Everyone living on Salt Spring Island needs access to clean water, but for some it’s also the key to their livelihood.
Richard and Nancy Fraser of Fraser’s Thimble Farms on Arbutus Road at the north end of the island know that more acutely than anyone.
Established in 1972, the nursery’s specialty is the growing of rare and native plants, although all kinds of flowering plants and shrubs, fruit trees and berries are available there. Despite practising extreme water conservation from years of experience — using well water, storage ponds, roof run-off, shade structures and specialized techniques — they are still completely dependent on St. Mary Lake water arriving at their property through a three-quarter-inch pipe installed by the North Salt Spring Waterworks District several decades ago.
Without access to that water during the summer months, they will no longer have a business.
“We could last three days without water and then we would start incurring losses,” said Richard. “And that’s exceptionally long for a nursery. Most last one day.”
The Frasers have a petition requesting the NSSWD provide water to their business which is available for signing at their 175 Arbutus Road nursery or through change.org.