second water source, our Mississippi River. However, in the future, Almonte residents may find themselves in a situation where their water bills have an additional line item; compensation paid to Enerdu Power Systems Inc. for municipal water usage. How could this come to be?

  Enerdu, a privately owned hydroelectric power developer, is in the process of making an application to expand its existing hydroelectric power generation station. A successful application may result in both physical changes to the Almonte riverscape and an increase in Enerdu’s current water taking permit.

Should Almonte require river water as a municipal water source, the water would likely be taken and processed near the existing infrastructure north of Spring Street, upstream of the hydro stations. Municipal water usage would therefore be considered diversion flow from both the Enerdu and the Brian J. Gallagher Generating Stations. The municipal sewage discharge is downstream of both. The Brian J. Gallagher Generating Station is owned by the town and would not require compensation. However, Enerdu is privately owned and may be entitled to compensation based on its water taking permit as a pre-existing condition.

  Mayor Levi, please take steps now to insure Almonte continues to have a priority access to Mississippi River water for municipal use, by enshrining such right of access in a contractual agreement between Mississippi Mills and Enerdu.

 Respectfully yours,

 The Mississippi Mills Riverkeepers Association