Canadian city promoting water PPP

Abbotsford in British Columbia has embarked an information campaign aimed at winning public approval for a PPP that would revamp the city’s water system. The project is set for a November 19 vote.

The city of Abbotsford, British Columbia, has begun an information campaign for a proposed public-private partnership (PPP) to re-engineer its water service.

The envisioned water and wastewater management PPP, dubbed the Stave Lake Water Project, is set for vote on November 19. In advance of the public referendum, the city has launched a website, www.stavelakeproject.ca, to educate the public.

Abbotsford in a statement claimed the current system will not be able to meet consumption demand by 2016, calling water “the single most important resource”.

The Stave Lake Water Project is expected to cost C$290 million (€206 million; $282 million) and will entail a new water source, pump station, treatment plant and water main in Stave Lake.

The vote will determine whether the project can borrow $230 million in public money. The remaining $60 million will come from the federal government via PPP Canada, an agency established to fund PPP development.

The city in a statement pointed out that, without PPP procurement, the project would cost an estimated $328 million.

The PPP would involve a consortium designing, building, financing and operating the Stave Lake Water Project. Abbotsford stressed the city would retain its water license.