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WATER SYSTEMS IN THE REGIONAL DISTRICT OF CENTRAL OKANAGAN

This webpage is made up of snippets of information we found regarding RDCO and City of Kelowna water systems.  There may be articles and information about other water systems on this page as well.  We hope that you will be more informed by reading this website.

Click refresh to be sure you see updates.

LAST UPDATE March 03, 2017

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Irrigation water doesn't come from the lake, but from mountains by gravity.

- quote by Country Accent

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Water could become very expensive for some residents on the west side of Okanagan Lake
Infotel.ca - Rob Munro - December 18, 201
8

WEST KELOWNA - A few hundred residents on the west side of Okanagan Lake could be facing bills of up to $13,500 for their drinking water.

That’s the price tag for water treatment that may be needed for the Westshore and Killiney Beach water systems if Interior Health insists that filtration systems have to be installed.

These are small water systems with 260 to 280 homes connected and the estimated $3.5 million cost to install filtration plants for each system is likely to be much higher since that number is about four years old.

“You can look at that $3.5 million as a placeholder,” Dave Komaike, the regional district’s Engineering Director, told the regional board last week in response to questions by Wayne Carson, the board member who represents residents served by those water districts.

“It’s a significant amount of money,” Komaike said. “We want to look at it and consider all the alternatives. The first one is to try to look for deferral.”

He recently met with Interior Health and is waiting for a letter on whether the upgrades are needed or can be put off.

A water quality update posted on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s website lists six water quality objectives. Both systems are OK for three of those: eliminating viruses, coliform, and E. coli and turbidity.

Westshore and some of the Killiney Beach system do a good job eliminating giardia but Killiney Beach is not doing so well for customers living below Westside Road.

Both systems are listed as not meeting the standard for “Inactivation of Cryptosporidium” and for not having a “two treatment process.”

The report also says that major improvements are needed to the pipes and reservoirs.

The water is chlorinated and tested for bacteria every week. Tests have not found giardia or cryptosporidium parasites in either water system.

Kelowna had a major cryptosporidium outbreak in 1996 that made thousands of residents ill.

Carson asked whether the regional district had considered drilling wells rather than taking water out of Okanagan Lake since the filtration standards are lower for well water. Kamachie said tests had been done but engineers weren’t able to find a source with enough water to supply each of the systems. If necessary, a more thorough search could be made to try to find enough well water.

Killiney Beach is about six kilometres north Fintry Provincial Park. It has 280 properties connected to its water system so, at $3.5 million, that would cost $12,500 per property.

Westshore is about 10 km north of Fintry and has 260 connections, so that would cost almost $13,500 per property.

Komaike said he expects to have a full report back to the board within six months.

Source: https://infotel.ca/newsitem/water-could-become-very-expensive-for-some-residents-on-the-west-side-of-okanagan-lake/it58204

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Province announces close to $1M for North Okanagan community's water woes
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON / iNFOnews.ca) - March 03, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Al and Cathie Price do their best to keep a sense of humour amidst their ongoing water woes with T-shirts that read 'Hullcar Aquifer H 'poo' Oh!' The provincial government announced funding of close to $1 million today, March 3, 2017 to address the longstanding issue of contaminated drinking water in the Spallumcheen community.

SPALLUMCHEEN - The provincial government announced funding of close to $1 million today to address the longstanding issue of contaminated drinking water in a North Okanagan community.

Spallumcheen residents who get their drinking water from the Hullcar aquifer have been under a water quality advisory since 2014 due to elevated nitrate levels. Those who live in the area have been lobbying the government to do something about the issue, which they believe is caused by local farming practices, for years.

Today, March 3, the province issued a media release saying it will provide $950,000 to “support alternative drinking water sources, fund treatment for domestic well users and support sustainable, environmentally appropriate farming in the Hullcar Valley.”

Some Splatsin First Nation band members get their water from the aquifer and in a written statement Chief Kukpi7 Wayne Christian acknowledges the province’s investment. He says safe, clean drinking water is a basic human right.

“We are cautiously optimistic as we need to see results from these investments in providing clean safe drinking water to the residents of the Hullcar Valley,” Christian says.

The province will work with the Township of Spallumcheen, Splatsin, Steele Springs Water District, Interior Health and First Nations Health Authority around the mechanics and timelines for bringing the alternative drinking water sources online, according to the provincial funding announcement.

A portion of the funding will also be used to develop and implement nutrient management plans for farms located over the Hullcar Aquifer. This investment will include an action plan for agricultural operators.

Greg Kyllo, Shuswap MLA, says the funding will alleviate stress for those living under the advisory.

“We will also continue with the important work being done by our inter-ministry working group to better understand the various nitrate sources and take any necessary actions to make sure the community has safe drinking water while providing supports for local agriculture,” Kyllo says.

Source: http://infotel.ca/newsitem/province-announces-close-to-1m-for-north-okanagan-communities-water-woes/it40322

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Lead in Canadian pipes, too
Castanet.net - The Canadian Press - Jan 31, 2016 / 10:56 am | Story: 157471

A sign outside in protest against Gov. Rick Snyder asking for his resignation and arrest in relation to Flint's water crisis.
Water toxicity experts estimate that roughly 10 per cent of Canadians are at risk of being exposed to lead through their drinking water as Americans in Flint, Mich., grapple with an ongoing drinking water scandal.

Research funded by the Canadian Water Network estimates that about 60,000 households in major cities across the country still have lead service lines connecting the home to the municipal water supply.

Senior researcher Graham Gagnon says each member of those households could find themselves consuming lead, which the study says is unsafe for human consumption in any quantity.

Gagnon, who serves as director for the Centre of Water Resources Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, says lead service lines can also be present in smaller communities and in larger buildings such as schools.

Exposure could also come about through buildings using fixtures, faucets or other components containing lead.

But Gagnon and others say Canada's cities have recognized the risks and made a concerted effort to decrease the number of lead pipes in their systems in recent years.

Gagnon believes such efforts may protect those cities from the sort of lead poisoning crisis unfolding in Flint, though adds communities that haven't launched replacement projects are at greater risk.

"It would probably be a bit surprising to me for the larger municipalities," Gagnon said of the likelihood of a Flint-style situation in Canada.

"For the smaller to mid-sized municipalities ... it wouldn't necessarily surprise me only from the standpoint that the resources needed to mount a lead service line replacement program are pretty substantial. Knowing some of these cities, they would be challenged to really take this on."

Not all cities are at equal risk of lead exposure through their main infrastructure.

Bu Lam, manager of municipal programs at the Canadian Water Network, said communities built before about 1950 are far more likely to have used lead in either their municipal water mains or the service lines connecting them to local buildings.

The period between 1950 and 1990 served as a transition period, when cities began shifting away from the toxic material, he said. Buildings erected after 1990 are far less likely to feature potentially poisonous pipes, Lam added.

The bulk of problems arise, he said, when lead-free municipal water lines are connected to old lead pipes. Cities can't take charge of making those upgrades, he said, since service lines run off city property and become the responsibility of each individual homeowner.

That responsibility can't be fulfilled on a tight budget. Lam says he's heard of prices ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, with rates in each city varying according to labour cost, property size and a host of other factors.

Despite the cost, Lam says Canadians must take some responsibility to guarantee their own safety.

"The ideal situation, of course, is not to have any lead pipes at all," he said. "That's not the reality. The reality is that municipalities and homeowners have to play an equal role in trying to address that situation."

Research conducted by Gagnon and colleagues in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and St. Catharines found that failure to upgrade service lines can in fact leave the residents of a home at greater risk than they were before cities improved their water mains.

Gagnon said lead service lines connected to copper city pipes are more likely to direct unhealthy material into the water as a result of the chemical reaction between the two metals.

Other metals and compounds pose less risk, but Gagnon said the best solution is to ensure both city and home service lines are made of the same material.

He said cities have started introducing some innovative strategies to lessen the cost for residents, including zero-interest loans that get repaid through the home water bill.

Gagnon said situations like the one in Flint, combined with a 2010 corrosion control guideline from Health Canada and the "greater outreach" that municipalities have undertaken, may help to reduce the number of Canadians at risk in the years to come.

Source: http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-157471-6-.htm#157471

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RDCO's Water Systems Webpage

2012 - 2014 RDCO water system sprinkling restrictions

•Link to Outdoor Irrigation Restrictions Information Sheet
•During Stage 1 and 2 restrictions Outdoor Watering is only allowed during the following hours:
◦Properties with Automated irrigation may only operate between 12 midnight and 6:00 am on their allocated watering day
◦Properties with Manual irrigation may only operate between 6:00 am and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and 12 midnight on their allocated watering day.

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Take RDCO's Water System Survey until November 30, 2014 and win a $100 gift card.

We seen this in RDCO Fall 2014 Water Talk on page 2

 

2014 Fall Water Talk page 1 of 2

click page for a larger copy

 

2014 Fall Water Talk page 2 of 2

click page for a larger copy

posted October 25, 2014

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Did you know?

RDCO is going to allow us only 90 cubic meters of water over 3 months, when the average water use of a family of 5 over 3 months in the Okanagan is 303.75 cubic meters. Now can you imagine that most people don't have a large garden. The people with a large garden are really going to pay.

The average person in the Okanagan uses 675 LITRES of water each day. The average Canadian uses 329.

24% of ALL Okanagan water is used outside our homes - mostly on lawns and gardens

There is LESS water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere else in Canada

675L = 0.67500m³

per day a family of 5 may average 3375 Litres or 3.375 cubic meters

so per 30 days a family of 5 may average 101250 Litres or 101.25 cubic meters.

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3.375 cubic meters per day for 90 days = 303.75 cubic meters a family of 5 would use in 90 days compared to 90 cubic meters RDCO will allow us.

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A year without tap water
Castanet.net - by Carmen Weld | Story: 132382 - Feb 7, 2015

Imagine not being able to drink the water out of your kitchen tap for an entire year. Having to rely on bottled water for months on end with no idea when the water will be safe again.

That's the situation for over 300 Spallumcheen residents whose water was deemed unsafe last March.

Nearly one year later they are furious nothing has been done and are begging for the government to take notice and take action.

Al Price is the vice chairman for the Steele Springs Waterworks District and is taking the lead to help his community and to get the government to pay attention to their plea.

“Our district has been supplying water to farms in the area for 90 years with only one other glitch in 2001,” explains Price. “But, ever since a 1,000 cow dairy farm was established about one kilometre up the road, and purchased the field and feed lot adjacent to our spring, our nitrate levels have slowly climbed to the point where they passed the 10 parts per million maximum allowed and have not dropped down since.”

Price says the nitrate level increase is caused by the nitrate heavy manure used to fertilize the 220-acre property owned by H.S. Jansen and Sons adjacent to the spring.

Crossing the 10 ppm threshold meant the water was no longer considered safe to drink under the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

This currently affects 53 farms on the Steele Springs Waterworks District line and leaves another 30 farms on high alert in the Hullcar Valley. The Hullcar Valley farms pull water from the same area and have been told to check their water nitrate levels at least every six-months.

“53 farms are paying for a water system they can't drink,” notes Price.

While Price and his wife spent $3,000 to have a reverse osmosis system put in at their home so that they can drink the water, most he says, can not afford that.

“We have a lot of seniors on fixed incomes in our area that can't afford it, nor can they afford to buy bottled water every day. Some are just drinking the unsafe water.”

They water district feels the government should enforce rules under the Agricultural Waste Management Act which would restrict the use of manure in the fields.

Price says they don't want to shut the farm down, they just want to be able to drink their water.

“On this water system we are all farmers to some degree or another. We are not against industrial farming because we are all farmers. We are not against using manure as a fertilizer, but it has to be moderated so that the volume of manure used matches the ability of the plants to take it up.”

“We don’t want to shut the farm down or anything like that, but there are ways to farm and make money certainly, that is in respect of your neighbours.”

A letter sent from Price's wife to Saputo, a major milk buyer, brought the problem to the B.C. Dairy Association's desk, which is now working on the situation.

“We met with them Dec. 20, their communications director flew in from Vancouver, and the result was that they are trying to set up a face to face meeting with the Jansens. But they have refused to talk to us for the last two years,” says Price. “If the Jansens are willing to talk to us, we would welcome that, but they haven't shown any inclination to do that so far.”

Price fears residents will be stuck with unsafe water for years and years to come. He says the last time there was similar nitrate issue it took seven years for water to return to normal levels.

“We are exploring the possibility of joining Armstrong's water system, but that would take at least four or five years and cost us a minimum of $300,000 plus doubling our water rates,” explains Price. “Drawing a deep water well into an aquifer that is below the one that is contaminated would be a temporary solution at best and probably almost as expensive.”

He hopes residents across the province will be concerned about this issue. He says only 15 per cent of the water in their spring is used in Spallumcheen, while the rest drains into Deep Creek which heads into Okanagan Lake.

“I am hoping people will start to realize that if this can happen to us, and no one is willing to do anything about it, it can happen to anybody and any water supply. And here in the Okanagan, water is very precious.”

Price says letters have now been sent to BC Environment Minister Mary Polak and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick with the hopes of getting their support and finding a solution.

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Fall Flushing Underway on RDCO Water Systems

The Regional District is about to begin its fall water main flushing program. This ensures continued optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time throughout the six RDCO water systems.

The work starts the week of September 15th and is expected to be finished by October 31st. Over the seven week period, Environmental Services staff will be going from system to system flushing mains Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Roadside notice boards will be put up in advance of crews working in a particular system area.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith adds, “When flushing is taking place, water pressure can vary slightly and there may be some slight discoloration in the water. Please check your water prior to use. We recommend that you avoid doing laundry when flushing is taking place on your system. If you experience discoloration, run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.”

Customers will find more information and answers to questions they might have about the Regional District Water Main Flushing Program on the Water Systems webpage www.regionaldistrict.com/water.

The Regional District water systems service approximately 900 properties in the following areas: Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Star Place/Trepanier, Westshore and Upper Fintry - Shalal Road - Valley of the Sun.

For information visit regionaldistrict.com/water or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

(September 12, 2014)

Source: RDCO Whats New

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Westshore Water Interruption Notice

Customers of the Westshore Water System along the north end of Westside Road should be aware of two planned service outages. Regional District crews will be replacing two Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) chambers as a part of the infrastructure improvement program.

The work is scheduled to take place from Friday, August 1st through Wednesday, August 13th and will impact water service for customers on the following dates, times and addresses:

August 6th

Interruption is planned from approximately 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM
Approximately 25 residences affected:
Columbia Way (even addresses from 10400 to 10484)
Mountain Drive (even addresses from 594 to 610, odd addresses from 407 to 659)
Spruce Drive (address from 36 to 78)
August 7th

Interruption is planned from approximately 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM
Approximately 11 residences affected:
Lakewood Rd (even address from 312 to 336)
Columbia Way (even addresses from 10494 to 10600, odd addresses from 10579 to 10595)
Mountain Drive (even addresses from 310 to 422, odd addresses from 311 to 401)
Please note that the time that water service will be restored is an estimate only and may vary.

It is recommended that on the day of the scheduled water interruption customers at those addresses impacted:

Shut off hot and cold faucets and any equipment that requires water;
Store sufficient drinking water for the anticipated period of interruption;
Isolate supply to hot water tanks;
If not isolated, avoid running hot water as impurities could be drawn into the hot water tank and may cause problems with its operation;
Fill a bathtub or other large container with water to use for toilet flushing and only flush when absolutely necessary; and
Use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer for hand washing.
After completion of the infrastructure improvements, Regional District staff will flush the distribution system to remove any impurities which may have entered during construction. Following the interruption and after water supply has been restored, it is recommended that:

Customers at affected addresses should run a cold water tap until the water runs clear;
Once the water runs clear, it is safe to drink and to use hot water.
Roadside notice boards will be put up in advance of crews working in the area.

Only those addresses listed will be affected by the water service interruption. No other Westshore Water System customers are expected to be affected.

If you have any questions regarding the interruption please contact Regional District Environmental Services at 250-469-6241 or email engineer@cord.bc.ca.

For information on the Regional District six water systems visit regionaldistrict.com/water or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

(July 29, 2014)

Source:  RDCO's Whats New

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Kelowna: Public input has no impact on Water Sustainability Act
by Jennifer Smith - Kelowna Capital News - May 13, 2014

A review of the new Water Sustainability Act slated for royal assent reveals calls for public comment had little to no effect on the final product.

Speaking to the Okanagan Water Stewardship council Thursday, UBCO professor John Janmatt, the B.C. Regional Innovation Chair in Water Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, pointed to the astoundingly quick timeline—first, second and third reading went through in less than two months—as he raised questions about the purpose of the act’s new focus on water pricing and highlighted the lack of public input in the final document.

“Whatever debate or discussion there was had no impact on how this thing was shaped,” Janmaat said. “I looked at the first reading and the third reading, both available on the web, and nothing has changed.”

The Water Stewardship Council is a technical advisory board for the Okanagan Basin Water Board and it submitted suggestions en route to the first draft of the document, and initially seemed pleased with what went to first reading.

“It’s heading in the right direction,” said Nelson Jatel, OBWB water stewardship director, in a news release issued mid-March when the group obtained an advanced copy.

Chief among concerns at the time was a schedule to the legislation naming protected rivers in B.C., which left out the Okanagan’s water systems.

This is the first complete overhaul of water governance in the province in over 100 years, and it includes substantial changes.

Under the Act, groundwater will be integrated into the same allocation and licensing system for surface water for the first time, and its extraction and use monitored in a similar manner to surface water. There are new powers for protecting water needed to sustain the natural environment, protections for water needed for agriculture, and it renames water management plans as water sustainability plans for watersheds, writing in new administrative requirements for the documents.

All of this administration is a bit of a problem, Janmatt pointed out, but it’s one the OBWB is hoping to solve.

Last Tuesday, the board approved sending a proposal to Minister of Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson to develop a new B.C. Water Commission to handle the new water pricing and collection of fees.

The agency would use software developed here in the Okanagan to handle the administrative side of the new act’s requirements and potentially create another water monitoring agency in B.C.

“Currently, reporting of licensed water use in B.C. is collected ineffectively, if at all. However, this new water use reporting software, developed by the OBWB in partnership with the province and now used in the Okanagan and Nanaimo, would allow information on major groundwater and surface water extractions to be gathered efficiently from all over B.C.,” said Jatel, in a statement issued midday Monday.

The OBWB’s business case suggests a staff of 10 could be hired, with an annual budget of $5 million in fees collected from water rates.

The staff would work on water sustainability planning, strategic water research and support for water licence enforcement.

Janmaat’s presentation noted the underlying purpose of the pricing is still very vague, saying it will neither curb the day-to-day consumption of water for the average person nor necessarily recoup funds spent managing water systems.

The new groundwater regulations are expected to have the most impact on industry, forcing companies like Nestle, which draws groundwater for its bottled water operation, to pay for what they use and reputedly adding controls to oil and gas hydraulic fracking, water used to extract gas from deposit sites.

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April 17, 2014

Water Quality Advisory for Star Place Water Customers

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a precautionary Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the small Star Place Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The advisory affects eight properties connected to the community water system on Star Place off Trepanier Road near the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97-C). Increased turbidity in the water system source has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Roadside sign notices are in place to advise residents of the precautionary Water Quality Advisory.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Interior Health has been contacted and while the health risk is modest and no bacteria have been found in any of the water from the system tested, Regional District staff recommends that as a precaution that Falcon Ridge water customers follow Interior Health guidelines, especially for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, children and those wishing additional precautions. All water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water.”

This precautionary water quality advisory affecting the Star Place Water System will continue until further notice.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (regionaldistrict.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

Contact:
Bruce Smith
Communications Officer
250-469-6339


Links to Interior Health Information:

Water Advisories and Notifications

Turbidity

Drinking Water

Source: came by email alert

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April 15, 2014

Water Quality Advisory Ends for Westshore Water Customers

A Water Quality Advisory has been removed for residents served by the Westshore Water System off Westside Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The lifting of the Advisory this morning by the Regional District of Central Okanagan was made in consultation with Interior Health.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “The lab results from test samples of water taken from the upper Mountain Reservoir distribution area confirmed no evidence that the water supply for almost 150 properties connected to the reservoir was contaminated. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience caused since the advisory was initiated last Thursday afternoon in response to vandalism our staff found at the reservoir. When it comes to water safety, there’s no messing around and whenever any risk is identified we enact our emergency response procedures. That’s why when we learned of the situation Thursday afternoon our emergency plan kicked in and in order to protect public health we announced the advisory would be in place until we could completely confirm the safety of the water supply and that the water wasn’t compromised.”

Smith adds, “In order to further increase security we’ll be installing fencing around the reservoir site, which is in a remote area above the Westshore subdivision. This unfortunate act of vandalism caused a major inconvenience for our customers and cost additional funds for staff to flush the system and in getting water samples tested. We take water quality and protecting the water supply seriously and encourage anyone witnessing suspicious activity around our water facilities to contact the RCMP.”

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (regionaldistrict.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

Contact:
Bruce Smith
Communications Officer
250-469-6339

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Reservoir possibly vandalized
Castanet.net - by Jennifer Zielinski | Story: 112888 - Apr 10, 2014

A water quality advisory has been issued for some residents served by the Westshore Water System after the Upper Mountain Reservoir was possibly vandalized.

The advisory affects almost 150 properties and Interior Health has been contacted according to RDCO communications officer Bruce Smith .

“Based on the available information and water quality monitoring data, at this time there’s no evidence that the drinking water in the reservoir was contaminated. In addition to draining and flushing the lines to reduce the risk, we are conducting additional monitoring of the water quality and will provide updates as more information becomes available,” he says.

Until further notice the RDCO is encouraging those users in the affected area with weakened immune systems and those wishing to take additional precautions to follow Interior Health’s recommended guidelines.

“All water intended for drinking, washing fruits and produce, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water or water filtered through a well-maintained in-home treatment device,” explains Smith.

This precautionary water quality advisory affecting the upper distribution area of the Westshore Water System will continue until further notice.

Roadside sign notices have been placed at key intersections as well to advise residents of the precautionary Water Quality Advisory.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241.

Streets Affected by Westshore Water System – Upper Mountain Reservoir Water Quality Advisory

Dogwood Drive
Northern View Rd
Crown Crescent
Lakewood Rd
Alder Drive
Evergreen Way
Hillcrest Way
Cedar
Hillside Drive
Bluebird Drive
Westshore Rd (even addresses from 10614 to 10890, odd addresses 10725 to 10883)
Pinecrest Rd (even addresses from 10736 to 10790)
Columbia Way (even addresses from 10400 to 10600, odd addresses from 10579 to 10595)
Mountain Drive (even addresses from 310 to 610, odd addresses from 311 to 659)
Spruce Drive (address from 36 to 78

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April 10, 2014 Advisory by email

Water Quality Advisory for Westshore Water Customers

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a precautionary Water Quality Advisory for some residents served by the Westshore Water System in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The advisory affects almost 150 properties* connected to the upper Mountain Reservoir distribution area of the community water system adjacent to Westside Road.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Interior Health has been contacted and we’ve taken steps to alert affected customers after our staff found some possible vandalism at the Upper Mountain Reservoir. Based on the available information and water quality monitoring data, at this time there’s no evidence that the drinking water in the reservoir was contaminated. In addition to draining and flushing the lines to reduce the risk, we are conducting additional monitoring of the water quality and will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

Smith adds, ”As a precaution until water sample test results are received, until further notice we encourage those users in the affected area with weakened immune systems and those wishing to take additional precautions to follow Interior Health’s recommended guidelines. All water intended for drinking, washing fruits and produce, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water or water filtered through a well-maintained in-home treatment device.”

This precautionary water quality advisory affecting the upper distribution area of the Westshore Water System will continue until further notice. Roadside sign notices have been placed at key intersections as well to advise residents of the precautionary Water Quality Advisory.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (regionaldistrict.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

Contact:
Bruce Smith
Communications Officer
250-469-6339



*Streets Affected by Westshore Water System – Upper Mountain Reservoir Water Quality Advisory

· Dogwood Drive
· Northern View Rd
· Crown Crescent
· Lakewood Rd
· Alder Drive
· Evergreen Way
· Hillcrest Way
· Cedar
· Hillside Drive
· Bluebird Drive
· Westshore Rd (even addresses from 10614 to 10890, odd addresses 10725 to 10883)
· Pinecrest Rd (even addresses from 10736 to 10790)
· Columbia Way (even addresses from 10400 to 10600, odd addresses from 10579 to 10595)
· Mountain Drive (even addresses from 310 to 610, odd addresses from 311 to 659)
· Spruce Drive (address from 36 to 78)



Links to Interior Health Information:

Water Advisories and Notifications

Turbidity (.pdf)

Drinking Water

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Education at Water Week
Castanet.net - by Ragnar Haagen | Story: 111272 - Mar 19, 2014

This week is Canada Water Week and the Okanagan Basin Water Board is using it as an opportunity to both educate the public and make a plea to boaters, with summer just around the corner.


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Photo: Contributed - Wikipedia

Quagga Mussel

The issue of quagga and zebra mussels is once again at the forefront with news of another incident where the invasive species were brought across Washington State from Idaho – the third such case this year.

This concerns Corinne Jackson, Communications Director for the Okanagan Basic Water Board, who says it wouldn’t take much to infest any of the the lakes in the Okanagan.

“These things are so small and can be in the bilge and all sorts of areas that you wouldn’t think to necessarily check. It’s pretty easy to see how these things can infest waters,” Jackson says.

“Each female mussel can produce one-million babies, so it doesn’t take very long for pretty severe damage to happen.”

Idaho has checkpoints for these types of incidents, but there is nothing in Washington State. Jackson says they received an email stating this most recent event was a houseboat being commercially hauled to Seattle from Lake Powell when it was stopped. The previous incidents involved commercial carp fishing boats.

Quagga and zebra mussels, which are closely related mollusks originating from Europe, are not native to North America. They live in freshwater – such as lakes and rivers – and are invasive, known to encrust and corrode hard surfaces and cause serious harm to waters where they become established.



Photo: Contributed - Wikipedia

Zebra mussel

Jackson says they’ve already had issues in the Okanagan when a boat carrying the mussels was launched into Shuswap Lake two years ago, and another incident last year with a boat that had been bought in the US and hauled up to Vernon. The latter however was examined before being launched into any body of water.

She says the mussels can clog water intakes for public infrastructure, devastate fisheries and tourism, ruin beaches and devalue lake front properties.

“At a conservative estimate, we’re talking $43-million per year just to manage the situation if they come into the Okanagan.”

This and other issues will undoubtedly be brought up at the OBWB’s Annual Public Forum that will be held Thursday evening at the Laural Packinghouse beginning at 5 p.m.





Speakers will include:
•Anna Warwick Sears – OBWB Executive Director, speaking on issues facing water in our valley;
•Keith Veerman – FortisBC’s Manager of PowerSense Programs, on the connection/interdependence between water and energy, what the utility is doing to conserve and what they are doing to help customers conserve;
•Kiel Wilkie – District of Lake Country – Engineering Technician, on the district’s multi award-winning micro-hydro power plant and other water/energy solutions it’s developing.
•Deren Sentesy – Co-chair of Cascadia Green Building Council (Thompson Okanagan branch) and owner of En Circle Design Build, on the latest in energy/water conservation for homeowners (new build and retrofit)
•Brian Guy – Okanagan homeowner who recently built a water/energy efficient home from the ground up on lessons learned.

More info on invasive mussels and the harm they cause can be found here http://www.dontmoveamussel.ca/home

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Positive first steps in new BC water act
Castanet.net - by Liz Craig | Story: 111076 - Mar 15, 2014

The Okanagan Water Stewardship Council is reacting to Tuesday’s introduction of a new water act in the B.C. legislature.

The group saying that on first glance the updated legislation appears positive, but a council committee will now analyze it and respond officially to the province in the next few weeks.

At Thursday’s regular monthly council meeting in Kelowna, members discussed provisions of the new Water Sustainability Act which modernizes the 105-year-old Water Act.

“I’m very pleased to see the new legislation advanced to first reading," council Chair Don Dobson commented. "My initial review suggests that ministry staff gave serious consideration to recommendations provided by the Okanagan Basin Water Board. I’m looking forward to reviewing the document in detail.”

Nelson Jatel, water stewardship director for the OBWB, read the new act prior to the meeting and outlined key provisions for council members.

He pointed out that the board’s recommendation that groundwater use be regulated has been imbedded in the new act where it is treated similarly to surface water in terms of protection and use.

It also includes requirements for the protection of water to sustain the natural environment (e.g. water for fish); and provides for an agriculture water reserve (e.g. ensuring water for food crops)—two other recommendations from the Okanagan.

The concept of Water Sustainability Plans, unique to different watersheds, has been introduced, replacing Water Management Plans. These would regulate water use in specific watersheds, he added. New administrative penalties have also been introduced in the legislation, along with new enforcement provisions.

“It’s definitely moving in the right direction,” noted Jatel.

During the coming weeks, there’s a consultative period regarding water pricing, which will also be included in the new act. Jatel said the OBWB and its council will be contributing to this important discussion.

From the province’s end, dozens of other pieces of legislation will be amended to conform with the new act, and regulations governing some aspects of the act must still be written.

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BC refreshes century-old water law
Castanet.net - by The Canadian Press | Story: 110809 - Mar 11, 2014

Environment Minister Mary Polak has turned the taps on British Columbia's Water Act, refreshing the century-old law with new legislation and vowing to make the province a stewardship leader.

Following years of consultations with First Nations, outdoor and recreational groups, Polak introduced the Water Sustainability Act in Victoria on Tuesday.

Expected to come into effect in the in the spring of 2015, the new law will replace one that has been on the books since 1909 — a time when B.C.'s population was just 350,000, said Polak.

"The development of the new Water Sustainability Act is an achievement of historic importance for British Columbia," said Polak. "The act will respond to current and future pressures on our fresh water including, groundwater, and position our province as a leader in water stewardship."

The Environment Ministry said in a news release that the new law will better protect aquatic environments such as streams, consider water in land-use decisions and regulate the resource during times of scarcity.

The act will also help officials measure and report large-scale use and regulate and protect groundwater.

The minister said that during the consultations, which began in 2009, the government received thousands of ideas and recommendations.

Polak also announced the government will be reviewing its approach to water pricing and has released a set of principles that will help set up a new fee and rental structure.

She said the government will be engaging British Columbians on the issue during the next month.

"That feedback will help us as we go about designing a new framework for fees and rentals," she said.

Not all large-scale water users have been paying for their water, in one case the Nestle Canada plant has been paying nothing to bottle an estimated 256 million litres of water for sale annually.

Under such a framework, new fees could apply to Nestle.

Mark Angelo, spokesman for the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia, welcomed news of the new legislation, saying it was something his group wanted for a long time.

He said the Water Act was developed during an era when the needs of fish and aquatic ecosystems were not recognized. Angelo said he also remembers a time when rivers would be "bled dry" during long, hot summers.

"Provisions to protect environmental flows and critical habitat for fish are now much more explicit in this legislation, and that is very, very positive," he said.

Angelo said the new legislation also focuses on maintaining the health of aquifers, noting water tables are dropping around B.C.

"When needed, this legislation will enable government to lessen extraction rates so that aquifers can be recharged," he said.

Ducks Unlimited Canada, a group dedicated to wetland conservation, also lauded the legislation, even though it doesn't specifically address wetlands.

"The previous act left many critical components of B.C.'s water quality and quantity unaddressed, like the importance of groundwater and sustainable water flow in watersheds," said spokesman Les Bogdan.

"The new act will ensure that water quality and quantity will receive greater protection and wetlands and waterfowl will surely benefit."

Once it becomes law, the Water Sustainability Act will be among a handful of statutes protecting the resource. Other laws include the Water Protection Act, the Fish Protection Act and the Drinking Water Protection Act.

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Water work shuts off taps
By Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star - October 27, 2013

Customers of two North Westside water systems will not have water for most of Wednesday.

Environmental services staff will be inspecting, cleaning and doing maintenance on the reservoirs that service the Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates water systems.

From 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m., 250 properties in Westshore Estates will be impacted.

For the 280 homes on the Killiney Beach system, the shut-down will be from about noon until 6 p.m.

“Once the work is complete on a system, we’ll send out notices to water system subscribers of our online e-notification program, advising when water service has been restored and whether any further outage will be required,” said Bruce Smith, with the Regional District if Central Okanagan.

“Customers should check their water prior to use. If they experience any discoloration, they should run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.”

To sign up for e-mail notifications, go to www.regionaldistrict.com/water.

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Cherryville opting out of bylaw
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - October 06, 2013

One North Okanagan community is backing out of rules that would force new development to prove they have water.

Cherryville director Eugene Foisy says his area will opt out of the proposed subdivision servicing bylaw for rural areas when it comes to minimum required production capacity for private water wells.

“A hydrology study (for a new development) is very expensive but others who have a subdivision lot already can suck your well dry,” he said of any rules not applying to existing residents.

“There is no control over what happens. What we have in place won’t protect them (new residents).”

The subdivision servicing bylaw proposes that required well production in Cherryville must be 2,273 litres a day. Levels would also be set for rural Lumby, BX-Silver Star, BX-Swan Lake and rural Enderby.

“A four-person household would use, on average, 2,700 litres of water per day for indoor and outdoor purposes,” said Marnie Skobalski, Regional District of North Okanagan planner, in the report.

“Landowners in Area E with wells producing only 2,273 litres a day may need to be more conservative with their water usage in order to have sufficient water for all the indoor and outdoor purposes currently enjoyed by the average Okanagan resident.”

But Foisy says that unless there is a limit on water use for all residents, then forcing new development to conduct hydrology studies is unrealistic.

“Why spend money on something that won’t benefit constituents?”

Foisy hopes the provincial government will initiate groundwater legislation that clarifies the situation.

However, BX-Swan Lake director Bob Fleming stands by the proposed rules because of an ongoing lack of water in the Keddleston area of the BX.

“There are some serious concerns about water,” he said.

2,700 litres per day = 2.7 m³ per day x 30 days = 81 cubic meters per month

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1000L = 1.0000m³

Customers of the six RDCO water systems that use more than 90-cubic meters of water in a billing quarter will pay an additional 35-cents per cubic meter.

Water Stats from Okanagan Basin Water Board

Across the Okanagan Basin, indoor residential use averages 150 litres per person per day – about the same as the North American average.

Outdoor residential landscaping accounts for a year-round average of 525 litres per person per day – for a total consumption of 675 litres per person per day.

This means that during the mid-spring to mid-fall irrigation season, total residential water use by Okanagan residents averages more than 1,000 litres per person per day.

These rates of water use significantly exceed the B.C. (490 litres/day) and the Canadian (329 litres/day) averages.

Average End-Use of Water
86% of the water used by humans is for outdoor purposes: 55% is used by agriculture, 24% for residential outdoor use, 5% for golf courses , and 2% for parks and open spaces.

• Only 14% is used indoors: 7% in homes, and 7% for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

In total, an average of 219,000 million litres (ML) is used for human needs each year. The actual amount each year varies depending on climate conditions

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.pdf icon June 24, 2013 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Water Consumption Fee Threshold Reduced

The Regional Board has adopted an amendment to the Water Systems Fees and Regulations bylaw. The change means that starting July 1st, the consumption fee threshold will drop to 90-cubic meters. Customers of the six RDCO water systems that use more than 90-cubic meters of water in a billing quarter will pay an additional 35-cents per cubic meter. Previously the threshold was 235-cubic meters. Based on existing water use data, 86 per cent of customers should not be affected by the change. The Board heard from four North Westside area residents and received a petition from 200 people that opposed the change.

-------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 24, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (44.1 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files June 24, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 5.1 Delegation Re: Water Rates and only about Item 9.5 Water Systems Fees And Regulations Amendment Bylaw - .wma (30.9 MB)

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Water Quality Advisory lifted
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 92642 - May 27, 2013

A Water Quality Advisory has been lifted for residents served by the Westshore Water System off Westside Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The removal was made following consultation with Interior Health.

According Regional District of the Central Okanagan Communications Officer Bruce Smith the turbidity in the source water for the Westshore system has decreased and is once again within the acceptable and safe Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality.

"As a result we’ve removed the Water Quality Advisory that was brought in as a precaution on May 12. Customers of the system are no longer advised to boil their water before using it for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables or brushing their teeth.”

The Advisory, which was in place for the past two weeks, affected almost 250 properties connected to the Westshore system.

"We wish to remind residents on the system that the advisory was a precautionary measure and that no bacteria were detected within the water system," adds Smith.

For more information about the six water systems operated and maintained by the Regional District visit regionaldistrict.com/water or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer "at" cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

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New potable water station operational
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 92533 - May 24, 2013



Photo: Trevor Rockliffe - Castanet

Crews spent Friday landscaping around a new Bulk Water Station on Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna

A new, affordable supply of potable water is now available in the District of West Kelowna with the commissioning of a filling station at Asquith and Shannon Lake Roads.

The Bulk Water Station gives residents and commercial operators the ability to fill tanks and bottles at a cost of 82 cents per cubic metre. A minimum charge of $5 per fill will apply.

Users may contact the District of West Kelowna’s Utility Billing Department at 778-797-8850 to set up an account and obtain a pin code that will enable them to access the station.

Residents will be charged a onetime administration fee of $25 to cover the cost of setting up the account and issuing and activating a code.

Residents will be required to confirm West Kelowna residency to receive the residential rate. A $50 startup fee will apply to commercial and non-resident customers.

Now that the station is operational, all contractors who previously applied for a permit to obtain bulk water from a municipal hydrant are encouraged to use the new station.

This will eliminate instances of backflow in the water supply system, which can potentially occur when filling from municipal hydrants.

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Water plan needs $50M
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 89392 - Mar 26, 2013

Water world

Kelowna's Joint Water Supply Plan has been approved by Kelowna City Council.

The plan was put in place a year ago by the five local water purveyors to allow them to meet the minimum provincial health requirements.

By approving the document, city, on behalf of the Joint Water Committee (including Kelowna, Black Mountain, Glenmore-Ellison, Rutland and South East Kelowna) ,can move forward and seek future grant funding in the neighbourhood of about $50M.

Utilities Planning Manager, Andrew Reeder, says there is a need to get the document approved and sent to the province before the Writ of Election is dropped April, 16.

"The concern being that we don't know what minister will be there after the election," says Reeder.

Reeder says the plan has been reviewed by city staff and approved by both the province and Interior Health.

"The implementation plan identifies how water systems will be integrated into the future and how service levels will be standardized between the various water systems," says Reeder.

"Lastly the plan looks at how priorities of the water projects are assessed for grant funding and reassessed. The agreement allows for changes in project scope and cost. The plan itself is meant to be a flexible document."

According to Reeder the agreement meets with the objectives set out with the memorandum of understanding signed between the Kelowna Joint Water Committee and the City back on December 7.

"Currently there are about $50M worth of infrastructure programs identified within the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan required to meet the minimum provincial health requirements."

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Efforts to get water upgrade funding on tap
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - January 06, 2013

Small water utilities are struggling with failing infrastructure and huge bills.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is considering putting pressure on the federal government to help fund upgrades to the Grindrod, Gunter-Ellison, Mabel Lake, Silver Star and Whitevale utilities so customers are not burdened with skyrocketing rates.

“There are so few users and they need support,” said Patrick Nicol, chairperson.

In one case, $1.6 million is required to repair leaks on the Mabel Lake system east of Enderby.

“We don’t have the funds. We will keep an eye on it and we will ultimately have to replace it,” said Zee Marcolin, utilities engineer.

Whitevale’s reserves were eroded because of emergency works needed when a line corroded.

Bob Fleming, Electoral Area Advisory Committee chairperson, is concerned about the situation.

“The $1.6 million is just one example of other items that could overwhelm a utility,” he said.

Besides aging equipment, the Interior Health Authority is expected to eventually demand expensive treatment improvements. That prospect could be daunting for the 10 customers in Gunter-Ellison, near Enderby, or the 52 connections in Grindrod.

To prepare for future works and address rising operating costs, higher rates are likely in 2013.

It’s proposed user fees will climb an average of 1.9 per cent in Grindrod, $25 in Gunter-Ellison, 25 per cent at Mabel Lake, 3.2 per cent at Silver Star and 4.5 per cent at Whitevale.

Of 23 small utilities in the Okanagan-Shuswap-Thompson region, Gunter-Ellison has the third highest rate at $1,607 a year, with Grindrod fifth at $1,334. At 15th is Whitevale at $620, while Silver Star is 20th at $346 and Mabel Lake is 21st at $335.

Director Jackie Pearase says residents can’t avoid higher rates, but she believes there is a need for senior government to do more.

“You can’t ignore this. You can’t keep your head in the sand and think people have the ability to afford this,” she said. “The impact in rural communities is no less important than in urban communities. Perhaps it’s more because they are closer to the environment and the water sources.”

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Armstrong taps into water funds
By Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star - December 16, 2012

Armstrong’s gas tax agreement community works fund has received a top-up.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) is adding nearly $82,000 to the fund, a payment made in accordance with a payment schedule for the community works fund set up through UBCM.

“We had $154,000 in that fund and our new payment, which was to have been in place Dec. 5, is for $81,987.34,” said Coun. Kelly Rowe, a member of the city’s finance and administration committee.

The money is targeted for the city’s water meter installation project and for updating the city’s water plan.

“The money can be used in any water or sewer project that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rowe.

Few changes to committees

Starting in January, Rowe will become the chair of the city’s finance and administration committee, taking over for John Trainor, who becomes the alternate chair.

Mayor Chris Pieper announced some small tweaks to the city’s committee structures.

Trainor takes over as chair of the public works committee from Ron (Sully) O’Sullivan, who is now the alternate chair.

Paul Britton (community services) and Ryan Nitchie (planning and development) remain chairs of their respective committees, while O’Sullivan stays as the city’s representative to the Okanagan Regional Library Board.

Shirley Fowler, the alternate chair for community services, remains as the city’s representative on the Regional District of North Okanagan board.

“I hope you’re all happy with these appointments and given that I haven’t heard much from you over the last two weeks, I assume you are,” smiled Pieper.

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Upper Fintry utility opens
By Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star - November 02, 2012

Ben Stewart (left), Westside-Kelowna MLA, and Robert Hobson, Regional District of Central Okanagan chairperson, open a new water utility for Upper Fintry Tuesday.

The champagne flutes were filled with cold and clear water and raised in a toast to celebrate the completion of the North Westside’s newest water system.

A ceremony was held Tuesday to officially open the Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun water system.

“This new $6 million water system, the sixth operated and maintained by the regional district, saw the installation of approximately 12 kilometres of water mains providing both treated water and fire flows to more than 340 properties in the three areas,” said Robert Hobson, Regional District of Central Okanagan chairperson.

“None of these properties have ever had domestic water service and residents have had to make their own arrangements to get water.”

Since construction of the water mains was completed in the spring, more than 50 properties have been connected, with another dozen in various stages of the connection process.

RDCO received $800,000 in funding to help offset the cost of building the new water system, including $407,500 from the federal government and $400,000 from the provincial government. Property owners in the service contributed or financed $17,230 each.

In addition to new water mains, a new well and pump station was built to support the system in the lower Fintry Delta area. As well, various control buildings and two reservoirs, with a total storage capacity of 1,746 cubic metres of water, were also constructed.

“This community water system brings both reliability and increased fire safety to residents,” said Ben Stewart, Westside-Kelowna MLA.

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Petition fails to drop North Westside water rates
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - October 28, 2012

North Westside residents are being told it’s too late to change water rates.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board has received a 300-name petition opposing water rates, which were adopted in March.

“We are already spending the money,” said director Jim Edgson, who questions why the petition is just coming forward now.

RDCO has implemented both a consumption rate, a user fee and an asset renewal fee for the Killiney Beach, Westshore and Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun utilities.

That has led to a 190 per cent increase to fees.

“Where was the impetus to keep these taxes at a reasonable rate?” said Diane Baldwin, with the North Westside Ratepayer Association, in a letter to Bill Bennett, B.C.’s community development minister.

“Ratepayers remain outraged and consider this an unnecessary tax grab.”

The association is asking Bennett to look into the method for resolving bylaw disputes, to encourage RDCO to meet with residents and negotiate water rates and to review RDCO’s tax policies and administrative fees.

“Review why parcel taxes, called asset renewal fees, were introduced on every lot, with or without residents, absent a parcel tax bylaw,” said Baldwin in her letter.

Baldwin questions the regional district’s communication process with residents.

“Clearly the regional director and RDCO staff knew, or ought to have known, well in advance these increases would be a huge burden on affected taxpayers,” she said.

Edgson insists the process was completely open and public information meetings were held.

“Nobody is happy about the rates but we have to keep in mind that people had been complaining that the water system needs upgrading. I warned people it was going to cost quite a bit,” he said.

“The systems are old and getting to the point where they need to be maintained and upgraded. There wasn’t a plan in place.”

While the water rates bylaw won’t be reversed, Edgson says RDCO may look at how user fees are implemented.

“We will have to continue to look at what we’re doing,” he said.

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Groundwater licensing likely to be included in a new water act
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News - October 13, 2012

B.C. is the only province in Canada that doesn’t licence groundwater, despite the fact its Water Act includes provision for it.

And, according to environment ministry policy advisor Randy Cairns, public discussion about a new water act in the past few years indicates there is public support for groundwater licensing.

Cairns was speaking to members of the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council about the history of provincial legislation surrounding water, and about the current process to modernize it.

The new act is to be called the Water Sustainability Act and it was to have been enacted this year, but it’s been held up by the public’s interest in continuing discussions on what’s being proposed before it’s passed into legislation, said Cairns.

He expects the next step will be a discussion paper with more detail about what’s proposed for the new act, and a period for public input on those details before staff are directed to write the new legislation in legal language.

That’s a lengthy process which he figures could take a year, so it’s likely to be 2014 before a new act comes before the legislature for debate.

If it includes more regulation of groundwater, there are a number of issues still to be resolved, he noted.

For instance, how would the current 75,000 users fit into the legislation? Would all users be licensed, or just medium-sized and large or just large users?

Likely, groundwater licensing would be similar to the current licensing of surface water and the two would be linked, he said.

Currently, anyone can drill a well and begin to draw from underground aquifers without charge, even though no one can draw water from a creek or lake without a permit from the provincial government, and regular fee payments.

Seven policies have been identified as part of the framework of the new act:

*protect stream health and aquatic environments;
*consider water in land-use decisions;
*regulate groundwater use;
*regulate during scarcity;
*improve security, water use efficiency and conservation;
*measure and report; and
*enable a range of governance approaches.

This province’s current Water Act was brought in in 1909, with major revisions in 1925 when it was determined that the province owns the water resource; 1939 when regulations were brought in for acquisition of a water licence; 1960 when groundwater was added and environmental protection introduced; and 1979 to 1992 when a variety of changes were made.

In B.C. water rights are based on FITFIR or First In Time, First In Right, so those with the oldest licences on a body of water take precedence over those with more recent licences, in times of scarcity.

Licences are attached to properties, and when the property is sold, the water rights go with it, along with the obligations.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Westside water works on tap
Vernon Morning Star - September 30, 2012

Some customers of the Killiney Beach water system will notice construction activity over the next month.

Between Oct. 1 and 31, crews will install a new water main along 300 meters of Westside Road and Hodges Road near the intersection.

“Construction will result in some temporary traffic delays, possible noise and dust,” said Bruce Smith, with the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

“Motorists are asked to follow the direction of traffic control personnel and signage in the area.”

When complete, affected property owners between the middle and lower pressure zones will notice improved water pressure.

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Stats back separation plan
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - June 17, 2012

More than $1.5 million a year is being flushed down the drain, according to a local water expert.

Gyula Kiss, Coldstream councillor, confirmed from a Greater Vernon Water response to his query that treatment costs are considerably more at the new Duteau facility compared to the Mission Hill treatment plant.

The average cost per megalitre at Duteau is $127, versus $76 at Mission Hill (Kal).

“I expected that the cost of treatment of water at Duteau Creek was significantly higher than others,” said Kiss, noting that a significant portion of that water is used for irrigation, which needs no treatment.

Kiss adds that while all of the water from Kal is domestic water, the Duteau facility produces one megalitre for $127 but only about 3,000 megalitres or less is used for domestic purposes.

“The rest is used for irrigation and needs no treatment. So the actual cost of one megalitre of domestic water at Duteau costs about $560 ($1,702,020 for 3,000) not $76 like at Kal.”

With an annual domestic need of approximately 8,000 - 9,000 megalitres, Kiss points out that if 11,000 megalitres was treated at Kal it would cost a total of $836,000. The current cost of domestic water is $2,327,597. The difference (savings) is $1,491,597.

Kiss also points out that treatment quality is better at Kal (Mission), with both UV treatment and chlorination - Duteau has only chlorination.

The solution to saving is separation, he says.

“On the basis of these results we could save almost $1.5 million annually on treatment alone.”

An even better choice for the region’s long-range water plan, says Kiss, would have been Okanagan Lake – where water quality is consistently below acceptable turbidity levels.

“If we actually went to Okanagan Lake we would be getting very cheap water.

“Unfortunately that window is now closed for us so let’s not allow another potential window from closing for us forever without thoroughly investigating the opportunities.”

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Criticism directed at North Westside director
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - April 29, 2012

North Westside director Jim Edgson is drawing fire for his handling of soaring water rates.

Both the North Westside Communities Association and the North Westside Ratepayers Association are fighting a 190 per cent increase in fees by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

“People are very concerned with the lack of consultation,” said Marsali MacIver, NWCA president.

“Our director did not consult with people in a public way. There were no public meetings before the (RDCO) board had a vote. A lot of people were blind sided by this.”

There is a consumption based rate (35 cents per cubic metre for all water used in excess of 235 cubic metres during a three-month billing period) for the utilities for Killiney Beach, Westshore and Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun.

There is also a user fee and an asset renewal fee. For Westshore Estates, the user and asset fees amounts to $632 per property, while it will be $682 for Killiney Beach and $600 for Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun residents.

Both associations held a joint meeting April 18 and while Edgson was invited, he did not attend. RDCO has stated it will respond to the groups’ concerns by May 28.

“We consider that a deadline,” said MacIver.

“If there are no substantive changes or a response, we will consider our options. We could pursue legal options but we don’t want to do that.”

The North Westside Ratepayers Association is circulating a petition urging rates be reduced.

“It’s time for people to speak out,” said Diane Baldwin, NWRA president.

Baldwin says some hike in water rates is necessary and the primary concern is with process.

“We’re asking for consultation, communication and accountability,” she said.

Edgson insists the process to replace aging infrastructure has been open.

“I have gone around the community, even before I was elected, and I saw people not being served well by the water system,” he said.

“I warned people four-and-a-half years ago that it would cost a lot and they didn’t care.”

Edgson admits there were no public input sessions before the rates were adopted March 30, but the looming 2012 budget created a tight timeline.

“If we didn’t do it now, we’d have to wait another year. Ten years we’ve been at this.”

As for not attending the associations’ April 18 meeting, Edgson says the groups knew RDCO had already scheduled an open house in the same hall.

“They wanted to control the situation and I’m sorry, we don’t do that,” he said.

“We had something set up with all of the information. All they had to do was come in to get it.”

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Clean water on tap for Cherryville
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - April 11, 2012

Efforts are underway to ensure Cherryville residents have clean water coming out of the tap.

A total of $20,400 over three years will be spent on Cherryville’s water quality program after a decision by the Electoral Area Advisory Committee of the Regional District of the North Okanagan.

“It’s really important,” said director Eugene Foisy. “This way we can keep a close eye on conditions. The quality is in good shape but we want to keep it that way.”

Among the potential sources of pollution are logging, recreational activities and grazing cattle.

“We have found some hot spots where we want to keep checking,” said Foisy.

The program is conducted through volunteer water stewards with the Cherry Ridge Management group. The funding — which comes from federal gas tax revenue — will go towards scientific testing as well as covering mileage accrued by the volunteers.

Monitoring began three years ago and the stewards have established a water quality baseline.

“The environmental protection division of the Ministry of Environment will continue to support the monitoring activities conducted by the land and water stewards in the Cherryville area,” said Anna Page, RDNO sustainability co-ordinator, in a report.

“With increased development pressures, such as logging in the upper watersheds, this monitoring is an important baseline to water quality in an area that has received little study to date.”

Foisy says water quality testing in his community has ramifications for a broad range of the province as it drains into the Shuswap and Fraser systems.

“If we pollute it up here, it makes its way down.”

Final approval for the $20,400 is still required from the RDNO board.

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Westshore Water Quality Advisory Lifted

A Water Quality Advisory has been lifted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at 3:25pm for residents served by the Westshore Water System off Westside Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The removal of the Advisory today was made after consultation with Interior Health.

RDCO Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, ?The turbidity in the source water for the Westshore system has decreased and is once again within the acceptable and safe Interior Health guidelines for drinking water quality. As a result we?ve removed the Water Quality Advisory that was brought in May 16th. Customers of the system are no longer advised to boil their water before using it for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables or brushing their teeth.?

Smith adds, ?We certainly appreciate the support and patience of our customers on the almost 250 properties connected to the Westshore system over the past two weeks and we encourage them to continue practicing good indoor and outdoor water conservation efforts.?

A reminder to all customers of the Regional District?s five operating water systems that unless otherwise noted between June 16th and September 15th each year, Stage 2 Outdoor Irrigation restrictions are in place which allow twice weekly outdoor watering based on odd or even street address numbers.

To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

Source:  RDCO email advisory

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Director wants taxes to cover water works
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - November 20, 2011 <-- OLDER NEWS

A shift in paying for upgrades to Greater Vernon’s water utility has been put forward.

Director Gyula Kiss has suggested the utility’s infrastructure financing be covered by general taxation instead of the current system of user fees.

“When we build other infrastructure, we put it on taxes,” said Kiss of Wesbild Centre and the Performing Arts Centre.

Kiss says rates should only reflect the cost of treatment and delivery.

“In the case of water infrastructure, we lump infrastructure financing into water rates blurring the distinction between commodity costs and infrastructure costs. It is time to rectify this problem,” he said.

Kiss says standardizing financing policies would guarantee revenue and spread the costs of infrastructure over years.

He is also opposed to establishing reserves for future capital works, saying the funds for those projects should be determined by going to referendum.

Kiss’ proposal will be considered by the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

“A change will depend on how much people want to support it,” he said.

“Administration has a certain idea.”

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Westshore Estates under water advisory
Vernon Morning Star - May 18, 2012

Residents in one North Westside Road neighbourhood should be cautious with their tap water.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a precautionary water quality advisory for residents served by the Westshore Estates water system.

“The advisory affects almost 250 properties connected to the community water system adjacent to Westside Road,” said Bruce Smith, with RDCO.

“Increased turbidity in the water system source has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.”

Smith says the health risk is modest and no bacteria has been found.

“All water intended for drinking, washing fruits and produce, making beverages or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water or water filtered through a well-maintained in-home treatment device,” he said.

This precautionary water quality advisory will continue until further notice.

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West Kelowna adopts 3% budget
by Castanet Staff - Story: 75021 - May 10, 2012

The following are highlights from the District of West Kelowna Council meeting held Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

Bulk Water Dispenser

Council directed staff to install a Bulk Water Dispenser at the northwest corner of Shannon Lake Road and Asquith Road at a cost of $99,000 in the 2012 budget. Staff will also bring forward a report for Council’s consideration on the recommended fees and charges for use of the dispenser. The move is a result of concerns raised by some property owners in Upper Glenrosa, where well water sources have been deteriorating. A 2011 petition of property owners in the area, offering the option of a bulk water dispenser in their vicinity, constructed under a Specified Local Area Petition Process (where they would pay for the facility), was defeated. This bulk water station will provide users with the opportunity to access potable water at a central location in the District and serve residents who need access to water, tourists with trailers/recreational vehicles, and contractors requiring water for tank trucks and other uses.

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Wet spring boosts Vernon snow pack
Castanet.net - by Grant Scott - Story: 74749 - May 4, 2012

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) is tracking the latest climate information to help predict water supply levels for the coming year. Snow pack readings from monitoring stations near the Duteau Creek Water Reservoirs indicate above average snow accumulation in March.

These readings show the snow water equivalent, or water content of the snow, at 117% to 134% of average for this time of year. GVW also tracks snow depth and found levels to be at approximately 135% of average.

The BC River Forecast Centre reports that snow pack levels are at normal levels for both the Okanagan-Kettle Basin (104% of normal), which includes the Kalamalka Lake water source, and the South Thompson Basin (106% of normal), covering the Duteau Creek Water Reservoirs.

This is an improvement over readings of 88% and 97% of normal taken in March.

While being close to average, GVW will continue to closely monitor these levels as they play an important role in supplying water to fill our reservoirs during spring melt. Cooler temperatures are predicted for May, indicating a slow snow melt period and even possible continued snow accumulation.

Water reservoir levels are also monitored by GVW. As of April 2, the Duteau Creek Water Reservoirs are at 10,725 ML (megalitres or million litres) or 110% of average.

For comparison, 2.5 ML would fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

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Criticism directed at North Westside director
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - April 29, 2012

North Westside director Jim Edgson is drawing fire for his handling of soaring water rates.

Both the North Westside Communities Association and the North Westside Ratepayers Association are fighting a 190 per cent increase in fees by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

“People are very concerned with the lack of consultation,” said Marsali MacIver, NWCA president.

“Our director did not consult with people in a public way. There were no public meetings before the (RDCO) board had a vote. A lot of people were blind sided by this.”

There is a consumption based rate (35 cents per cubic metre for all water used in excess of 235 cubic metres during a three-month billing period) for the utilities for Killiney Beach, Westshore and Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun.

There is also a user fee and an asset renewal fee. For Westshore Estates, the user and asset fees amounts to $632 per property, while it will be $682 for Killiney Beach and $600 for Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun residents.

Both associations held a joint meeting April 18 and while Edgson was invited, he did not attend. RDCO has stated it will respond to the groups’ concerns by May 28.

“We consider that a deadline,” said MacIver.

“If there are no substantive changes or a response, we will consider our options. We could pursue legal options but we don’t want to do that.”

The North Westside Ratepayers Association is circulating a petition urging rates be reduced.

“It’s time for people to speak out,” said Diane Baldwin, NWRA president.

Baldwin says some hike in water rates is necessary and the primary concern is with process.

“We’re asking for consultation, communication and accountability,” she said.

Edgson insists the process to replace aging infrastructure has been open.

“I have gone around the community, even before I was elected, and I saw people not being served well by the water system,” he said.

“I warned people four-and-a-half years ago that it would cost a lot and they didn’t care.”

Edgson admits there were no public input sessions before the rates were adopted March 30, but the looming 2012 budget created a tight timeline.

“If we didn’t do it now, we’d have to wait another year. Ten years we’ve been at this.”

As for not attending the associations’ April 18 meeting, Edgson says the groups knew RDCO had already scheduled an open house in the same hall.

“They wanted to control the situation and I’m sorry, we don’t do that,” he said.

“We had something set up with all of the information. All they had to do was come in to get it.”

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If you collected all of Earth’s water into a sphere, how big would it be?

Imagine the Earth in your mind's eye. Now round up all the water on the planet into a sphere (we're talking oceans, icecaps, atmosphere, everything — even the water bound up in you and me). How big do you think that sphere would be compared to the Earth?

Got your answer? Our water sphere would have a diameter of 1,385 kilometers (about 860 miles), and span the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas. A sphere this far across would have a volume equal to about 1,386 million cubic kilometers (roughly 332,500,000 cubic miles). Those might sound like big numbers (and they certainly are big numbers) but wait until you see this sphere beside the Earth.



The artists' conception shown here [click here for hi-res] will help you visualize the size of our ball of water relative to rest of the planet. By comparison, the Earth measures a staggering 12,256 km in diameter, dwarfing the little blue sphere — a "little blue sphere" that contains more than enough water to cover over 70 percent of our planet's surface, and fill every life form on Earth with H2O molecules. (Those looking for a similar size comparison at home can use a basketball to represent the dry Earth, and a nickel to illustrate the diameter of our water sphere.)

Pretty incredible, right? My initial estimate was way off. (I overshot. By a lot.) It just goes to show how when you're dealing with areas and volumes on planetary orders of magnitude, it's surprisingly easy to lose your sense of scale. [USGS via Philip Yam]

Top image via Shutterstock. Credit: Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; USGS. Data source: Igor Shiklomanov's chapter "World fresh water resources" in Peter H. Gleick (editor), 1993, Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources (Oxford University Press, New York)

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Flushing the pipes near Falcon Ridge
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 74297 - Apr 24, 2012

Customers of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Falcon Ridge Water utility are advised a system flushing will take place on Thursday, April 26.

Environmental Services staff will be flushing mains on the system off Highway 33 east between 8:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m.

Notice boards will be set up along the shoulders of main access roads to let residents know that the work is planned. System flushing occur to ensure optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says system flushing occur to ensure optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time.

“When flushing is taking place, water pressure can vary slightly and there may be some slight discoloration in the water. Please check your water prior to use. We recommend that you avoid doing laundry when flushing is taking place on your system. If you experience discoloration, run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.”

Customers will find more information and answers to questions they might have about the Regional District Water Main Flushing Program on the Water Systems webpage http://www.regionaldistrict.com/water

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All RDCO water systems are on Stage 2 water restrictions from June 16th to September 15th, 2012. This allows for twice weekly outdoor watering based on your odd or even address. For your days and watering hours visit

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/water/

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Ask COW Director Jim Edgson how he knows which of the three water rate options (30%, 50%, or 100%) discussed at the March 26, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting, that customers in North Westside Road want?  Director Jim Edgson claims he has consulted with customers (in reply to Marsali McIver) long before the three water rate options were even announced on March 26, 2012?  How would customers even know about these 3 options to even be able to ask about them?  An Open House being held after Director Jim Edgson voted on the option he chose March 30, 2012 is ludicrous.  At least COE Director Patty Hanson is going to ask her constituents which option they want before making a decision.

To listen to Director Jim Edsgon explain how he consulted with North Westside Road water users about the 3 options for water rates, click the link below (Marsali McIver link) where COW Director Jim Edgson talks about how he already consulted with North Westside Road about the water system rates that were just announced March 26, 2012.

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 30, 2012 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Budget Public - Marsali McIver - .wma (4.80 MB)
(This is where Director Jim Edgson explains how he consulted with North Westsiders and Marsali McIver said that he consulted with only 4 people at the Seniors lunch LOL.. good one Marsali!)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 26, 2012 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 7.1 Water Utility Rates Review - .wma (14.4 MB)
(This is where it is said that Director Jim Edgson recommends the 50% option at time 25:29 on audio tape)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 30, 2012 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Budget COW Director Edgson Garbage and Water - .wma (1.67 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 30, 2012 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 5.1 Water Utility Rates Bylaw No. 1307, 2012 - .wma (548 KB)
(This is where they pass the Water Utility Rates Bylaw)

Water Systems

Information Open Houses
The following sessions will be held for customers of the four water systems in Central Okanagan West Electoral Area to outline the new water rate structure and consumption-based billing changes:

Star Place/Dietrich Open House
Wednesday, April 11th - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm - 4902 Star Place

Upper Fintry/Shalal Rd./Valley of the Sun Open House
Wednesday, April 18th - 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm - Killiney Beach Community Hall, 516 Udell Road

View More Open House Information

New Water Rate Structure Approved -
The Regional Board has approved a new water rate structure for the Killiney Beach, Westshore, Star Place/Dietrich and Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun water systems. Information Meetings will be held in April for these systems to explain the rates and answer questions.

A new rate structure for Falcon Ridge and Sunset Ranch will be determined after the Area Director consults with customers.

As of April 1st, a consumption-based billing rate is in effect for all customers of the RDCO six water systems. This rate is 35-cents per cubic meter for all water used during a three month billing period in excess of 235 cubic meters. View Rate Structure Information

Infrastructure Asset Management Financial Plan - February 2012
   Information
   Presentation

Source RDCO's website about water.

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Westside water rates climb
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 30, 2012

North Westside Road residents will face skyrocketing water rates.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board is expected to adopt a new rate structure today for three community water utilities. If approved, there will be a 190 per cent increase to fees.

“We’ve had a pretty low rate up until now but we haven’t been keeping up,” said director Jim Edgson of the need for reserves to maintain infrastructure long-term.

There will be a consumption based residential rate (35 cents per cubic metre for all water used in excess of 235 cubic metres during a three-month billing period) for the utilities for Killiney Beach, Westshore and Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun.

There will also be a user fee and an asset renewal fee.

For Westshore Estates, the user and asset fees will amount to $632 per property, while it will be $682 for Killiney Beach and $600 for Upper Fintry/Shalal Road/Valley of the Sun residents.

RDCO started looking at the condition of infrastructure when residents began raising concerns four years ago.

“I warned people it would cost,” said Edgson, adding that it’s more cost-effective to deal with the situation now.

“If we didn’t start moving on this quickly, we were going to get an ugly surprise.”

Edgson also points out that a long-term plan, including funding, is necessary if the area is to be eligible for senior government grants.

“I don’t want to see something where we’re just limping along because that’s what we’ve been doing and we’re falling behind,” he said of the need for the new fees.

“We have to look at the facts of life and these are older water systems and we need to build up reserves.”

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These improvements are for the new IHA standards and will probably not be calculated into the original quote for the cost to build the Upper Fintry/Valley of the Sun/ Shalal Road water system.

North Westside receives funding
By Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star - February 01, 2012

Funding is going towards water improvement projects in the North Westside Road area.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board has approved the use of Community Works Fund gas tax revenue for upgrades to the Killiney, Westshore, Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun water systems

The amount of money that will be spent is $439,000.

The goal of the projects is to improve water quality, system operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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New Online Service for RDCO Water System Customers

A new online registration service is available for customers of the Regional District of Central Okanagan water systems.

Communications Coordinator Bruce Smith says, “Residents can visit our website water systems webpage and register to receive a direct email of any future advisories or special notices affecting their water system. This new online service will help us get important messages directly to the inbox of customers of the Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Dietrich/Star Place, Sunset Ranch, Westshore and the new water system that will service the Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun subdivisions later this year. Residents just have to go online to regionaldistrict.com/water and they’ll see a link to the Email Notification of Water System Alerts/Advisories sign up.”

Smith adds, “This new service is in addition to our traditional methods of getting information out about water system advisories and notices which includes news releases to the Central Okanagan media, neighbourhood sign boards and posters and of course updates on our website, regionaldistrict.com.”

“We hope,” he says, “that our customers will take a few minutes to sign up so that if needed in the future, we can get them important information directly to their email inbox.”

The Regional District water systems service more than 800 customers in the following areas: Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Falcon Ridge, Sunset Ranch and Dietrich/Star Place. Later this fall, a new water system is expected to begin service for approximately 350 property owners in the Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun subdivisions.

(October 6, 2011)

Source:  Regional District of Central Okanagan What's New

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Kal Lake tap water good to drink
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 64743 - Sep 16, 2011

Greater Vernon Water Utility in conjunction with Interior Health Authority advises customers that the Boil water notice issued for our customers on the North Kalamalka Intake has been Recinded.

All bacterial testing results and disinfection (chlorine) levels are satisfactory in the distribution system and the water has returned to a “Good” rating.

How is the water treated to protect public health?
The water from the North Intake on Kalamalka Lake is disinfected using Ultra Violet (UV) technology and then chlorine. This is called “dual disinfection”. The UV disinfection process inactivates protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Chlorine works effectively against bacteria and helps maintain safe drinking water within the distribution system.

What does a Good rating mean?
A good rating means the water is safe to drink with the exception for customers with immune compromised systems. Persons, who are unsure whether their immune system is compromised, should discuss the need to take precautions with their physician.

Who should take precautions?
Customers with immune compromised systems are advised to seek additional protection by boiling their drinking water or using a safe alternative.

What should customers with immune compromised systems do?
Water intended for the following uses should boil for one (1) minute:
• Drinking
• Washing fruits and vegetables
• Making beverages or ice
• Brushing teeth

Greater Vernon Water Utility continuously monitors the water quality and will notify the public if conditions change.

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VALLEY OF THE SUN WILL NOT BE PAVED UNTIL NEXT SPRING?

September 1, 2011 at 11:26am

RDCO Engineering Tech Delphine Maja left us a message saying that Valley of the Sun will not be paved this year after ripping up the subdivisions road to install the pipe for the new Community Water System. Valley of the Sun will be graded and left as a gravel road this winter. In the Spring RDCO will hopefully come up with a cost sharing solution they have been working on with the Ministry of Transportation she said.

Apparently Ministry of Transportation doesn't want to help pay for repaving this year.  And RDCO thought they would only have to repave half the road.

If you want Valley of the Sun subdivision's roads repaved without having to pay more, you should call the Ministry of Transportation, District Manager Murray Tekano and complain to him how bad the road needed paving before it was ripped up or you may have to pay more for user and/or maintenance fees on the new water system (read the table below what is highlighted in red). This is how RDCO is going to charge property owners for the amount they went over budget on other things before the repaving. Wonder if they will fix the water runoff section at the entrance to Valley of the Sun on Firwood Road where they patch every year after winter? What is the cost of labour to keep filling holes every year? Why don't they do it right so that it doesn't cost so much each and every year for labour and pavement?

Also don't miss what is highlighted in yellow below.

Delphine Maja Engineering Tech wrote in regards to the Upper Fintry/Valley of the Sun/Shalal Road water system construction costs:

I've have been squeezing the water system budget, and think we can build the one-way road (at Upper Fintry for water system right-of-way and so Upper Fintry properties along Westside Road have property access due to Government screw up years ago)for no additional costs to you. The only thing is that we most likely will not be finishing the water project under budget. The original quote of $17,500 per property will most likely be the final number, and whatever we go over we'll charge to the 2012 operation and maintenance budget. We will be sending out a water project update letter next week, it's drafted I'm just awaiting the tender closing on the reservoir which is today, to calculate an expense report for the newsletter.

.pdf icon RDCO Agenda August 22, 2011 - Item 9.3 Development Variance Permit Application.pdf see bottom of the application report

BC Transportation Minister - Blair Lekstrom - Minister.Transportation "at" gov.bc.ca - 250-387-1978

MLA Westside - Kelowna - Ben Stewart - ben.stewart.mla "at" leg.bc.ca - Kelowna office 250-768-8426
Victoria: 250-387-1023

District Manager of Transportation - Murray Tekano - Murray.Tekano "at" gov.bc.ca - 250-712-3629

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One has to question if IHA is actually driven by public safety or the need to simply reduce its own liability in the off chance someone gets sick from drinking water?

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.pdf icon http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/water-act/docs/wam_wsa-policy-proposal.pdf

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MEASUREMENT

1 cubic metre of water = 1,000 litres or 264 US gallons

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March 29, 2011 we stopped to talk to the RDCO Engineering vehicle.

This is the vehicle the water system technician drives.  This truck services all RDCO's water systems out North Westside Road.

This is the vehicle that checks RDCO water systems.  The water system technician that was driving said that you need 5 - 7 years of training to be a water system technician.

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Fines for Water System Violations as posted on RDCO's website August 4, 2011

Ticket Information and Utilization Amendment Bylaw No. 1269, 2010 - Amends Bylaw No. 435
click image for large copy

Ticket Information and Utilization Amendment Bylaw No. 1269, 2010 - Amends Bylaw No. 435

Please check RDCO bylaws to see if there is a newer bylaw since Bylaw 1269, 2010 was carried and since we checked Aug 4, 2011.

RDCO Bylaws

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Okanagan Lake evaporation factor
by Castanet Staff - Story: 63443 - Jul 27, 2011

The are many pressures put on Okanagan Lake on a daily basis. With so much demand on water supply, it's imperative to understand what is happening to the Okanagan's water resources.

As a part of this effort, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) has partnered with Environment Canada for an important study to better understand what is happening to the water in Okanagan Lake.

Beginning this week, the OBWB and Environment Canada launched three large yellow buoys on Okanagan Lake, each three metres tall and almost two metres wide, to monitor lake evaporation for at least the next three years.

The final buoy was launched Wednesday morning.

This study comes as the result of work done on the comprehensive Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Study – a three-year, $3 million project that looked at the valley’s water supply, but found one piece of the puzzle missing: how much water is lost off Okanagan Lake through evaporation?

Initial estimates put lake evaporation at one metre per year. But the Okanagan is known to be a region with water supply challenges, and estimates aren’t good enough when effective water resource management is at stake.

By determining how much water is lost to evaporation, the Okanagan will be in a better position to plan for these challenges, including drought.

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Questions arise over Duteau facility
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - July 15, 2011

Some Greater Vernon residents are boiling their water although the new $29 million Duteau Creek treatment plant came on line last fall.

A water quality advisory was issued two weeks ago because of maintenance and it’s now been extended indefinitely because seasonal water sources are being used to meet irrigation and domestic needs.

“We spent $29 million and we’re still getting crappy water,” said Gyula Kiss, a director with the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

“It won’t kill you but people paid to get better water and they’re not getting it.”

Under a water quality advisory, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are urged to boil their water for one minute for drinking, washing produce, making beverages or ice and brushing teeth.

Kiss insists there’s not enough treated water for both residential and agricultural uses, and a separate system of untreated water for farmers is required.

“It was ill-conceived,” said Kiss of the plan to treat all Duteau Creek water no matter the use.

“Right from the beginning the major focus should have been separation.”

Regional District of North Okanagan staff insist the plant is functioning properly and operational adjustments were expected after it opened last September.

“It’s a trying time for the plant when the flows are high,” said Al Cotsworth, utilities manager.

“The amount of time the water spends in the plant is stretching the chemistry of it.”

Seasonal water sources are only chlorinated before entering the distribution system, leading to turbidity, or cloudiness, that exceeds requirements.

All bacterial tests have been clear but the water quality remains at fair.

“Caution with health issues is always the first word so we decided to leave the advisory on,” said Cotsworth.

Cotsworth says staff is becoming more familiar with how the plant functions.

“Operators are making adjustments to meet the demands on Duteau Creek and it is meeting demands,” he said.

“But we’re just not totally confident, knowing we may have to bring King Edward and Deer lakes in to meet peak demand.”

Cotsworth doesn’t believe a quality advisory would be avoided if agricultural separation was in place because there would be a smaller plant.

“Even if we had separation, we could have this situation because domestic demands for water are high,” he said.

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Water supply could halt development
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - May 22, 2011

A proposed development in rural Enderby may not proceed if there isn’t sufficient water supply.

The North Okanagan Regional District board wants a hydrological study done first before it will further consider residential rezoning on Hadow Road.

“The water problem there is a big issue,” said Herman Halvorson, director for the Grandview Bench area.

“There is a demand on the water source.”

During a public hearing, adjacent property owners expressed concern that more country residential lots could deplete the aquifer.

“There is a tenuous nature of the water at Grandview Bench,” said Simon Lewin.

“Our water might be affected.”

There was a similar concern from Tom Emerson.

“We have 1.65 gallons per minute (from his well) and that’s not a lot. If people drill a well, we could be in deep trouble,” he said, adding that existing residents have had to truck in water to meet their needs.

“It’s not that we don’t want development at any cost. We don’t want development that will have a negative impact.”

No detailed development plan has been received from the applicant, but the maximum number of units possible on the 290 acres is about 15.

“Once you take into account riparian areas and roads, it will be less than that,” said Rob Smailes, NORD’s planning and building general manager.

Opposition to demanding a hydrological study came from Mike Gavinchuk, BX-Swan Lake director.

Gavinchuk insists such reports are not always an accurate indication of water being present.

“If there’s no water, there’s no water. Will the hydrologist or the regional district be responsible if there is no water?” he said.

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IHA forces Duteau upgrades - VMS - March 16, 2011
click article for larger copy

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Slater retains involvement in provincial water issues
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - April 09, 2011

Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater has been appointed a special advisor for water stewardship in B.C., after the position of parliamentary secretary for water was dropped from Premier Christy Clark’s new cabinet following her election as leader of the B.C. Liberal party.

Slater admits he found that frustrating, but found after discussing it with new environment minister Terry Lake and the premier that it was a misunderstanding of where the Water Act Modernization process was at, rather than a move to cut the process short.

Now, Slater said, “we will continue with the Water Act consultations throughout the province.”

He said his goal is to give the public and stakeholders an opportunity to have a look at the draft of the new act, after it has gone to cabinet, but before it goes to the legislature for debate.

Slater said the premier wants an open consultative process, and this way would achieve that, even though it’s never been done with new legislation before.

First Nations people wanted more time to review the proposed legislative changes, and he said this process could take up to a year from today to be completed, which would give them more opportunity to review it.

“We don’t want to rush it. That’s happened before. It’s too important,” he commented.

Slater is a former chairman of the Okanagan Basin Water Board and former mayor of Osoyoos, and admits he is passionate about water.

“I want to contribute what I can,” he said.

Currently, staff are looking at all the thousands of bits of information submitted by the public in the past three months, during the public consultation phase of gathering information in preparation for the drafting of a new Water Act. The current act was brought into law a century ago.

Next, staff will draft a new act for submission to cabinet for discussion.

That will then go back to the stakeholders and public for comment, be re-drafted if senior staff feel that’s needed, before being returned to cabinet.

Slater felt a period of 30 to 90 days would be allowed for public comment on the draft.

Clark’s decision to drop the position of parliamentary secretary for water from cabinet was criticized by members of the OBWB during its monthly meeting earlier this week.

They decided to have staff write a letter to her, asking that the position be reinstated.

Board members weren’t aware at the time that the premier had appointed Slater as a special advisor for water stewardship.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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West Kelowna Council highlights
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 61020 - Mar 25, 2011

Consumption Based Water Billing - Usage based water rates will be added to utility bills being sent out in July to Lakeview, Pritchard and West Kelowna Estates Water Service Areas. Consumption based billing is already implemented in the Sunnyside and Westbank Water Service Areas. Consumption based billing has been implemented in many jurisdictions in the Central Okanagan as a means of conserving limited water supply in the Okanagan Basin. Consumption based fees are charged in addition to the flat rate to cover costs of operating, maintaining and upgrading the systems. The new rates will be effective starting with the April to June 2011 quarter. These charges will appear on the second quarter utility bill being issued in July.

The District of West Kelowna will start a public education component in April, which will include a list of the new consumption based rates, conservation tips and a water rate calculator. The information will be added to the municipality’s website. A sample bill will also be provided to show users where water usage rates appear on their bills. Water usage amounts have appeared on residents’ bills in the past and the July bill will be the first time the consumption based rates are actually charged in the Lakeview, Pritchard and West Kelowna Estates Water Service Areas.

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West Kelowna Council highlights
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 60865 - Mar 17, 2011

2011 Domestic Water Rates Directions - Council endorsed the implementation of consumption-based water billing for the three water utilities within the District that are on flat-rate only billing – West Kelowna Estates, Pritchard and Lakeview. Consumption billing will be effective on the second quarter billing for 2011, the April to June period. Council also directed staff to bring forward a revised water rates bylaw for Council’s consideration at an upcoming meeting.

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Green light given to Duteau project
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 06, 2011

More enhancements to Greater Vernon’s water supply are proceeding under pressure from the Interior Health Authority.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has given early budget authorization for $160,000 to be spent on the Duteau Creek filtration pilot project and conceptual design.

“It’s important that we finish it this year because we may be ordered to do it,” said Arnold Badke, the North Okanagan Regional District’s engineering general manager.

IHA has stated that filtration must be in place by 2015, and that a pilot study and the selection of treatment technology must occur by late 2012.

“Greater Vernon has currently been out of compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Act for several years,” Dr. Paul Hasselback, IHA medical health officer, told the regional district board Wednesday.

The projected cost for filtration is about $20 million, and it will reduce the potential risk from water-borne illnesses.

“We have been told we’re not in compliance and that’s why we have to do this,” said director Patrick Nicol.

Support for the pilot project was unanimous.

“It’s doing our due diligence and collecting the data we need to collect,” said director Jim Garlick.

However, there are some concerns that IHA is forcing GVAC to take a direction that may not be necessary.

“What happens if we don’t do filtration?” said director Mike Gavinchuk.

“Is the water that bad? Maybe we should challenge filtration.”

Director Wayne Lippert points out that data presented by IHA is from 2007 and may not reflect the current situation.

“We’ve put a number of things in place since then. They have a responsibility to give us good data,” he said.

Director Ted Osborn also has similar concerns.

“We don’t want to get into a position where we’re putting money into old technology because things are changing very quickly,” he said of treatment methods.

Besides the $60,000 for the pilot project and designs, a consultant will be utilized at a cost of $108,040 and $51,960 is being set aside for forecasted allowances and contingencies.

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Ranch water line sits empty
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 09, 2011

Major dollars were spent to sink a water line into the ground at O’Keefe Ranch, but it sits unused.

About $225,000 went to extending a water line from Greater Vernon’s Duteau Creek source to the historic site in Spallumcheen last fall. But it hasn’t been activated because $25,000 to $30,000 in fees to the North Okanagan Regional District are outstanding.

“We’re not permitting them to connect until they pay the fees,” said Arnold Badke, NORD’s engineering general manager.

“It’s the way we treat any other development. Unless the board tells us to waive the fee, we have to follow the bylaw.”

NORD politicians approved the extended water line to the ranch in September 2009, although staff had cautioned against such a move because it could set a precedent for other Spallumcheen properties wanting water.

O’Keefe Ranch officials say the fees have not been paid because of a lack of financial resources.

“We raised all of the money to get the line in,” said Catherine Lord, manager.

“We still have to work through that last little bit (fees).”

It’s expected ranch representatives could be before the NORD board March 16.

“We will ask for the fees to be waived and if that doesn’t occur, the ranch board will have to look at how to handle the issue,” said Lord.

The reasons for extending the Duteau Creek source to the ranch’s administration building was to meet health standards and to ensure sufficient access to water in case of a fire.

“We need enough water pressure to protect the heritage buildings,” said Lord.

At present, the ranch continues to be served by a well.

Lord insists the lack of the Duteau Creek line won’t stop the ranch from opening an RV park this year because those spaces don’t have services of any kind.

Director Doug Dirk won’t speculate on what the regional district will do with the request to waive the fees.

“It will be considered like any other request that comes alone,” he said.

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Authority demands water works begin
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 04, 2011

Greater Vernon officials have been warned that multi-million-dollar upgrades to the domestic water supply can’t be avoided.

The Interior Health Authority told the North Okanagan Regional District board Wednesday that it’s concerned the Greater Vernon water utility will not fulfill its commitment to add $20 million in filtration to the Duteau Creek treatment plant by 2012.

“Greater Vernon has currently been of compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Act for several years,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, IHA medical health officer.

If progress towards filtration is not made, Hasselback indicated that IHA could order NORD to undertake a pilot study by September 2012 and select treatment technology later that year.

While $29 million was spent to construct the Duteau plant, Hasselback says the focus of the facility is to reduce turbidity but further treatment is needed to deal with water-borne illnesses.

“The plant was developed to reduce clarity but not to reduce the risk substantively,” he said, adding that filtration was always expected and required.

Some NORD politicians have questioned the need to spend money on filtration.

“No one around the table wants people to become ill but it’s a monetary issue,” said director Mike Macnabb.

“At what point do we say we can’t afford any more dollars?”

Director Wayne Lippert suggested that IHA’s demands for water quality enhancements have been more onerous than other health authorities in B.C.


“The communication given to me was IH does have a different standard and that came from one of your colleagues,” he said to Hasselback.

But Hasselback denies that anyone made such comments to Lippert.

“You are not being treated any differently,” he said.

Besides expressing concern that NORD may not proceed with filtration, Hasselback claimed the regional district is falling behind when it comes to master planning and setting utility rates to cover upgrades.

However, Hasselback had some praise for NORD and specifically the governance structure that covers all of Greater Vernon.

“It’s exactly the approach that will be the solution for other communities,” he said, acknowledging that Vernon, Coldstream and the regional district have been fighting over the function.

“While you struggle through some of the debates, recognize the value of the structure you have.”

-----------------------------

Comments posted on VMS website in regard to the article above.

by JN03

The BC Liberals expect British Columbians to cough up the carbon tax, hst, ballooning hydro rates, and then cough up even more for water treatment. It should come out of the politicians pay cheques. I have lived here for years and years and never once has the water made me sick. What a crock.

If Interior Health (A.K.A. The BC Liberal government) wants a specific quality of water, they should be paying for it, not the already beleagured taxpayers of Vernon

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Higher utility fees get final nod
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 04, 2011

Higher water bills will be a reality in Greater Vernon.

On Wednesday, the North Okanagan Regional District board unanimously adopted new utility rates for 2011.

“I believe they meet the needs of the utility in terms of generating revenue,” said director Buffy Baumbrough.

The residential base fee will go from $50.17 to $66.20 annually. That will see the average residential bill go from $480.58 to $579.70, or 20 per cent, a year.

On top of that, there are four tiers of levies based on consumption.

There will continue to be no additional charge for low users.

“We are giving 10 cubic metres away free per customer,” said director Mike Macnabb.

Baumbrough believes that waving the tier one fee offsets the overall increase for water.

“We’re ensuring there isn’t undue hardship on customers,” she said.

The second tier (10 to 40 cubic metres) will go from 92 to 78 cents per cubic metre, while the third tier (40 to 80 cubic metres) will remain at 92 cents per cubic metre.

The final tier (more than 80 cubic metres) will climb from 92 cents to $1.24 per cubic metre. That’s equivalent to 21,133 U.S. gallons of water being used.

The base fee for commercial businesses is also climbing 20 per cent to $66.20 but the consumption fee remains unchanged at 92 cents per cubic metre.

Agriculture rates will increase by five per cent in 2011 while fees for vacant lots will go from $31.77 to $66.20 per quarter.

While the rates are set for 2011, Macnabb expects Greater Vernon utility customers will face increases in future years because a $20 million filtration system must be added to the Duteau Creek treatment plant.


“We will have to revisit the rates,” he said.

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Projected utility fees draw opposition
Vernon Morning Star - By Jennifer Smith - March 02, 2011

The region’s most vocal water fee critic is once again making waves over the proposed 2011 rate schedule.

Coldstream Coun. Gyula Kiss says the new fee schedule, which is up for consideration at the North Okanagan Regional District board today, does nothing to promote water conservation.

“This year’s rate structure is a major step backwards,” Kiss told his colleagues at Monday’s council meeting.

The base fee for water customers will go from $50.17 to $66.20.

According to Kiss’ report detailing the impact on various consumption users, low users (80 cubic meres) would face a $95 increase, medium users (282 m3) would see a $75 increase, average consumers (350 m3) would have a $91 increase and high users (584 m3) would see a $128 hike in fees.

Meanwhile those who are away or own vacant lots would and don’t use any water would have a $64 hike in their fees.

“These are glaring examples of inequities,” said Kiss, adding that a fair system would recover infrastructure costs through taxation instead of a hike in water rates.

He also proposes that a more reasonable increase would be a $63.63 base fee increase.

Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick admits the numbers aren’t ideal, but is hopeful that over time and with continued discussion, things will change.

“You will never get 100 per cent of what you want in that one year,” said Garlick.

“It will be a work in progress. It won’t be something that’s solved in one year.”

Coun. Richard Enns also applauded Kiss for consistently taking the time and effort to analyze numbers and push for equity.

“Ever since I became involved in politics I always wanted to make sure the way we collect fees is fair,” said Kiss.

“We also have another objective: to get people to conserve water.”

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Township taps into water reserve with tax
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - February 27, 2011

A need for the Township of Spallumcheen to find a future water source of its own will get financial help.

Council voted unanimously on a finance committee recommendation to contribute $15,000 annually, starting in 2011, to a reserve that would be established for the implementation of a Spallumcheen water supply strategy.

The source of the funds would be taxation.

“The motion was made independent of the official community plan survey which said we should be on top of water, water is our No. 1 priority,” said Coun. Janice Brown. “It’s not a lot of money but it’s a start.”

A contentious part of the recommendation included a line about the township recovering contributions to the fund from benefitting properties at the time of implementation.

“The discussion centred around figuring out what’s there (as far as water),” said Coun. Todd York. “There was talk about monitoring wells, figuring out boundaries of aquifers and the true volume of water. There will be ample opportunity to figure out the strategy and implementation later on.”

Coun. Ralph Leyenhorst said it wouldn’t be fair that some residents get benefits on the backs of others who have built their supplies through taxation.

Coun. Dave Brew said the strategy is something that should have been implemented five or six years ago.

“Developing our own water system is something we have to look into,” said Brew. “I’d like to see the financial amount possibly tripled.”

Council unanimously voted to remove the contentious line from the motion.

A bylaw will be drafted for the new reserve fund.

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West Kelowna council concerned about Jackpine Lake development plans
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - February 26, 2011

Further development at a fishing resort on Jackpine Lake is concerning West Kelowna officials, as the lake forms part of the reservoir system within the  district’s watershed.

Jackpine Lake lies approximately 10 kilometres outside the district, west of Crystal Mountain Resort.

The lake is considered an upland reservoir.

Planning supervisor Brent Magnan said the proposal before the Integrated Land Management Bureau is for the conversion of a lease on the existing site and extending the lease for 30 years.

The intention is to put up eight seasonal cabins for the use of people who own a portion of the resort.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan requires a 30-metre development setback from upland reservoirs. Magnan said West Kelowna staff have concerns regarding source water protection for Jackpine Lake and other reservoirs.

He added there are concerns that building may impact the potential for future reservoir development improvements on the site.

Coun. Bryden Winsby said even though West Kelowna may promote themselves as a tourist destination, facilities like those offered at the Jackpine camp are few and far between.

He noted the concern of potential damage to the watershed is an obvious one.

“I want to be satisfied those concerns are real,” said Winsby

He added those familiar with the lake know there are other places around it to camp.

“If we’re concerned about potential contamination to the water, be aware there is ability elsewhere to camp, and as much or more contamination could occur from increased use.”

Magnan noted the lease area has been well maintained, and the applicant also operates a nearby forestry recreation site.

Coun. Carol Zanon noted she has been to the site several times, and agreed the property management was of the highest standard one could possibly hope for.

“He is a true steward of the environment up there.”
She noted there is no substantial change in what is proposed, with eight cabins replacing eight existing campsites.

She said the upgrades would allow septic disposal of waste instead of outhouses.

Zanon added there has been an application in for eight years to raise Bear Lake by seven metres, and Jackpine Lake is not be seen as the primary upland reservoir in the watershed.

Jackpine is a shallow lake that sometimes goes quite dry in the winter, with a high degree of colour in the water making processing more expensive.

Timing of any dam-building and raising of water levels at Jackpine would depend on West Kelowna’s water development master plan, a plan that is still under way.

Director of engineering Gary O’Rourke said the district should protect their water resources now if they can, rather than having to go backward in future.

Mayor Doug Findlater said the camp is well-known as a good steward of the lake.

Over the longer term, West Kelowna has to protect an asset originally fostered by the Westbank Irrigation District.

“I’m concerned about a long-term tenure, like 30 years, something that would encourage the applicant to do a lot of investment.”

Findlater said if it turns out the district requires the upland reservoir, it becomes more complicated to terminate the arrangement with the resort.

He said a partially completed water supply and demand study by the Okanagan Basin Water Board seems to be showing that climate change may not necessarily decrease the amount of precipitation in the region, but there would be more compression of precipitation into seasons, and more water storage capacity may be required.

Council voted to wait on recommendations until hearing from the resort owner.

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Block water rates in Vernon on the rise
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 60256 - Feb 19, 2011

The Regional District of North Okanagan - Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) has recommended the Rising Block Water Rates.

This is a system where there is an escalating charge for increasing amounts of water consumption in each of the four quarters in a year. Rising Block Water Rates also encourages water conservation.

The GVAC has also recommended that the quarterly Base Fee be increased from $50.17 per quarter in 2010 to $66.20 per quarter for 2011.

For 2011, the quarterly Base Fee will include the initial 10 cubic metres of consumption. The implementation of higher Base Water Rates is to ensure an adequate fixed income to operate the water utility.

The fixed costs to operate the utility are in the order of 80% of the total operating costs, therefore an increase to the fixed revenue will enable more effective operation of the water utility.

The approved residential Block Water Rates are as follows:
 
  2010 2011
Block Base Fee $50.17 per quarter $66.20 per quarter
1  0-10 cubic metres $0.00 per cubic metre $0.00 per cubic metre
2  10-40 cubic metres $0.92 per cubic metre $0.78 per cubic metre
3 40-80 cubic metres $0.92 per cubic metre $0.92 per cubic metre
4 over 80 cubic metres $0.92 per cubic metre $1.24 per cubic metre
3rd quarter surcharge $0.18 per cubic metre $0.00 per cubic metre

Note that 1 cubic metre = 1,000 litres or 264 US gallons
Note in 2010 the fixed 20 cubic metres was included in the base rate.

Commercial and industrial water cost will remain at $ 0.92 per cubic metre for all water use but the base and minimum fees are increased by 20%.

Agriculture rates will increase by 5%. Vacant Lot fees have increased from $31.77 to $66.20 per quarter.

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North Westside tapping into new water source
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - February 12, 2011

Some North Westside Road neighbourhoods are a step closer to a new water source.

On Thursday, the Central Okanagan Regional District board approved a $442,164 contract to build a control building, pumps and wells for a water system for Upper Fintry, Shaal Road and Valley of the Sun.

“I’m excited because it’s come in under budget,” said director Jim Edgson.

“Staff has been working diligently to get this project done.” (lol they have been working on it since 2007)

Maddocks Construction was the lowest of the eight bids received for the control building on Morden Road.

Residents have been pushing for a new water system for years because they currently don’t have a utility for domestic use or to meet fire flow requirements.

“They have been using wells if you can find them or other sources,” said Edgson of the current situation.

“The vast majority of them tank water in to their homes.”

In 2009, CORD received a petition from a sufficient number of property owners to proceed with the project.

“During the pre-design exercise, it was determined that the most cost-effective and efficient method of providing a water system was to drill two wells in the delta and pump up to the highest point of the subdivisions and then distribute the water to the properties from that point,” said Delphine Maja, senior engineering technologist, in a memo.

Construction of the new $5.9 million water system is expected to begin in the spring.

“The upper reservoir location has been secured by a statutory right-of-way and the distribution system design drawings are 90 per cent complete,” said Maja.

“A public meeting is currently being organized to update the property owners and residents of the progress to date.”

The project should be completed later this year.

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Okanagan directors say water act process is all wet
Vernon Morning Star - February 08, 2011

The province’s process for bringing in new legislation to replace the century-old water act is flawed, according to the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Instead of calling for feedback once a draft of the legislation is available to comment on, the province’s plan is to go directly from public feedback to drafting legislation, then to taking it to the legislature for approval.

Currently, the process is at the Water Sustainability Act policy proposal stage, having already gone through a public input process that resulted in draft options which aren’t specific. The next four steps to introduction of legislation are all at the government level, with no public feedback stage.

OBWB director Graeme James believed there would be time for its input on the draft legislation, and director James Baker agreed, saying they need details on which to comment, rather than just vague policy directions.

Director Toby Pike recalled that the parliamentary secretary for water stewardship, John Slater, committed to make time for feedback after the legislation was drafted.

For instance, at this point, there’s no definition of what’s meant by such terms as “conservation flows,” noted Pike.

Director Bernie Bauer suggested the board send a letter expressing strong support for the policy proposal, but expressing concern about the details of the actual legislation.

The letter will request that a period for public feedback on the draft legislation be allowed before it goes to the legislature for approval.

The province is calling for public feedback now on its blog on proposals for the new act at

http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/.

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Municipality acquiring water systems
Lake Country Calendar - February 01, 2011

The Lake Pine water system will be taken over and upgraded by the District of Lake Country, as the municipality continues to acquire privately owned utilities.

A loan through the Municipal Finance Authority was authorized at a recent Central Okanagan Regional District meeting to cover the initial cost of upgrading the Lake Pine private water utility.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker noted the Lake Pine utility serves close to 74 properties, and was put in by the developer.

The municipality is in the process of taking over the Woodsdale water system as well.

Baker said several studies have to be done before Woodsdale changes hands. The cost of upgrades to the water system is borne by the users.

The loan for the Lake Pine utility offers the users the ability to pay up front or over time.

“If more want to pay it over time, then the municipality borrows the funds from the Municipal Finance Authority,” Baker said, noting the upgrade costs are added to the taxes of the utility users.

Lake Country has taken over several private water systems over the years, including a utility that served 14 properties off Ponderosa Road.

Baker said the system was failing and property owners agreed to have the municipality take over.

A private water system at Coral Beach was also taken over by Lake Country, shortly after the incorporation of the municipality.

Baker pointed out there are two large systems still privately run, in the form of Alto Utilities and Eastside Utility.

Baker said the condition of some of the private water systems being acquired is poor, saying that most of the utilities were put in at the least cost possible, and maintenance does not always occur.

“Alto Utilities is still in pretty good shape, but it’s an older system.”

Baker pointed out that with new health regulations being brought in, the smaller systems will have trouble meeting standards.

He said private utilities can get deferment from filtration if they can show that they meet provincial guidelines and standards for water quality, but that deferment is not easily obtained.

Turbidity can be an issue with the health unit, he said, and water systems that draw on lake or surface sources usually have more colour in them.

Baker said turbid water does not necessarily contain pathogens, but water particulate can mask pathogens so that chlorine treatment cannot remove them. Groundwater sources usually provide a higher quality of water because they do not contain surface contaminants.

He noted that the provincial government is supposed to be the oversight for private utilities, and the municipality does not check up on them at all.

There are about 1,600 or more private utilities in B.C., and the province does not have the personnel or the capacity to oversee them.

Baker said the result is that private water systems fall behind in standards and maintenance.

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WATER RATES SOAR
Vernon Morning Star - January 29, 2011

Here we go again. Water rates could be going up 20 per cent — outrageous and ridiculous. Do they think we have a money tree in the back yard. If we did, we would not be able to afford it at this rate, it would die from lack of water as we could not afford it. The average family cannot afford anymore hikes in water-power-telephone and groceries as well as gas, etc. The seniors even less as they are on fixed income and barely meet their expenses as it is and they do not even get any raises.

This will only make people cut back on the usage of water and then what — another hike in cost to cover the shortfall. I think they put the horse before the cart. Money should be put aside for future expenses that are necessary such as our water and not wasted on frivolous items such as roundabouts, etc. The essentials for living should come first. Another thing, there will be closures for small businesses, such as underground sprinkler operators and irrigation, as there will be no work for them. Is the North Okanagan Regional District going to give them jobs to compensate their loss.? I think I can remember when the water meters were put in that we were told that our water bills would be less — what a laugh. All they do is go up and now this. I think many home owners and businesses will agree with this.

I. Walker

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IHA defends actions
Vernon Morning Star - January 29, 2011

This letter is written in response to the editorial from Jan. 8, “IHA Soaks Water Users”. The medical health officers employed by Interior Health are responsible for ensuring the safety of drinking water within the IH region, including communities in the North Okanagan. As such, it is important to address the inaccuracies of the editorial and to explain IH’s role and the expectations for drinking water treatment.

Several North Okanagan water systems are to be commended for making significant steps in catching up to other large water suppliers in the province. Some systems in the region have steadily invested and upgraded their infrastructures over the years to meet Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (CDWQG) and avoided what might appear to be large-step increases in water rates. These guidelines have been available since 1968 and have provided guidance to B.C. water system operators and governance bodies throughout this time in their planning activities. However, there remains an inconsistency between water operators, resulting in a health risk to users and visitors of these systems.

The editorial stated that “utilities are being forced into costly upgrades by the Interior Health Authority”, which implies Interior Health is arbitrarily expecting North Okanagan water suppliers to improve their infrastructure. This simply isn’t the case. It’s important for the public to know that all water suppliers in the province are expected to meet the requirements of the provincial Drinking Water Protection Act. This legislation also directs medical health officers in ensuring water suppliers meet the expectations of the act. Since the legislation was adopted in 2001, operators have been encouraged and expected to plan for and implement treatment improvements that will ensure consistency of the quality of drinking water supplied to the public. Those systems that have not met these requirements are still expected to do so, which includes some water operators in the North Okanagan.

The editorial also states “…local utilities will have no choice but to pass costs on to residents if the IHA gets its way.” Again, this is about water suppliers meeting a provincial standard. IH is accountable for ensuring the Drinking Water Protection Act is followed from a regulatory perspective.

We also actively support local governments in successfully accessing resources to assist in infrastructure improvements, recognizing the cost is passed on to water users. The past five years have seen the approval of more than 1,800 construction permits in our region for water systems valued near $500 million.

Contrary to what was stated in the editorial, the Interior has a notable history of waterborne outbreaks associated with systems with insufficient treatment and it is time to rectify this. As reported by the provincial health officer, currently only about three-quarters of B.C. residents have access to water that meets the CDWQG.

Other provinces have better records for compliance with the guidelines. Residents of the region expect that the water coming out of their taps is safe and reliable, and that the minimum expectations are achieved.

It is the role of staff of Interior Health to ensure this is the case and to support water systems in meeting these minimum expectations.

Dr. Paul Hasselback

Dr. Andrew Larder

Dr. Robert Parker

Dr. Peter Barss

Medical Health Officers

Interior Health Health

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Loan helps Lake Country take over water system
Vernon Morning Star - January 29, 2011

The Lake Pine water system will be taken over and upgraded by the District of Lake Country, as the municipality continues to acquire privately owned utilities.

A loan through the Municipal Finance Authority was authorized at a recent Central Okanagan Regional District meeting to cover the initial cost of upgrading the Lake Pine private water utility.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker noted the Lake Pine utility serves close to 74 properties, and was put in by the developer.

The municipality is in the process of taking over the Woodsdale water system as well.

Baker said several studies have to be done before Woodsdale changes hands. The cost of upgrades to the water system is borne by the users.

The loan for the Lake Pine utility offers the users the ability to pay up front or over time.

“If more want to pay it over time, then the municipality borrows the funds from the Municipal Finance Authority,” Baker said, noting the upgrade costs are added to the taxes of the utility users.

Lake Country has taken over several private water systems over the years, including a utility that served 14 properties off Ponderosa Road.

Baker said the system was failing and property owners agreed to have the municipality take over.

A private water system at Coral Beach was also taken over by Lake Country, shortly after the incorporation of the municipality.

Baker pointed out there are two large systems still privately run, in the form of Alto Utilities and Eastside Utility.

Baker said the condition of some of the private water systems being acquired is poor, saying that most of the utilities were put in at the least cost possible, and maintenance does not always occur.

“Alto Utilities is still in pretty good shape, but it’s an older system.”

Baker pointed out that with new health regulations being brought in, the smaller systems will have trouble meeting standards.

He said private utilities can get deferment from filtration if they can show that they meet provincial guidelines and standards for water quality, but that deferment is not easily obtained.

Turbidity can be an issue with the health unit, he said, and water systems that draw on lake or surface sources usually have more colour in them.

Baker said turbid water does not necessarily contain pathogens, but water particulate can mask pathogens so that chlorine treatment cannot remove them. Groundwater sources usually provide a higher quality of water because they do not contain surface contaminants.

He noted that the provincial government is supposed to be the oversight for private utilities, and the municipality does not check up on them at all.

There are about 1,600 or more private utilities in B.C., and the province does not have the personnel or the capacity to oversee them.

Baker said the result is that private water systems fall behind in standards and maintenance.

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Water rate process draws fire
Vernon Morning Star - By Jennifer Smith - January 25, 2011

A proposed hike in regional water rates continues to make waves in Coldstream.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has proposed a 20 per cent increase in water rates for the average single-family home.

Coldstream politicians say the rushed time line GVAC follows to come up with the rates is unfair and deserves more time and attention.

“This process of just throwing it on the table and everybody scrambling is not fair to the utility users,” said Coun. Doug Dirk.

“It’s complex and it needs to be worked on and given some thought.”

As a result, Coldstream is requesting that a committee be formed to give adequate attention to the issue of water rates.

The actual rate itself is getting a mixed reaction from councillors.

“I don’t think the $66 per quarter fee is an inordinate amount to pay,” said Coun. Maria Besso of the proposed new base fee (which is up from $50, but does not include the initial use of 20 cubic metres).

“Based on my water bill my rates would go up 26 per cent, but if I reduced my water consumption by 70 cubic metres I’d be back to what I paid last year,” said Besso of the incentive to use less water.

Dirk sees the hike in the base fee as an access charge that is necessary to ensure water is at hand for residents.

“The fact that water is available to you has a certain cost,” said Dirk.

Mayor Jim Garlick, who is also a GVAC director, says the hike is needed to pay for projects started this year.

There will also be a need to borrow $4 million next year to complete the Swan Lake separation from Goose Lake.

He understands that there is a need to fund projects, but Coun. Gyula Kiss isn’t happy with how the funds are being collected.

“It puts the burden on the very low users and generally the lowest users are the ones with the lowest incomes,” said Kiss, as the model doesn’t reward those who are already using less water.

“It shouldn’t be put on the backs of the low-income families.”

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Water Act process draws debate
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - January 22, 2011

Potential changes to water regulations in B.C. are raising concerns in the North Okanagan.

The North Okanagan Regional District board has asked staff to investigate the possible impact of the province’s modernization of the B.C. Water Act.

“It could have a dramatic effect on all jurisdictions,” said director Will Hansma.

The Water Act, which was established in 1909, dictates use of provincial water resources.

“With changes in climate, population, and water use, it is now time to review the act to address new pressures on water,” states a government website.

“Modernizing the Water Act is not about fixing something that is broken. Instead it is about recognizing that the context and foundation upon which the Water Act was built was very different 100 years ago.”

The government plans to regulate groundwater use in certain areas, and that is a concern for Hansma.

“If municipalities draw from wells and streams, there will be a significant impact on budgets because treatment facilities will have to deal with well water,” he said.

Beyond municipalities, Hansma says treatment costs could become onerous for small, rural utilities.

“We need to know how this will affect us as a region.”

There is also some concern that the provincial government could cancel licenses communities require to access water from lakes and creeks.

“We have the new Duteau Creek treatment plant worth $30 million and they could come along and say your license has ended,” said director Mike Macnabb.

There is a limited timeline to provide feedback to the government so NORD staff will report back to the board Feb. 2.

“We need to stand shoulder to shoulder on this because we’ll all be impacted by the requirements from government,” said Hansma.

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Public input sought for Water Act modernization
Keremeos Review - January 25, 2011

Environment Minister Murray Coell is inviting British Columbians to be part of the conversation on a proposed new Water Sustainability Act during the next phase of Water Act modernization.

In December 2010, the ministry released a policy proposal on a new Water Sustainability Act for British Columbia. The proposed new act would replace the existing century-old Water Act and ensure that the use and management of water is sustainable for current and future generations.

The Living Water Smart blog (http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/) will be the focus of this phase of engagement on the proposed act. During the next five weeks, the Ministry of Environment encourages British Columbians to get involved on the blog, where there will be a number of successive posts about the proposed new act. Participants can submit comments on the blog, as well as pose and rank questions that are most important to them and their communities.

Modernizing the Water Act is an essential part of Living Water Smart: B.C.’s Water Plan, the B.C. government’s vision and plan to keep the province’s water healthy and secure for the future.

To view the Policy Proposal on British Columbia’s New Water Sustainability Act, please visit:

.pdf icon http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/water-act/docs/wam_wsa-policy-proposal.pdf

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Vernon water rates on the rise
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 59626 - Jan 22, 2011

The Regional District of North Okanagan - Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) has undertaken a preliminary review of Increasing Block Water Rates.

This is a system where there is an escalating charge for increasing amounts of water consumption in each of the four quarters in a year. Increasing Block Water Rates encourage water conservation because those customers using larger amounts of water pay more.

The GVAC has also recommended that the quarterly Base Fee be increased from $50.17 per quarter in 2010 to $66.20 per quarter for 2011.

For 2011, it is proposed that the quarterly Base Fee shall not include the initial consumption of 20 cubic metres of water as was the case in 2010.

The implementation of higher Base Water Rates is to ensure an adequate fixed income to operate the water utility.

The fixed costs to operate the utility are in the order of 80% of the total operating costs, therefore an increase to the fixed revenue will enable more effective operation of the water utility.

Commercial and industrial users will see similar increases while agricultural rates are proposed to increase 5%.

The Board of Directors for the Regional District of North Okanagan will be considering these recommendations in their budget deliberations which must be completed by March 31, 2011.

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Lake Pine water utility acquired
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - January 18, 2011

The Lake Pine water system will be taken over and upgraded by the district of Lake Country, as the municipality continues to acquire privately owned utilities.

A loan through the Municipal Finance Authority was authorized at the Regional District of Central Okanagan board meeting Jan. 13 to cover the initial cost of upgrading the Lake Pine private water utility. Lake Country Mayor James Baker noted the Lake Pine utility serves close to 74 properties, and was put in by the developer.

The municipality is in the process of taking over the Woodsdale water system as well. Baker said several studies have to be done before Woodsdale changes hands. The cost of upgrades to the water system is borne by the users.

The loan for the Lake Pine utility offers the users the ability to pay up front or over time. “If more want to pay it over time, then the municipality borrows the funds from the Municipal Finance Authority,” Baker said, noting the upgrade costs are added to the taxes of the utility users.

The municipality of Lake Country has taken over several private water systems over the years, including a utility that served 14 properties off Ponderosa Road. Baker said the system was failing and property owners agreed to have the municipality take over.

A private water system at Coral Beach was also taken over by Lake Country, shortly after the incorporation of the municipality. Baker pointed out there are two large systems still privately run, in the form of Alto Utilities and Eastside Utility.

Baker said the condition of some of the private water systems being acquired is poor, saying that most of the utilities were put in at the least cost possible, and maintenance does not always occur.

“Alto Utilities is still in pretty good shape, but it’s an older system.”

Baker pointed out that with new health regulations being brought in, the smaller systems will have trouble meeting standards. He said private utilities can get deferment from filtration if they can show that they meet provincial guidelines and standards for water quality, but that deferment is not easily obtained.

Turbidity can be an issue with the health unit, he said, and water systems that draw on lake or surface sources usually have more colour in them. Baker said turbid water does not necessarily contain pathogens, but water particulate can mask pathogens so that chlorine treatment cannot remove them. Groundwater sources usually provide a higher quality of water because they do not contain surface contaminants.

He noted that the provincial government is supposed to be the oversight for private utilities, and the municipality does not check up on them at all.

There are about 1,600 or more private utilities in B.C., and the province does not have the personnel or the capacity to oversee them. Baker said the result is that private water systems fall behind in standards and maintenance.

msimmons "at" kelownacapnews.com

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IHA soaks water users
Vernon Morning Star - January 08, 2011

Water is the source of life, but it also leads to a lot of money being flushed away.

Residents of Greater Vernon could see utility rates climb between 23.6 and 103 per cent in 2011, while hikes are looming in Whitevale, Mabel Lake and Silver Star. Fees could jump a staggering 82 per cent in Grindrod.

And the one common denominator is utilities are being forced into costly upgrades by the Interior Health Authority, which brings no money to the table to fund the infrastructure.

One has to question if IHA is actually driven by public safety or the need to simply reduce its own liability in the off chance someone gets sick from drinking water?

Based on the fact that people have been drinking from local water sources for decades, and no major outbreaks have occurred, it appears demands for improved infrastructure are bureaucratic in nature.

New financial models may help reduce the burden on rates, but at the end of the day, local utilities will have no choice but to pass costs on to residents if the IHA gets its way.

And given that most residents are already conscious of water use — one just has to look at the brown lawns in the summer — there is little room to keep individual bills down. You need to drink water, you need to bathe, you need to wash clothes and dishes. Water is going to get used no matter what the price is.

As communities big and small continue to struggle with onerous regulations, it’s time for the provincial government to review the actions of health authorities.

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Water – not a drop to spare?
Keremeos Review - January 04, 2011

Studies show that Similkameen residents do not take water for granted.

“It’s your valley. It’s your river. It’s your water. You have choices,” says Keremeos Mayor Walter Despot. “Just look at the prairies, they’re out of water now. The Okanagan is in trouble with their water. At the moment the Similkameen Valley does not have a problem but at some date we will unless we understand more about our water basin, the usage and demands on it.”

RDOS Director Area “H” and Chair of the Similkameen Valley Planning Society (SVPS), Brad Hope agrees, “We really need to get a handle on what we’re dealing with or we can do what so many other jurisdictions have done and wait until we have a problem. It’s much more economical to avoid the problem.”

Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Rob Edwards echoes the need to be proactive, “We need to make sure we have enough water especially when there’s residential and industrial development. It’s always a concern for the band. The more development, the less water we have.”

Despot, Hope and Edwards are all key players in the SVPS which is starting to explore ways to ensure sustainable water for the valley.

The SVPS is an important organization that unites all seven jurisdictions within the valley: The municipalities of Keremeos and Princeton, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, the Upper Similkameen Indian Band and Electoral Areas “B” “G” and “H” of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

The SVPS recently commissioned two projects to further understand the Similkameen Valley and the needs and wishes of its residents.

The first project, Amenity Migration in the Similkameen Valley, showed clearly that the main reasons residents choose to live in this valley are clean air, water and the natural environment.

The second project, the Sustainable Similkameen Project, included a panel of volunteers drawn from all sectors, ages and areas of the valley, sustainable planning consultants and several consultation meetings with the public. The project united the valley in its mandate to identify priorities for protecting and enhancing its important socio-cultural, economic and environmental benefits.

The number one priority was clearly identified as water.

“What’s really important is that it’s not a single area, it’s the entire watershed from Manning Park and Tulameen to Chopaka. Every area affects the other in terms of usage and contamination. It’s important to tie all areas together,” says Hope.

True to its word, the SVPS has been working hard to follow through with the results of the Sustainable Similkameen Project. At the end of August a Similkameen Water Planning Workshop was held in Princeton where government and first nation representatives and experts in water planning shared their expertise.

Currently, Director Hope is talking with the Provincial Minister of Community and Cultural Development and looking to secure funding to hire a water consultant with the aim of developing a strategy and water program for the entire watershed. Fortis has already promised $5,000 towards the required $15,000.

As with the Sustainable Similkameen Project, the SVPS wants ideas from the public, especially on how to move forward with a Similkameen basin water project.

“We need an inventory of the water we have,” stressed Despot. “In my opinion, we have to monitor wells in the valley. In 10-15 years, we’ll have a very good historical footprint.”

These are the beginning stages of this important water project. The SVPS is seeking public input regarding water: What are the priorities? How should we advance the water project? How can the valley can work together to ensure a sustainable water source? Any other comments? Please submit ideas to the SVPS via email at similkameen "at" nethop.net or by phone 250-499-5255 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm: Keremeos Info Centre).

The final reports on Amenity Migration in the Similkameen and the Strategy for a Sustainable Similkameen Valley are available online at www.rdos.bc.ca/ssp (under documents) and copies can be read at the offices of the Village of Keremeos office and Town of Princeton.

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West Bench says no
Castanet.net - by Grant Scott - Story: 58873 - Dec 13, 2010

The West Bench area of Penticton has said no to joining the City of Penticton’s water supply.

Residents voted Saturday in a referendum to decide which way the West Bench Irrigation District would go in dealing with the required repairs and upgrades to the water system.

With 247 voting no, a clear majority were against the proposal. Only 154 said yes and there was one spoiled ballot, but the no vote does not spare residents from a cost increase.

Instead, the district will now have to go ahead on their own.

Faced with aging infrastructure and repairs, Theresa Nolet, Chair of the board for the West Bench Irrigation District, said "We will now hire a an engineer to determine what needs to be done first and get some cost estimates so we can begin budgeting for those things."

One of the first steps they will look into is the lowering of the water intake pipe so the system can access a deeper part of the lake.

"This will help limit the number of turbidity warnings we get in the spring."

It wasn't just cost that led to the no vote however.

Nolet said "There were a number of issues with the proposal from the City of Penticton."

Those issues included West Bench residents paying 10% more than current Penticton water users and no longer having any official representation on the Penticton Irrigation District's board.

"We went back to the city and told them we thought that the 10% and a few other issues were going to create a no vote and they still proceeded." said Nolet.

With a yes vote, residents would also have had to face a levy of $755 a year, pay the cost of the required water meters, and also pay for consumption.

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Opinion poll shows fresh water supply a concern in B.C.
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - November 25, 2010

B.C. residents do care about their fresh water, not only for drinking, but also for wildlife and for agriculture—but most are unaware that the province has embarked on a rewrite of the Water Act.

A phone poll of 835 B.C. residents shows that 86 per cent of ordinary people, selected at random, feel fresh water is extremely important to prosperity and quality of life, with another 12 per cent rating it at fairly important; and 91 per cent agreed that it is B.C.’s most precious resource.

The poll was conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund and the Vancouver Foundation, to assess public support for Water Act modernization in B.C.

The poll’s results reinforce the work being done by the Okanagan Basin Water Board, concludes its executive-director, Anna Warwick Sears.

Governments at all levels should be aware of the support amongst people in the community for changes to infrastructure to improve water quality and quantity; protection of water and water conservation projects, she noted.

Obviously, she said, investment in human resources in the area of water management is the right thing to do; particularly a combination of smart people and smart equipment.

Diagnostics such as water monitoring equipment are just as important in watersheds as diagnostic equipment is in hospitals, she added.

The survey results indicated that even in times of water scarcity, people believe the top priority (after drinking water) should be water for survival of natural species and aquatic life such as salmon, at 45 per cent; and agricultural production, at 38 per cent.

Nature came out on top in a question about people’s concern about the impact of water shortages in the next decade, with 54 per cent very concerned about habitat for aquatic life like salmon and trout, 38 per cent very concerned about groundwater levels, 31 per cent very concerned about conflicts over access to water and 29 per cent about food and agricultural production.

In fact, nature should be a priority in managing water use, according to 72 per cent, while jobs and the economy should be tops according to 20 per cent.

Of the four geographic areas of the province, those of us in the southern interior were the most concerned about the impact of water shortages in the coming decade, particularly for fish, in groundwater levels and for outdoor recreation.

The majority of respondents, about two-thirds, feel that current rules governing water use in B.C. are not enough to ensure the future sustainability of the resource, while about a quarter feel the current rules are adequate.

A whopping 84 per cent did not realize that the province is in the middle of a Water Act modernization process

Tony Maas, director, freshwater program for WWF Canada, said he hopes the survey results encourage the government to carry on with the Water Act reforms it is working on, with priorities for the environment and agriculture, as the survey indicated people want.

The survey shows government what’s on the minds of people in B.C., but the message is not only for the province, but also its citizens. They should understand the issues, he commented.

The question of whether water should be supplied based on a system of First in Time, First in Right (FITFIR) should be discussed more, as should be legal protection, such as in a reserve, for water for the environment and for agriculture, he said.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Disagreement on need to adopt secondary suite bylaw
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - November 23, 2010

Added drain on already scarce water in Joe Rich was at the heart of a regional district debate over rules around secondary suites in the area.

When updating the Joe Rich rural land use bylaw to include greenhouse gas emission reduction targets mandated by the province, the Central Okanagan Regional District board directors debated two other additions at their Nov. 22 meeting.

One was that consideration of secondary suites be allowed on rural lots. The other was that development of small RV parks on agricultural land be restricted.

Central Okanagan East director Kelly Hayes said area residents are not in favour of dealing with secondary suites.

He pointed out the policy was brought up by his predecessor over concerns not seen in Joe Rich today.

“It certainly doesn’t indicate we’re being bombarded with illegal secondary suites by any stretch of the imagination.”

Hayes said the major concern that does need to be addressed is the sustainability of the Joe Rich aquifer. Potential population increases from secondary suites would create additional drain on the scarce resource.

Director Sharon Shepherd noted if someone reports a potential illegal suite in Joe Rich, bylaw enforcement would be sent to the home. She said it was going backwards by not having the bylaw option as a tool.

Shepherd pointed out representatives have all been made aware there are illegal suites throughout their communities, and a bylaw gives them the option of having suites brought up to building code standards.

Director Doug Findlater pointed out West Kelowna has had a stream of complaints around secondary suites following their incorporation three years ago. There are believed to be between 1,000 and 2,000 illegal suites in the district of West Kelowna.

A recently adopted amnesty period for illegal suites on the Westside has brought close to 250 applications to have suites legalized. Findlater added the suites are essentially unregulated and unlicensed.

“The way to deal with that is to actually bring legislation into place so you can actually do something about it.”

Central Okanagan West director Jim Edgson noted that during suite applications, it has to be proven whether or not there’s enough water to support them.

“There’s nothing saying right now we have to approve those suites as a board.”

Hayes agreed the board can deny individual applications, but added the board bases its decision on staff recommendations, which in his experience are based on precedent.

“All we need is one suite to appear before this board and the precedent is set.”

He pointed out there is no science to back up the idea that there is enough water for Joe Rich to expand.

He suggested the board re-examine secondary suite legislation after receiving the results of a study on the aquifer.

Director Angela Reid said if people wanted a secondary suite, they probably have one already.

She pointed out the additional living spaces are untaxed, which means additional infrastructure costs are unfairly carried by a sector of area residents.

“For the people in that area now, they’re paying that extra burden.”

Reid added she would be in favour of allowing secondary suites on properties if they were reviewed by both neighbours and the regional district board.

Director Duane Ophus said he understood the concerns, but thought it important to bring the bylaw into conformity with the rest of the regional district.

“It would be a lot easier for us looking at the whole regional district on the same basis.”

Director Charlie Hodge said the guidelines behind secondary suites are there to make sure there is protection for the people living in them. “What you see right now in Kelowna and West Kelowna are a lot of suites with health issues, safety issues.”

Hodge recognized there is a desire to keep the small, rural feel in Joe Rich. He added that not looking at secondary suites opens the door for people to have illegal ones and not have any protection at all.

He said a decision to have a bylaw around suites is not necessarily going to trigger a huge amount of people going out and applying for them.

The board voted to remove a secondary suite policy from the motion. Policies on greenhouse gas emissions and RV parks were adopted into the bylaw, with Hodge, Ophus and James in opposition.

msimmons "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Okanagan professor warns against water pollution
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - November 16, 2010

Hans Schreier spoke about the need to reduce the level of pollution for both underground and surface water in B.C. at the Building Sustainable Communities conference in Kelowna on Tuesday.
Judie Steeves/Capital News

There’s a lot we should be doing to reduce the many ways we pollute both underground aquifers and surface water in B.C., according to Hans Schreier, a professor at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability.

He was speaking at the Building Sustainable Communities conference at the Delta Grand in Kelowna Tuesday on Water Pollution in B.C.: an Overview.

From the natural pollution caused when a landslide uncovers arsenic or asbestos that gets into water supplies downstream, to pharmaceuticals and sediments caused by human land uses, there are many sources of pollution, he told delegates.

While every other country has regulations regarding water quality, Canada only has guidelines, he noted.

Agriculture and urbanization are two of the most controversial causes of pollution of our water, he said.

However, forestry and mining also affect water quality. Although we regulate each of those uses, they never talk to each other, even though most watersheds are multi-use, he said. As well as individual contaminants, there are the impacts of combinations of them, which could be production of an entirely new contaminant.

Regarding groundwater, Schreier warned that it can be contaminated by any land use, but unconfined aquifers are much more vulnerable than confined ones, which have an impervious layer to protect them.

Coring will help to determine the character of the sub-strate, so decisions can be made about what land uses are safe for that aquifer within its recharge zone. Sand and gravel soils allow faster infiltration to an aquifer than clay, for instance.

Aquifer vulnerability maps should be created to show where an aquifer is sensitive to what kinds of land uses. It’s particularly important to protect the capture zone of an aquifer from contamination from septic systems and oil wells, for instance, he said.

Nitrates are a good indicator of the health of an aquifer. The most contaminants affect shallow wells, particularly in agricultural areas. However, nitrates will also indicate the health of water in a bottle, he noted, but federal food (not water) regulations apply to bottled water, so you will learn by reading the label that there is no fat in bottled water—not how much nitrate is in it.

The fact is, some large and well-known bottled water companies provide water containing nitrates, he said, which is an indication that there is some impact on the supply that is contaminating it.

Another problem, particularly in farming areas, is the surplus nutrients applied to the land, on hobby farms, commercial farms and from septic systems.

Animals generate more nitrates than people.

“We can figure out where we’re generating surplus nitrates and correct that,” he pointed out.

That would help protect water quality both in aquifers and in surface water. In some areas, we’re producing masses of surplus nitrates, he warned.

As well, there are more and more antibiotics being fed to farm animals and these are leaching into water supplies, he warned.

We need to start looking at which aquifers are confined and which are unconfined, so we can put more protections in place around those that are unconfined, he said.

We need to control pollutants at the source, seal well heads, control livestock inputs to water, control the density of septic systems and minimize industrial activities to protect groundwater sources.

For surface water, protection of wetlands is a huge value, but maintaining biodiversity and reducing pollution, adding buffer strips and wetlands, controlling stocking density, controlling erosion and detaining and providing opportunities for storm water to infiltrate instead of running off are all important, he said.

The conference continues this week through Thursday.

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City of Kelowna Water Providers

BMID Black Mountain Irrigation District
CITY City of Kelowna
GEID Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District
RWD Rutland Waterworks District
SEKID South East Kelowna Irrigation District

Source - City of Kelowna's map viewer

http://www.kelowna.ca/CM/page938.aspx

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Irrigation districts to be hounoured
Castanet.net - by Castanet Staff - Story: 58189 - Nov 11, 2010

After nearly 150 years of combined service to Westside residents, the Westbank and Lakeview Irrigation Districts will close their doors on December 31.

Their operations and assets will be transferred to the District of West Kelowna, as required by the Letters Patent issued by the Provincial Government at the time of municipality’s incorporation.

Mayor Doug Findlater says it is appropriate for West Kelowna to give these utilities a proper goodbye and show appreciation before they become a part of municipal operations on January 1.

The municipality will hold a public open house on Tuesday, November 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Westbank Lions Hall, with a special presentation to be held at 7 p.m.

Mayor Findlater says this celebratory event serves as the perfect opportunity to honour the irrigation districts’ histories, recognize their many accomplishments and welcome them into the West Kelowna family.

“For many, a lot of emotion surrounds the dissolution of the irrigation districts, which was a provincial decision that arose from the community’s decision to incorporate in 2007," says Findlater.

"One can’t simply close the doors on these organizations without recognizing all the services the irrigation districts have provided and the investment that employees, boards of trustees and customers have poured into these utilities for so many decades.”

The Westbank Irrigation District has been a part of the community since 1922 and the Lakeview Irrigation District since 1951. In addition to providing water to homes, businesses and farms, Westbank Irrigation District operated a cemetery and Lakeview Irrigation District managed recreational properties including Anders Park, Issler Park and the Lakeview Heights Women’s Institute Hall, which was later named Lakeview Heights Community Hall.

Both utilities also built significant infrastructure over the years, including major works within the past decade. The Westbank utility completed the state of the art Powers Creek Treatment Plant in 2007 and added an ultraviolet disinfection system in 2009 at a combined cost of $18 million. In 2005, the Lakeview utility raised the level of the Bighorn Reservoir for $1.5 million.

“These projects and services only begin to tell the story about these two organizations, which is why it is appropriate to hold an event in recognition of all their accomplishments. It’s also a time to recognize the continuing evolution of local government from irrigation district, to regional district to municipality."

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Customers tap into treated water
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 21, 2010

Al Cotsworth (left), utility manager, explains the treatment process to Herman Halvorson, North Okanagan Regional District chairman.

Years of debate, planning and construction came to a successful end for Greater Vernon residents Monday.

At 8 a.m., treated water started flowing from the Duteau Creek plant and into lines that connect to customers in Coldstream, Vernon and the BX.

“We’ve proven out the chemical mixtures and equipment,” said Sandy Edwards, plant manager, of the six weeks of testing that occurred.

“By the end of the week, people should see a big reduction in colour.”

The goal of the $29.2 million facility on Whitevale Road is to address concerns about the colour of the Duteau source and turbidity (cloudiness).

“The health of the community is important and water is a significant thing. This helps the health of the community,” said Wayne Lippert, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee chairman.

Duteau Creek supplies 60 per cent of the water required in Greater Vernon.

Construction began 18 months ago, and the plant can treat 160 million litres of water per day, with a total capacity of 10 million litres in two chambers.

“The system is automated and everything is duplicated so if something goes down, there’s backup,” said Edwards.

The plant is designed to reduce the colour from 50 to below five true colour units (TCU) 95 per cent of the time. In comparison, Kalamalka Lake is six TCU and the Canadian Drinking Water Guideline is 15 TCU.

It is also expected the facility will decrease turbidity — clay, silt and plankton — by half.

“This should reduce boil water advisories. The only time you may see one is when there is large runoff or a rain storm,” said Lippert.

Discussions about a treatment plant began years ago, and the project, and how to fund it, became a priority for the North Okanagan Regional District.

“We went to the premier’s office in 2006 and it was a unanimous decision among directors that we needed the treatment plant,” said Herman Halvorson, NORD chairman.

“It was a very co-operative approach. It (treatment) was badly needed.”

Of the $29.2 million, $10.3 million came from the federal gas tax and $3.3 million was from the municipal rural infrastructure fund.

The remainder was generated through water utility fees, which placed a burden on customers. However, Lippert says extending the cost over a number of years was better than all at once.

“We have been paying towards it but it’s a big dollar item, not just to build it but to operate it,” he said.

The next stage for NORD is to start planning for filtration, which has been ordered by the Interior Health Authority by 2015.

“That’s another costly project with capital costs of $20 million and operating costs will be huge. We have to work with IHA to determine what the need really is,” said Lippert.

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Feeling hosed
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 21, 2010

I turned on the tap Monday night and crisp, clear water filled the glass right to the rim.

Not that I ever had many complaints about what I was getting before, but bringing the Duteau Creek treatment plant on stream earlier in the day made a huge difference.

That’s good considering the amount of money Greater Vernon utility customers have been paying over the years. Officials will argue that a pot of cash had to build up before construction of the $29 million facility could begin, but not seeing anything tangible except high water rates became frustrating for many.

Unfortunately, though, the pain isn’t over yet.

North Okanagan Regional District staff and politicians are already bracing us for a projected $20 million to install filtration because the Interior Health Authority has demanded it be in place by 2015.

“That cost is outrageous after what we just spent. All we’ve done is spend money, money, money on water,” said director Jack Gilroy after hearing staff’s report about the next stage to come.

“I don’t know where we’re supposed to get $20 million. The taxpayer is tapped out.”

Obviously we all want assurances that our drinking water is safe, but it’s too easy for IHA and the provincial government to exert financial pressure on communities when they bring virtually no monetary assistance to the table.

Yes, there was $16.6 million in federal and provincial grants for the Duteau Creek treatment plant, but that was peanuts compared to the burden carried by local water users. Also keep in mind that as taxpayers, we contributed towards those government funds so generously provided.

If Greater Vernon’s ability to pay for a treatment plant and filtration is put to the test, how are smaller communities across the North Okanagan going to cope? Will utilities in Spallumcheen, Falkland, Lumby or Kingfisher be bankrupted when IHA comes knocking on the door with demands for enhanced systems? Will the price tag force some of them to ignore the work, praying no one gets sick from the water?

Talk to many local politicians off the record and they speculate that the push for water improvements has little to do with public safety and more to do with senior government and health boards trying to protect their own backends.

Ever since the water-related deaths in Walkerton, Ont. in 2000, reducing liability has become the name of the game. As a result, creeks and lakes that have supplied water to Okanagan families for 100 years all of a sudden are a breeding ground for an assortment of nasty bugs.

Victoria and Ottawa will cry poverty and say they don’t have the financial resources to take on aging water systems, but when you consider the billions of stimulus dollars that have gone to arenas, pools and bailing out entire segments of the economy, there is money out there.

Instead of taking responsibility for their own water quality and health standards, senior government downloads on to municipalities, regional districts and irrigation districts who have no choice but to pass the bill on to customers.

Turning on the tap to newly treated Duteau Creek water is still a treat, but thinking about what’s to come just leaves me feeling hosed.

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BWN lifted for Killiney Beach system
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 57006 - Sep 20, 2010

A Boil Water Advisory has been lifted for residents served by the Regional District of Central Okanagan Killiney Beach water system.

Tests of water samples from the system over the past three days have shown no water quality or safety concerns.

The Killiney Beach system serves approximately 270 customers in the North Westside Road area.

A Boil Water notice was issued last Thursday afternoon as a precaution after a solenoid malfunctioned causing the chlorination system to shut down.

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Taking the pressure of watering
Kelowna Capital News - September 23, 2010

A new resource is now available for people interested in conserving water used on landscapes.

The new UnH2O Garden, created by the Okanagan Xeriscape Association over the past year at Kelowna’s H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre on Gordon Drive, officially opens today.

Temporary fencing that enclosed the garden while it was being created will come down so the public can meander along the pathways and learn more about plants that require very little or no irrigation, even in this near-desert environment.

This 4,000 square foot demonstration xeriscape garden is laid out in five theme areas: a Mediterranean Garden, two Rock Gardens, a Butterfly Garden, Native Plant Garden and an Ornamental Grass Garden. “The goal of this public garden is to show the beauty and versatile range of garden styles that can be achieved using xeriscape principles,” explained Gwen Steele, executive-director of the OXA.

“The garden’s colour and texture will evolve with the seasons and also as the plants grow and mature in the coming years, so people will see something quite different each time they return to visit,” she adds.

The garden was created largely by volunteers, but with financial support from the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s water conservation grant program, Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding program and the City of Kelowna. The local landscape industry partnered with the OXA to build the garden.

“We are proud to support community groups across British Columbia like the Okanagan Xeriscape Association,” said Canada’s environment minister Jim Prentice.

“We encourage all Canadians to take action on biodiversity as every action, large or small, can help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage.”

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan added: “During this important International Year of Biodiversity, I am pleased that the federal government is able to support a worthwhile project such as this Okanagan xeriscape gardening project.

“This demonstration garden will enhance public awareness on gardening and water usage and provide training in xeriscaping to local residents, garden clubs and businesses interested in decreasing water use.”

The OBWB’s Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Study, released this spring, reported that 24 per cent of water used in the valley is for outdoor domestic use, predominantly irrigating landscapes, compared to indoor domestic use, at seven per cent.

The OXA is committed to help people reduce that water use, with such tools as this new demonstration garden and a website with tips and advice about planting around your home. There is also a detailed database of plant varieties which thrive on less water, including photos. It’s at: www.okanaganxeriscape.org

Steele conducts classes in xeriscape techniques in the spring and fall, with discounts for OXA members. Details of class dates and a membership form are also available on the website.

She said she hopes the garden will inspire people to create their own xeriscapes. Those who do should consider entering their efforts in the 2011 unH20 Gardening Contest for residential landscapes.

There will be three $500 cash prizes for the best large xeriscaped landscape; the best small one; and a draw from all contest entries. Entrants must submit before and after photographs of their landscape and incorporate the seven principles of xeriscape. Entries will be judged in September 2011.

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Water research taps into NORD funding
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 02, 2010

Some North Okanagan taxpayers will be funding research into water sources.

North Okanagan Regional District directors from Greater Vernon, Armstrong and Spallumcheen have agreed to provide $19,300 annually over five years for a regional innovation chair in water resources and ecosystem management at the University of B.C.

“This is an opportunity for an independent resource to the regional district,” said John Trainor, Armstrong director.

Full support also came from Vernon director Patrick Nicol, saying that issues surrounding water quality and supply are critical.

“This is about the long-term, the future,” he said.

Through contributions from NORD and the valley’s other two regional districts, the Okanagan Basin Water Board will be able to provide $500,000 towards the Kelowna-based position.

Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB executive director, insists there is a need for water-related research.

“There is a lot of understanding of what the problems are in the Okanagan but the question is how to address them,” she said.

Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Vernon, Coldstream, BX-Swan Lake and BX-Silver Star are the only NORD jurisdictions funding the program because they are in the Okanagan drainage basin.

The other communities in NORD are part of the Shuswap drainage system.

The provincial government has provided $1.25 million to the research chair at UBC in Kelowna, and funding is also coming from other sources such as the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.

Among the issues the research will tackle are climate change and population growth. Work could also revolve around water allocation, the role of agriculture and governance of water.

“Regional governments are mandated to find solutions to these problems and that’s where we think we can help,” said Doug Owram, deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus.

“We want to do research that is regionally relevant but nationally and internationally important.”

John Janmaat, an economist, has been nominated as the chair of the program.

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COST OF LAND FOR VALLEY OF THE SUN WATER SYSTEM RESERVOIR

On August 31, 2010 Harold Reay Chief Administrative Office from RDCO finally let us know what the land for the water reservoir at Valley of the Sun is going to cost everyone.  Harold Reay said that the property owner who is only providing an easement for the reservoir and not selling land to RDCO will be receiving a free hookup to the water system.  We asked Harold Reay if this means that the property owners who are giving up an easement won't have to pay the $17,500 cost to build the water system, and he said yes that they won't have to pay the $17,500.  Sounds like they will have to pay for user and maintenance fees though.

So in other words property owners have another $17,500 added to the total cost of the water system to share in paying for it.  This means for the 341 property owners the easement for the reservoir would cost $51.32 to each property owner.

------------------------------------------

On October 2, 2010 in talking to one of the neighbours at Valley of the Sun, he said he was told different by the land owner.  He said isn't it public knowledge and would not elaborate.... what a friggen jerk.  Especially after telling him all about the new information that we just received from the Ministry of Community and Rural Development because he doesn't have the internet.  That will be the last time we tell him anything again and as a matter of fact we won't even talk to him anymore period.

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WATER RATES
Vernon Morning Star - August 31, 2010

I received our second quarterly bill for water consumption and it showed our household used 12.5 cubic metres from April 1 to the end of June.

During he previous three-month period, we used 15.5 cubic metres, for a six-month total of 28 cubic metres We were expected to use 40 cubic metres in that same period, so we conserved 12 cubic metres of water, more than half of a three-month allotment. We get this water conservation concept.

However, we paid for 40 cubic metres, or put another way, we paid 30 per cent more for that water than a customer who used 40 cubic metres.

It sure pays to conserve.

When I received our first bill, I went to the NORD office and spoke with Al Cotsworth and he told me that "snowbirds" were to blame for the new water rate structure. Apparently they are not using enough water, yet are benefitting from the infrastructure improvements being made to the water delivery system.

As well, our household is in the very small minority of households that uses less water than the average (20 cubic metres/three months) household.

He mentioned that only four or five other households had contacted him after receiving their first bill under the new rate structure. I suggested to him that households that conserve water should have their balance carried forward to the next period, just like cell phone minutes.

This logical suggestion seemed to be beyond the capability of the billing system and might I suggest, beyond the grasp of the politicians and bureaucrats that set the water rates.

At the end of the day, our household will stop conserving water if the rate structure does not change. Twelve cubic metres would be a good start to filling an in-ground pool.

Congratulations NORD, you have just created a water guzzler. Now I just have to figure out how to get some level of government to give me the money to pay for my pool?

Hey Colin Mayes, I have a shovel-ready project. Is there any infrastructure money left that needs to be spent?

Greg Allan

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Improvements on tap for Oyama water system
Lake Country Calendar - August 31, 2010

Upgrades are planned for Oyama’s water system, but some residents will continue to boil their water for a few more years.

The District of Lake Country has initiated design work for a $5 million pipeline, reservoir and chlorination station, but it won’t be completed until spring 2013. That means a boil water notice remains in effect for the Oyama Lake source, east of Wood Lake, until that time.

“It’s frustrating to be on a boil water for ages and ages,” said Coun. Noreen Guenther.

“But it (project) will make quite a dramatic improvement. It should reduce the boil waters significantly.”

Besides the water being sourced from Oyama Lake, a UV treatment system, pipeline and interconnect process will be installed to draw water from Kalamalka Lake and supplement the Oyama Lake source.

“It will be one of the stages towards meeting Canadian drinking water guidelines,” said Patti Hansen, a water quality technician.

To address water quality concerns, a chlorination station will be constructed right at the upland reservoir, providing more contact time between the water and chlorine.

As for quantity, it’s hoped that accessing Kalamalka Lake will resolve some outstanding problems with the Oyama Lake source.

“If we have a fire, we’re shutting people off to divert water to the areas where it’s needed,” said Hansen.

Part of the $5 million comes from the federal and provincial governments, and Guenther believes it is a vital investment.

“It’s making a huge different to people’s lives,” she said.

Besides this project, the district is also completing a water master plan for the entire community. Preferred options will be presented to council in November.

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Water tests ‘incredible’
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - August 28, 2010

A multi-million-dollar upgrade to Greater Vernon’s water system is exceeding expectations.

The first test at the Duteau Creek treatment plant saw the true colour unit drop from 33 on raw water to to one on treated water. In terms of cloudiness, it dropped from 1.6 nephelometric turbidity unit to 0.65.

“Those are incredible results,” said Al Cotsworth, utility manager.

“That effectively means the water is clear. You never know how the process will react with the water so this is very good news.”

Construction on the $29 million facility in Whitevale began in early 2009, and it’s anticipated that testing of the water will continue until late September.

“After that, we will put the water into the water system,” said Cotsworth.

Duteau Creek provides water to parts of the BX, Coldstream and Vernon.

But even once the plant is fully on line, managing the equipment will be a learning experience.

“Because we’re on a live creek, the water chemistry can change,” said Cotsworth.

“A rain storm can change the chemical composition so it will take the operators a while to learn how to adjust to chemical shifts.”

Cotsworth is confident that the new treatment process will address widespread public concerns about turbidity and colour.

“I believe it will be the preferred source of water because it’s softer (than Kalamalka Lake),” he said.

However, he will not give an absolute guarantee that boil water advisories will completely disappear.

“There will be days when it’s very challenging (to operate) but this will significantly reduce turbidity issues and problems of colour,” he said.

Cotsworth says a boil water advisory could still be triggered by unexpected circumstances like a water main break or a landslide into the creek.

“It’s difficult to design a plant to work against all conditions.”

The water currently being tested at the Duteau Creek plant is being used to irrigate farm land in Whitevale.

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Complaints flow over water
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - August 24, 2010

Coldstream officials aren’t satisfied with communications over evolving water sources.

Several complaints have been received about customers going from the East Kalamalka Lake intake to the Duteau Creek source, and council members challenged the North Okanagan Regional District over the process Monday.

“These are things that could have been anticipated,” said Coun. Richard Enns, questioning why public notification didn’t occur until the switch was already done.

Coun. Maria Besso suggested that political boundaries are determining supply.

“Coldstream is on Duteau and Vernon is on Kal,” she said.

“The water staff need to be reminded they are working for all of Greater Vernon.”

Al Cotsworth, utility manager, apologized for not notifying customers sooner, but says demands for water put such pressure on the East Kal Lake source that immediate action was required.

“It was not foreseen with enough lead time for appropriate public notice,” he said, adding that advertising and press releases about the change were sent out.

Cotsworth also denies that water sources are linked to municipal boundaries.

“All of the area switched to Duteau was in Coldstream because that’s the area that was affected (by the loss of Antwerp Springs),” he said.

The 145 lots in the affected area previously received a mix of water from the East Kal Lake intake and Antwerp Springs but Antwerp Springs had to be abandoned earlier this year because of contamination.

“With the loss of Antwerp Springs, we did not have enough water available for that zone,” said Cotsworth, adding that certain water pressure is needed in emergencies.

“We were very concerned about fire flows.”

Cotsworth added that Duteau and Kal Lake are about the same when it comes to turbidity issues and Kal was worse than Duteau for bacteriological samples in July.

One of the other reasons for moving away from the East Kal Lake intake is that the infrastructure is aging and needs to be replaced.

It’s expected that constructing a new building and intake would cost about $800,000.

The new Duteau Creek water treatment plant is currently being tested and it’s expected to be on line sometime in September. It should deal with concerns about turbidity and yellow colour.

“It will supply clear water to the district’s customers,” said Arnold Badke, NORD’s general manager of engineering.

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Residents complain about water switch
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - August 14, 2010

Changing water sources has tapped into considerable frustration in Coldstream.

Some residents are upset the North Okanagan Regional District recently moved customers from the East Kalamalka Lake intake to the Duteau Creek source.

“When people bought their homes, many did so because of the quality of the water,” said Gyula Kiss, a Coldstream councillor.

“Now they are complaining bitterly that the water is coloured.”

There are 145 lots in the affected area plus Kalamalka Secondary School.

NORD officials there was no choice but to phase the the East Kal Lake intake out.

“It would be very expensive to upgrade the site to meet the (safety) requirements of the Interior Health Authority,” said Arnold Badke, engineering general manager.

Badke says that customers were previously receiving a mix of water from the East Kal Lake intake and Antwerp Springs but Antwerp Springs had to be abandoned earlier this year because of contamination.

While there have been complaints about the Duteau Creek source, Badke expects that will soon change.

“Within five or six weeks, the Duteau Creek treatment plant will be on line and the water will improve,” he said.

The $29 million plant is currently being tested and the goal is for it to start providing water to customers some time in September.

Kiss insists the East Kal Lake intake should be reopened and he isn’t convinced the Duteau treatment plant will help.

“Until they prove to me that the water is as good as Kal Lake, I’ll have my doubts,” said Kiss.

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Rural residents responsible for water
Summerland Review - August 11, 2010

Dear Editor:

Having chosen to live in various rural regions of B.C., I believed it was the responsibility of homeowners to provide their own water, either hand dig a well, have it extensively drilled or personally transport their water.

While living in Meadow Valley, I had to both filter and boil the drinking water. Never once did I think that others miles away should fill our water needs.

People have made their choice to live in the country, both enjoying all the benefits of rural living and also bearing responsibility for their own upkeep.

Upon moving to Summerland, I was shocked to discover the impurity of our local drinking water.

According to providers of reverse osmosis water purification systems, Summerland residents have to change their filters far more frequently than those living in other Okanagan towns.

Headlines in the July 29 Review, Water deal signed and Agreement reached to provide for Faulder’s needs. Summerland council further comments, “This agreement is based on the principle of being a good neighbour,” and also, “Faulder residents need the agreement to provide them with a supply of clean water. ”What about the Summerland citizens who, year after year, deal with restricted amounts of impure water?

To quote Francis Bacon, “Charity begins at home.”

Faulder’s 80 large rural lots and households will consume an enormous amount of our precious water. Who is going to monitor that our water will only be for household use? Will each Faulder residence be charged the annual water parcel tax of $285 that Summerland residents are required to pay for the new water treatment plant?

Once again a poor decision has been made that will produce a detrimental effect on each resident of Summerland.

Sheila Johnson
Summerland

See the newspaper article Sheila Johnson is referring to.

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May 13, 2010 Letter from RDCO to Property Owners - File No. 5600-20-15A

Re: Upper Fintry (Muir) subdivision

2. Are the properties bordering on Westside Road land-locked? And, are they still part of the Water System Service Area?
In 2009 the Regional District sent out notices to these 30+ property owners indicating that their (assumed) access off Dunwaters Road is not legal. This notice does not mean access off Westside Road would also be denied. Access permits are issued by the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) after building permits have been applied for.
These properties will remain in the service area unless it is confirmed by the MOT that the property is land-locked. The MOT considers each application for access independently and considers such items as sight-lines, proximity to intersections and other points of access prior to issuing permits.

Source - RDCO's Project Update Letter May 2010

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REGIONAL DISTRICT of CENTRAL OKANAGAN
‘A Look Into the Past’
A Historical Review

1967 – 2006
by A.T. Harrison

*This is just a snippett*

Killiney Beach, already managed by the Regional District, was the first of many water utilities that are now operated by the Regional District. These include: Killiney Beach (1982), Adventureland (1987), Falconridge (1988), Dietrich (1993), West Kelowna Estates (1994), Oyama (1994), Westshore Estates (1996), Pritchard Drive (1997), Sunset Ranch (2002), Sunnyside (2005), Green Bay (2005).

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All about drinking water on First Nations Reserves

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Water Resources in the Central Okanagan: A Discussion Paper 2000 (96 pages, 2 MB)

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These are two snippit's from some history documents that we received from the BC Government.

This is about the Fintry Delta water system.

Now, a Mr. Cushing, Area Building Inspector, has launched an objection against the approval of the sub-division with regard to domestic water supply.


click snippit to read larger print

 

In the specific case of Fintry we feel that if the subdivision is approved without water, the Government will be faced in one way or another with an increasing pressure for services.  I understand from our Building Inspector, Mr Cushing, that water is available by well if you go down about 600 feet.  There is also a creek where piped water could be available if some means were created for an improvement district.

click snippit to read larger print

.pdf icon Click here to read the entire package of documents (not just the snippits above) that we received from the BC Government in regards to Fintry Provincial Park, Upper Fintry subdivision, and a little bit about Killiney Beach subdivision even

We also received this .pdf icon map to go along with the package.

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August 12, 2010 Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting

UBC Okanagan Water Resources Chair

The Regional Board has agreed to support the establishment of a BC Regional Innovation Chair in Water Resources and Ecosystem Management at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. The Okanagan Basin Water Board will contribute a total of $500,000 over five years to help create the research position and fund its work. The North Okanagan and South Okanagan- Similkameen regional districts will also be asked to provide support through the water board in order to leverage a $1.25-million contribution from the BC Government Leading Edge Endowment Fund in establishing the position. With development pressures and Climate Change, the Board agrees that this UBC-O Innovation Chair will help find practical solutions to water supply and ecosystem management issues which are a high priority throughout the Okanagan Valley.

August 12, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting Agenda

No agenda for this item?????  Residents were not properly informed then were they?  And nobody has a chance to speak about this issue to the Regional Board before the Board carries the motions.  Is this called democracy, do you think?

August 12, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Minutes of the Meeting

Not available until after the following Regional Board Meeting when the minutes are approved by the Regional Board.

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And NO you cannot have a water tap at the road.

The Regional District cannot provide a water tap at your property line, it must be connected to a structure
properly zoned and permitted.

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This bulletin was posted to the Westshore Estates bulletin board May 2010

Public Notice for Killiney Beach and Westshore Water Customers

Public Notice about watering restrictions for Westshore Estates and Killiney Beach water systems
click for larger bulletin

STAGE 1 - WATER RESTRICTIONS are in effect September 16th to June 15th odd-even outdoor irrigation is allowed
- Odd numbered addresses may irrigate on odd numbered calendar days
- Even numbered addresses may irrigate on even numbered calendar days

Properties with Automated irrigation systems may only operate between midnight and 6:00 am on their allocated day, while properties with manual irrigation may only operate between 6:00 am and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and midnight on their allocated day.

Effective June 16, 2010 through Sept 15, 2010 STAGE 2 WATER RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT.

Outdoor irrigation during this period is only allowed twice a week during the hours listed above -
- Even numbered addresses may irrigate Saturday and Tuesday
-Even numbered address may irrigate Sunday and Wednesday

For more information, please contact Environmental Services
250-469-6241 or engineer "at" cord.bc.ca

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Water agreement signed
Summerland Review - By John Arendt - July 28, 2010

The municipality and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen have signed a memorandum of understanding for the provision of water for the Faulder area.

The agreement puts the 80 residential properties in Faulder under the Summerland water system.

Faulder residents will be required to install water meters similar to those recently installed in Summerland homes and will be billed for their water use.

“This agreement is based on the principle of being a good neighbour,” said Coun. Gordon Clark.

Mayor Janice Perrino said Faulder residents need the agreement in order to provide them with a supply of clean water.

“Faulder residents have been in a crisis for quite a number of months,” she said. “This is a very minimal amount of water.”

Coun. Ken Roberge said efforts were made by both the municipality and the regional district to come up with a fair agreement.

He added that the water for Faulder is a small amount of Summerland’s total water supply.

“We’re really talking about something in the order of 0.4 per cent of a percent of our total water availability,” he said.

Coun. Bruce Hallquist added that the Faulder water is domestic water only.

Under the terms of the agreement, the regional district will pay the municipality $320,000 to allow the regional district to connect up to 80 Faulder homes to the Summerland water system.

The municipality may only use this buy-in fee for capital expenditures in order to create additional treated water capacity.

The fee is payment in full for the Faulder properties

Under the agreement, the municipality will own, operate, repair, maintain and replace the water system for Faulder.

The user fees and the level of service to Faulder must be the same as the amount charged to Summerland residents.

Any future development in Faulder requiring a connection to the water system will also need approval from the municipality.

A capital reserve fund for the Faulder water system will be created with the regional district making an annual payment of $6,400 to the reserve.

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Summerland issues water advisory
Penticton Western News - By Jorden Dixon - July 13, 2010

A water quality advisory for those who are on the Summerland water system has been issued this week by the district.

After the water usage in the system surpassed the maximum output of the treatment plant, the chlorinated supplemental water line opened up to make up for the water deficit.

“The thing is once that supplemental water line opens up we have to have the water quality advisory,” said Dan McMillan, chief operator of the Summerland water plant. “It’s just a precaution at this stage ... The plant continues to make the same water it always has.”

Since the opening of the supplemental water line, testing has also shown an increased count of coliform, a bacteria that can be found in the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, and is common in aquatic environments.

“We also have an elevated bacterial count in the raw water,” McMillan said. “It’s just the nature of when we start using that raw water (supplemental water line).

“Testing indicates there is no increased risk, and we are monitoring that even more than normal, but it’s just procedure and it’s basically just a thing to reduce any risk to the residents,” McMillan added.

With the water quality advisory in effect, Interior Health and the District of Summerland recommend that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and anyone seeking additional protection use water that has been boiled, or a safe alternative.

The opening of the supplemental water line at the Summerland water plant seems to be a reoccurring issue as it was also opened last year, also resulting in a water advisory.

“Last year the supplemental opened June 18,” McMillan said. “So we managed to go a little bit longer. It was kind of a nice improvement, but it reaches a point where it’s just too much for the plant.”

McMillan added that the opening of the supplemental line on July 11 can be traced back to the recent hot weather, increasing the use of water in the community and surrounding area.

“We have taken a number of steps to reduce the consumption (of water),” McMillan said. “As is right now though we have reached a point where there’s just too much water use for what the plant can provide.

“The day we stop opening up that supplemental it’s certainly going to be a relief for us, but it’s just going to take some time,” McMillan added.

As for the water advisory being lifted, McMillan said it is likely it will remain on all summer, as will the supplemental water line.

“Historically once it’s on we’ll leave it on until we are satisfied that the supplemental line won’t open,” McMillan said. “So it’s probably going to be on now until the end of August, I’m guessing.”

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Kelowna council, water districts strategize for water resources
Kelowna Capital News - July 13, 2010

Kelowna city council has endorsed a recommendation for Kelowna’s five water purveyors to work collaboratively on a long-term, city-wide approach to the provision of quality water at the least possible cost.

Rutland Waterworks, Black Mountain Irrigation District, Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District and South East Kelowna Irrigation District and Kelowna city staff representing the city’s water utility, will draft a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on this initiative.

“We have three main objectives: Develop water treatment and supply plans that provide safe and reliable domestic water to all Kelowna residents compliant with current and anticipated Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines; provide reliable and affordable water to both agricultural and domestic customers and accomplish both of those objectives at the lowest possible life-cycle cost,” said Randy Cleveland, director of infrastructure planning.

In 2009, council asked for a long-term strategy and review of the water treatment and supply systems within Kelowna city limits. A study completed by Associated Engineering outlines treatment and supply options. It also provides preliminary technical background to support application for the province’s financial participation in the various short- and long-term water quality capital improvement projects planned by the water purveyors operating in Kelowna.

“To comply with Interior Health Authority water quality standards, substantial capital upgrades will be needed in the future” said Bob Hrasko, PEng and administrator of the Black Mountain Irrigation District.

“We will invite senior governments to participate and they will want to know that we have done our homework,” Hrasko said.

Nancy Howlett, general manager of Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District said “the MOU will be the first step in a collaborative process. With a view to the long term, we will work together to find a final conceptual design that suits all of our needs.”

Recommendations to council, anticipated in 2011, will include an implementation plan and an assessment of the cost implications for water customers.

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City’s lake water intakes at risk
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - June 11, 2010

Kelowna’s Okanagan Lake water intakes are at risk from water mixed by wind that concentrates possible contaminants from sources such as Bear Creek and drops them lower in the water column where intakes are located.

The warning came from City of Kelowna consultant Jim Stronach, hydrotechnology specialist with Hay and Company, a division of EBA Engineering Consultants, who was speaking to members of the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council about research and modelling done on the lake’s limnology.

He explained there is an underwater “sill” about where the bridge crosses Okanagan Lake, where the water is much shallower, between two deep pools.

When it’s windy, water sloshes up against that shallow part and then is reflected back into one of those pools, concentrating flows which might be coming from Bear Creek or Mill Creek, in the northern section of the lake, for instance, he explained.

That’s where Kelowna’s Poplar Point water intake is located.

The water in the lake not only moves horizontally, but also up and down, particularly when it’s affected by an event such a wind storm, he said.

The outflow from Lambly (Bear) Creek sometimes creates significant concentrations of that water in the area of the city’s Poplar Point intake, he said.

Stronach began gathering data and building models of the water’s movement in Okanagan Lake in the Kelowna area following the cryptosporidium outbreak carried by the city’s drinking water in 1996.

They found that shifting winds can cause surface water, such as that carried from nearby creeks, to drop down in the water column instead of remaining on the surface and flowing down the lake, he said.

Ideally, Kelowna should be moved about 10 miles north of its current location, he said with a wry smile.

Mark Watt, with the City of Kelowna, said another thing the consultant’s research showed the city, was that if there was an oil spill in Okanagan Lake, it should stay on the surface of the lake unless there were waves and wind, when it would drop through the water column.

Stronach said they created a circulation model of Okanagan Lake, focussing on the Kelowna area.

Because of the large quantity of major contaminant sources there are in water carried by creeks, Interior Health requested more watershed control, and after reviewing the report, asked how it could be improved.

It’s difficult with a big watershed and a large lake, commented Stronach.

The consultant’s task was to review the lake’s chemical limnology and categorize and rate the risks; as well as conducting a hazard inventory. The pollution transport modelling grew out of that.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Mayor of Vernon wants to tap into possibilities
Vernon Morning Star- By Richard Rolke - June 05, 2010

A Vernon politician believes water shortages can be avoided if the public abandons queasy feelings about treated effluent.

With concerns increasing about creeks and lakes not keeping up with demand, Mayor Wayne Lippert says reclaimed water from the city’s sewer treatment plant may provide a sustainable alternative.

“It’s a resource that’s there. The bottom line is we need to re-think some of our sources,” he said.

Presently, treated effluent is used to irrigate three golf courses, some parks and hay fields.

But Lippert envisions a day where reclaimed water is used on residential lawns and to flush toilets.

“We need to look to the future. There are many different places where they’re doing that,” he said.

Lippert insists waste water is potable even through existing treatment in Vernon, and the prospect of drinking it will only improve as time goes on.

“It’s more mind-set than anything else. As the technology improves, it’s possible,” he said.

Retrofitting pipes in existing neighbourhoods could be expensive, so Lippert says specific lines for using waste water will probably occur in new subdivisions first.

“In Vernon alone, there are already previous approvals for 10,000 new residences. As they are built, that will be a huge number of houses using it,” he said.

Provincial approval would be required for expanded use of waste water, but Lippert admits the most significant challenge may be public perception.

“We need to keep an open mind and look at ways to conserve our resources,” he said of drinking water.

Some North Okanagan Regional District officials are concerned that Greater Vernon may not be able to utilize Kalamalka Lake to its full extent even if there are drought conditions because the provincial government establishes the rules.

“We may think we have a large water license but under the new Water Act, there could be restrictions,” said director Mike Macnabb.

Director Buffy Baumbrough points out that some of the oldest water licenses in the Okanagan basin are for communities at the south end of the valley and they may take precedent over Greater Vernon.

“What does that mean for us if we’re in severe drought?” she said.

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Water Restrictions Reminder

The Regional District of Central Okanagan reminds customers of its five water systems that alternate day water restrictions are in place.

Communications Coordinator Bruce Smith says, “Late last year, the Regional Board adopted an updated Water Regulations Bylaw which formally introduced year round staged water restrictions. From mid-September to June 15th customers of the Killiney Beach, Westshore, Falconridge, Sunset Ranch and Trepanier/Star Place water systems must restrict their outdoor watering to even and odd numbered days. That means customers with even numbered addresses may water on even number calendar days, while those with odd number street addresses may water on odd numbered calendar days.”

From June 16th through September 15th, Stage two water restrictions are in effect throughout the Regional District water utilities. Smith says, “That restricts outdoor watering to two days each week. Our customers with even number addresses may irrigate outdoors on Saturday and Tuesday while those with odd addresses may only water on Sunday and Wednesday.”

Under the Regional District Water Bylaw, customers with automated irrigation system may only water on their allotted day between midnight and 6:00 am, while people with manual outdoor irrigation must restrict their watering to between 6:00 am and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and midnight on their respective irrigation day.

Smith adds, “We’re sending a letter to the more than 700 customers of the Regional District water utilities to remind them of these watering restrictions with the hope that with their cooperation now, we won’t have to go to more restrictive Stage three or four irrigation levels.”

“It’s important” Smith says, “that our customers make water conservation a priority every time they turn on a tap. We’re heading into the time of year that sees water consumption skyrocket and that makes it more difficult to keep our water reservoirs filled to ensure an adequate supply of water for all residential customers and for fire protection. People must realize that they don’t need to water their lawns and gardens every day. To help, the Water System webpage has water conservation information and links that every member of your family can use inside and outside your home.”

(May 13, 2010)

Source RDCO Whats New

You know its funny that RDCO can send out a letter to their water system customers about water restrictions but it can't send out a survey to residents to find out if they want to purchase a fire boat or water meters???

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It will be RDCO whom chooses which water system study out of all the water system studies they will allow you to vote yes or no on.  Much like the transfer station survey.

TOTAL OF  2.4 km from Valley of the Sun to Upper Fintry

TOTAL OF  1.6 km from Valley of the Sun to Shalal Road

TOTAL of .8 km's from Shalal Road to Upper Fintry

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Beat of a Different Drum

In support of World Water Day
UBC Okanagan Fine Arts student Loren Sahara uses two water jugs as drums as he marched around the Kelowna campus on Tuesday as part of the water drum group Machinic Phylem, led by UBCO professor Neil Cadger. The marchers were celebrating World Water Day. See stories on A3.

Source: March 23, 2010 Kelowna Capital News

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Did you know that the "Gas Tax Fund" helps provide funding for water systems?

More about the Gas Tax Fund - UBCM

Improved Water Management with Gas Tax Funds

Close to 500 residents of two water systems of the Regional District of Central Okanagan are receiving new water meters thanks to $345,000 from the federal the Gas Tax Fund. The Regional District has contracted the installation of meters in homes connected to the Killiney Beach and Westshore Water utilities. These homes are the last of the Regional District’s five water systems to receive meters.

“Fresh water is one of our most treasured natural resources and it should be well managed,” said the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Canada is supporting the Central Okanagan Regional District in its efforts to improve water management to ensure the long-term sustainability of its communities.”

“The regional district should be commended for making this project a priority,” said Minister of Community and Rural Development Ben Stewart. “Improved water management is a key component of sustainability in the Okanagan Valley.”

Regional District Chair Robert Hobson says, “Water meters are an important tool for measuring the demand for treated water. Based on the experience of other metered water systems, the Regional District anticipates these new meters will provide an opportunity for individuals to reduce their water bills by better understanding their water use and taking steps to control their consumption. The meters should also result in reduced repair costs by extending the life of existing equipment on the water systems.” (Link to Water Metering Project webpage)

The Government of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund is a tripartite agreement between Canada, British Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) delivering infrastructure funding to local governments for capital projects that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C. in collaboration with Infrastructure Canada and British Columbia.

“The addition of meters to these water systems provides a valuable tool for regional water conservation,” said UBCM President Harry Nyce. “We are very appreciative of the federal and provincial support for this improvement to the region’s infrastructure.”

For more information on the Government of Canada’s infrastructure investments in British Columbia, visit www.creatingjobs.gc.ca.

For information on the Gas Tax Fund, visit www.infc.gc.ca.

(June 30, 2010)

Source Regional District of Central Okanagan "What's New"

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Water quality monitoring for the TFL 49 ecological forest stewardship project : 2002 annual report: / Dobson Engineering Limited.

by Dobson Engineering Ltd.
Summerland, B.C.: Riverside Forest Products Limited, 2003.

Full Text: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/FIA/2003/FIA-03-04-0052.pdf

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Boil Water Notice posted at Fintry Provincial Park May 15, 2010

on all of the campsite water taps.

This tap in the photo below is located close to the public beach.

A couple years back the Fintry Provincial Campsite manager told us that Fintry Provincial Park are on a well and that the subdivisions without a water system were not permitted to get water there because the Park had no backflow prevention device and because someone's water tank may be dirty and if the water back flowed into the Park's well and someone got sick, that the park wouldn't have insurance.

Since this, we found out that Fintry well water filtration/chlorination system is being upgraded and the reason for the boil water notice is because they don't have all the parts for the new system yet.  Looking inside the house that contains the filtration/chlorination system there are about 5 filter units and one chlorination tank.  There are two hatches accessing the reservoir that is built below the house that holds this equipment.  The old house contains the agriculture irrigation portion of the system and apparently they are two separate systems now.  They have a couple of wells down there.  One well is located between the campsite and the road that runs down to the public beach and just past the manor house.

Apparently the chlorine deteriorates the longer it sits in the pipe and that it is difficult to regulate the amount of chlorine compared to the use, because the usage can fluctuate.

Photo of a boil water notice posted to the water tap by the public beach at Fintry Provincial Park
click photo to read the boil water notice

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Neptue Water Meter Notice

 

GI-022 Application of the GST/HST to Sales of Water

-------------------------------------

For Water Haulers

Sales of unbottled water provided by water haulers are exempt. Therefore, water haulers do not collect the GST/HST on amounts charged for unbottled water (potable or non-potable).

Public service body (PSB) rebate
A water hauler may apply to be designated as a municipality by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in respect of activities specified in the designation.

Source - Canada Revenue Agency

---------------------------------------

Bulk or unbottled water Sch. VI, Part III, para 1(r)
35. Supplies of bulk or unbottled water, other than ice, are excluded from zero-rating except when supplied as described in paragraph 37 of this memorandum.

Supplies by commercial haulers Sch. V, Part VI, s 23
39. All supplies of unbottled water made by commercial water haulers are exempt under section 23 of Part VI of Schedule V. However, the supply of unbottled water by a government (other than a municipality) is taxable unless the government is designated as a municipality for this purpose or the supply is zero-rated as described in the above paragraph. Please refer to GST/HST Info Sheet GI-011, Water Haulers for more information on this topic.

Flavoured water or carbonated water is taxable it says.

Source - Canada Revenue Agency

-------------------------

Paragraph 8. Pipes for plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment which  are integral and component parts of a building are included with the cost of  the building as property of the same CCA class as that of the building.
Similarly, short lines of pipe which form an integral and component part of a structure will be included in the same CCA class as that of the structure
(meaning, Class 1(q), 41, 43, 43.1 or 8). In addition, provided that they may  reasonably be considered an integral and component part of the equipment,  short lines of pipes running between pieces of equipment may be capitalized as part of the cost of the particular equipment. As a result, these short pipes will qualify for inclusion in the same CCA class as that of the equipment.
Examples of possible CCA classes that equipment (including short pipes) may qualify for inclusion in, depending on whether the requirements of the class are met, are: Class 41, 43, 43.1 or 8.

Pipelines installed and owned by a taxpayer that run from a building to the
boundary of the taxpayer's property, or pipelines which are not an integral
part of a building, structure, machinery or equipment, will (subject to the
comments in paragraphs 6 and 7) usually be included in Class 1(l). However,  where the costs of such lines are insignificant, the CCRA will accept their inclusion as component parts of the building.

For a discussion of the CCA classes applicable to buildings including
component parts thereof, refer to the current version of Interpretation
Bulletin IT-79, Capital Cost Allowance - Buildings or Other Structures.

Note: Appendix C of the Explanatory Notes Relating to Income Tax issued by the  Department of Finance with the Notice of Ways and Means Motion tabled in the  House of Commons on March 16, 2001 proposes to add a new paragraph (a.1) to  Class 17. If this addition is enacted as proposed, production and distribution equipment (other than buildings and other structures) of a distributor of water or steam used for heating or cooling will be included in Class 17 (8% CCA rate) rather than in Class 1 (4% CCA rate). Such equipment includes pipe used to collect or distribute an energy transfer medium, but excludes equipment or pipe used to distribute water that is for consumption, disposal or treatment. The new paragraph will apply to equipment acquired after February 27, 2000 that has not been used or acquired for use prior that date.
It is also proposed that a consequential amendment will be made to the
preamble in Class 8 to exclude property included in Class 17.

Utilities Service Connections

Paragraph 10. An amount paid by a taxpayer for pipes that will supply gas, water or sewers to the taxpayer's place of business may be a deduction from the taxpayer's income from a business under paragraph 20(1)(ee), depreciable property included in Class 1(l), or an "eligible capital expenditure", as the case may be. Paragraph 20(1)(ee) cannot apply if a taxpayer owns or will own the pipe that is used in making the service connection. Title to the pipe sometimes vests in the taxpayer if it is within the boundaries of the taxpayer's property and, if this is the case, the pipe will usually be included in Class 1(l) as depreciable property (see paragraph 8). Where a service connection is made and title to part of it passes to the taxpayer, for example-where a service connection is laid both inside and outside the boundaries of the taxpayer's land and the taxpayer has title only to that part of the pipe which is within the boundaries of the taxpayer's land, a reasonable apportionment of the cost is required and only the portion attributable to the part of the pipe for which title has not passed will be deductible under paragraph 20(1)(ee) (if the other requirements of that provision are met).


Where a taxpayer owns a rental property to which service connections are made, it is a question of fact whether the rental income can be considered to be income from property or income from business (see the current version of Interpretation Bulletin IT-434, Rental of Real Property by Individual). Only if the income is from a business will the costs of the service connection qualify for a deduction under paragraph 20(1)(ee) (if the other requirements of that provision are met). In addition, the amount paid for a service connection must be made to a person with whom the taxpayer deals at arm's length and that person must also supply the goods or services for which the service connection has been made (although no amount is deductible under paragraph 20(1)(ee) for the cost of supplying those goods or services). Where the cost of a service connection does not qualify for a deduction under paragraph 20(1)(ee), or as depreciable property or inventory (see paragraph 9), the cost may qualify as an "eligible capital expenditure". For further information, see the current version of Interpretation Bulletin IT-143, Meaning of Eligible Capital Expenditure.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tp/it482r/it482r-e.txt

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Province chips in for dry-weather contingency plan
Vernon Morning Star - June 03, 2010

Provincial funding will help with the development of a basin-wide drought plan for the Okanagan.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has received $10,000 through the Local Government Grants Act for the project.

“This is not about doing crisis management, but putting a plan in place for the future,” Anna Warwick Sears, executive director.

“Our recent dry winter points out the importance of developing a plan.”

The drought plan will draw on information from OBWB’s water supply and demand study to develop drought trigger levels, based on lake levels, which municipalities and other water utilities can use to respond to region-wide water shortages.

The first step in developing a drought plan, said Warwick Sears, is to determine how Okanagan communities, from Armstrong to Osoyoos, are connected, considering the source and direction of water flows, and then to look at what lake levels would be appropriate for triggering a drought response given the water needs of the environment and downstream communities.

Currently, water allocation in B.C. is determined using a system known as first-in-time, first-in-right (FITFIR). Under this system, water allocation is determined by who, historically, received their licence first and how much water they are entitled to.

“It’s important we understand what the obligation is to supply water to senior licensees and how this would play out if there was a multi-year drought,” said Warwick Sears.

“For example, there are a number of large senior licenses in Osoyoos, but it is the community farthest downstream. Under FITFIR, if Osoyoos was unable to receive the water it is legally entitled to it could request upstream license-holders to let the water flow south.”

Warwick Sears said a drought plan would look at the implications of FITFIR and devise a plan that best meets the environmental, health and economic needs of all Okanagan communities.

“We are very pleased to have the province join the federal and local government at the table. It is recognition of the importance of a basin-wide drought plan that will help ensure the long-term prosperity of the entire valley.”

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NORD abandoning Antwerp Springs
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - January 21, 2010

The taps could be permanently drained on Antwerp Springs.

The North Okanagan Regional District is switching thousands of Coldstream customers over to Duteau Creek as a result of the ground well source being contaminated a week ago.

“It could be a permanent situation,” said Rod Kray, the regional district’s general manager of engineering.

On Wednesday, residents west of Murphy Road, at Highway 6, were transferred over to the Duteau Creek source, while a similar process occurred for those east of Murphy Road late Thursday.

According to Kray, the goal behind the conversion to Duteau is to allow Coldstream and Lavington residents to resume regular household activities like cooking, bathing and washing dishes.

“It’s a good long-term solution,” he said.

The conversion also occurred because reviewing the integrity of the Antwerp Springs source could take some time.

Doug Dirk, a Coldstream councillor, wants Antwerp Springs mothballed for domestic use.

“Surface water (creeks) is easier to manage than ground water and it’s safer,” he said.

The wells — which are at the corner of School Road and Highway 6 in Lavington — were shut down Jan. 13 after NORD became aware of contamination.

The Ministry of Environment is still trying to determine the source of the contamination, and one possible option may be livestock feces.

Residents west of Murphy Road are no longer on a boil water advisory, while those east of Murphy Road saw their status go from Do Not Drink to a boil water notice late Thursday.

Once NORD received approval from the Interior Health Authority to proceed with its plans, crews began hand-delivering notices to residents east of Murphy Road.

The notices include instructions on household flushing procedures.

“Under no circumstances should the households in the affected area use water from their household for any purposes other than flushing toilets until the procedures in the notice are completed,” states a release.

Emergency water will continue to be available at the Lavington fire hall until 7 p.m. today, and the showers at Wesbild Centre will remain open until 5 p.m. today.

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Water management a cooperative effort
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - May 21, 2010

For the second year in a row, Westbank Irrigation District will get a little help from its friend.

WID manager Brian Jamieson said that the neighbouring Lakeview Irrigation District would waive its rights to receive water from Tadpole Lake, which is in the upper reaches of both watersheds.

“Our license stipulates that we must release one cubic foot of water per second to North Lambly (Bear) Creek,” said Jamieson. “The release is to occur most of the year except during freshet.”

Last year, the Lakeview Irrigation board voted that the water was not needed because its reservoirs were spilling over, while Westbank found its stores were coming up short.

It’s a similar situation this year, with snow packs below normal in the Westbank watershed, said Jamieson.

“We still expect that our reservoirs will fill but it then becomes a matter of how quickly we turn to storage. That’s critical.”

Meanwhile, Lakeview manager James Moller said his utility was happy to help again this year.

“We were spilling over and they were quite a bit below full pool last year and they requested we not take water from Tadpole Lake and we agreed. We have made that offer again this year because we are at full pool in our entire system,” said Moller.

Jamieson said that retaining one cubic foot of water per second would not be much in the whole scheme of things.

“But, every little bit helps and we thank them very much for that.”

Westbank Irrigation District has been on Stage Two water restrictions for almost a year now because of low snow packs. It’s a situation that’s likely to continue, although Jamieson said another evaluation would be made within a few weeks.

Stage Two requires that residents only water lawns twice per week.

By comparison, in the Lakeview System, Stage One watering restrictions are in place, which allow residents to water lawns on odd days if they have an odd numbered street address or even number days if they have an even numbered address.

WID supplies water to about 5,000 houses and businesses in Westbank, Glenrosa and Smith Creek.

Lakeview supplies water to about 4,500 houses and businesses in Lakeview Heights, Rose Valley and Shannon Lake.

jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Someone is lying about water
From Castanet.net - Letters May 20, 2010

To the editor:

RE:Water and the population

When I was in school, I was taught water evaporates, returns as clouds, then rains and we have water.

Now all I hear is about the shortage of water. Does the water stay put and not evaporate while it's in the lake?

When lawns are irrigated, when doing laundry, taking showers, does the water just disappear to the under ground never to return?

All this crap we hear about water shortage, climate change and high gas prices, is nothing more than to keep society paranoid and confused.
When society is paranoid and confused, the corporations and governments at all levels can do with us what they want, as we're nothing more than puppets on a string.

I do NOT buy into all this go green and water shortages, etc. People, start thinking for yourselves.

Bernie Nickel

Posted: May 20, 2010 / 5:00 am
Story# 54662 / Contributed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Don't be so gullible
To the editor:
RE:Water and the population

Mr Brown's solution to our debatable water shortage is to jack up the price of water 200-300%. This kind of talk is exactly what the city wants and this is why the city has been crying water shortage for the last twenty years. The city is trying to earn top dollar for selling water much the same as the oil companies want top dollar for their product.

If there truly was this shortage, wouldn't you think the city would use some of the money they receive from developers and either make a water storage facility or use another one of our many area lakes as another reservoir for our use.

Some say that it is unfair to try and slow the growth in Kelowna in case our grand children want to move here, but will they ever be able to afford to live here? Some complain about the golf courses using water to keep the grass green but all of them along with the remaining orchards in this area, are what makes this valley beautiful.

I would like to see this study that was done here in the valley that supposedly said we were the worst water hogs. I call poppycock!
We have to stop being so gullible, not every thing you hear on T.V. is gospel, sometimes you are being manipulated to think a certain way so when they introduce a carbon tax or HST or water increases, we except it as fact and that it will be good for us. Money money its all about the money!

Rose-Anne Yunker

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Water charges draw criticism
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - May 15, 2010

Greater Vernon’s water utility is being accused of hosing customers over rates.

Director Gyula Kiss has reviewed the utility’s finances and says high water rates have led to $12 million being pumped into reserves.

“This is not an indictment of anyone. There’s no finger-pointing here,” he said, adding that customers are being overcharged 22 cents per cubic metre.

According to Kiss, the excess funds collected are over and above what’s needed to cover the financing of $35 million borrowed in 2004 for utility upgrades.

“The way these huge reserves were accumulated is by initiating water rates,” he said.

“This is a nightmare. Overcharging customers by $12,396,479 is unconscionable.”

Kiss believes the decision to set money aside in reserves goes against policies set out by the utility when the public agreed to borrow the $35 million.

“Why was the electorate not informed and given a chance to vote on the change,” he said, adding that a new financing method is needed where infrastructure is paid through taxation and utility operations are covered through rates based on water usage.

Chairman Wayne Lippert isn’t surprised that the utility’s direction has shifted since 2004.

“Elected officials change and sometimes philosophies change,” he said.

Lippert believes the goal has always been to set aside reserve funds to reduce the burden of increased operating costs for the Duteau Creek treatment plant and other upgrades that may be needed.

“The master plan’s expectation was $90 to $100 million (in total project costs) and the idea was to build up reserves,” he said.

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Water quality strategy sought
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - May 13, 2010

The Bear Creek Drinking Water Advisory Committee has stated in its terms of reference that protection of water quality is the paramount objective in management of that watershed for recreation.

In its first meeting April 21, that committee also agreed that it would provide recommendations for adoption of best management practices to guide the continued implementation of the Bear Creek Recreation Management Project.

Chairman Peter Walters, assistant deputy minister in the tourism development division of the tourism ministry, said there is no time frame for the committee’s work, and he has no idea how long the current moratorium on new construction and closure of trails in the Bear Creek area will continue.

However, he says the committee will be dissolved on completion of the terms of reference, although it could be reactivated to address any issues with implementation.

The committee was formed to review the ministry’s response to the direction on drinking water quality provided by Interior Health in a letter last summer.

Interior Health has warned water utilities that multi-barrier approaches to water treatment are needed, beginning with protection of a high quality water source.

Key to managing threats to drinking water are land-use practices that support natural watershed function and a focus on activities occurring in sensitive areas, according to IH.

Committee members include Doug Krogel of the Integrated Land Management Bureau, West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater, Dr. Paul Hasselback of Interior Health, Darren Schlamp of the Westbank Irrigation District, John Byland of the Lakeview Irrigation District, Bernie Bauer, chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Stewardship Council and Ken Cunningham of the environment ministry.

Walters said a date for the next meeting hasn’t yet been set.

A number of questions from the first meeting need to be answered at that meeting, including regarding the standards for Water Act approval for a bridge that’s been built across Bald Range Creek and the future location of a trail deemed too close to a domestic water storage lake.

As well, Walters said there will be integration of a variety of uses in the area on a single map and monitoring will be updated to include recommendations regarding tours.

He said the bridge across Bald Range Creek must meet environment ministry standards as well as those of the ministry of forests.

The problem that led to formation of the committee earlier in the year is communications, he noted.

There must be communication with water utilities regarding the Bear Creek Recreation Management Project, he said.

Up to now, the Okanagan Trail Riders’ Association, which is spearheading construction of more sustainable trails for dirt bikers and ATV riders in the Bear Creek area off Bear Main forest service road, have frequently crossed swords with the water utilities for whom that is a domestic watershed.

There is a history of unmanaged trail use in the Bear Creek area, which includes 35,000 hectares in the watersheds of both the Westbank and Lakeview Irrigation Districts, both of which are set to be taken over by the new municipality of West Kelowna before year-end.

In 2001, it was established as a B.C. recreation site, bringing it under the forest recreation regulations governed by the tourism ministry.

In addition to the estimated 300 km of user-built trails and 800 km of forest roads in the area, there are now 450 km of fire guards as well, along with a wide variety of user groups.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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IMPORTANT TO EVERYONE

Read the Water Act modernization Discussion Paper, and when you’re done, submit your opinion via the Feed Back Survey.  They are looking to hear from all British Columbians, which includes you, too.

http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/

April 30th marked the deadline for formal submissions to the Water Act Modernization process

Our next step is to bring it all together and then report back to you what we’ve heard. We’ll be completing a Report on Engagement in June and will use the Living Water Smart Blog to keep you posted on what we’re hearing, and how Water Act Modernization is progressing.

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Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting – April 8, 2010

Water Systems Review Contract
The Regional Board has approved a contract with Associated Engineering B.C. Limited for a review of three water system utilities. The firm’s bid of $44,700 plus GST scored the highest of four qualified proposals received by the Regional District. The review will assess the infrastructure needs of the Killiney Beach, Westshore and Falconridge water systems for the next 20 years. It will also recommend user and maintenance fee financing strategies in order to manage growth and associated infrastructure requirements for each water system.

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April 8, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Agenda - April 8, 2010.pdf

 Item 4.2 Award of Contract.pdf (Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates)

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT REPORT
For the Board April 8th, 2010
TO: Chair & Members of the Regional Board
FROM: Delphine Maja, Sr. Engineering Technologist
DATE: April 1st 2010

SUBJECT: Award Consulting Contract

Regional District of Central Okanagan Water System Reviews for
• Killiney Beach· Westshore Estates· Falconridge •

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Regional Board authorize the award of the contract for the Regional District of Central Okanagan Water System Reviews for - Killiney Beach - Westshore Estates - Falconridge - to Associated Engineering (B.C.) Ltd for the amount of $44,700 plus GST.

PURPOSE:
The purpose of these water system reviews is to assess the infrastructure needs over the next 20 years and establish financing strategies for which to base user and maintenance fees in order to develop plans allowing for managed growth and responsible infrastructure replenishment.

BACKGROUND:
The Regional District of Central Okanagan requested proposals from qualified engineering consultants to complete a Fee Review for the Killiney Beach water system and complete Comprehensive System Reviews for the Westshore Estates and Falconridge water systems for a total upset fee not to exceed $50,000.00 CAD. Four valid and complete proposals were received, all qualified and experienced firms:

Associated Engineering $ 44,700  

Methodology & Approach 30%

   
CTQ Consultants $ 41,400  

Resource Allocation 25%

   
MMM Group $ 48,110  

Proposal Quality 10%

   
Urban Systems $ 44,912        
  Fees: 30% +

70%

= 100%

The proposals were evaluated based on their methodology, approach and resource allocation.
Although not the lowest bidder but still within the set allowable budget, Associated Engineering received the highest overall score.

Budget
The total budget for completion and delivery of the study, including all fees, expenses, and disbursements will not exceed $50,000 CAD and is included in the approved 2010 water systems budgets.
Schedule & Scope

This assignment will be started immediately and will take approximately 4-5 months to complete, placing the final delivery of the document in September 2010.

The scope of work includes:

• review inventory of existing facilities
• prepare water system hydraulic model
• perform system analysis
• evaluate system
• develop an operation and maintenance fees recovery strategy
• prepare capital improvements plan (CIP)
• prepare final documents.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
The Environmental Services Department recommends that the Regional Board authorize the award of the contract for the Regional District of Central Okanagan Water System Reviews for Killiney Beach - Westshore Estates - Falconridge - to Associated Engineering (B.C.) Ltd for the amount of $ 44,700 plus GST.

Respectfully submitted,

Delphine Maja
Sr. Engineering Technologist

Chris Radford
Director of Environmental Services

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Agricultural water rates given slight increase
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - April 08, 2010

There’s a sprinkling of good news for area agriculturists.

Following a presentation by board agricultural representatives Ted Osborn, Jamie Kidston and Tom Ouchi, North Okanagan Regional District directors voted in favour of a 2.5 per cent water rate increase for agriculturists.

The move comes after a Greater Vernon Advisory Committee recommended NORD approve a nine per cent water rate increase for all water users.

“This provides some surety to agriculture on what its rate structure will be looking like into the future,” said Osborn.

Speaking for the trio, Osborn provided a history lesson.

He noted a Master Water Plan was developed by the North Okanagan Water Authority, the pre-cursor of today’s Greater Vernon Water Utility, when it became clear that future system development needed to incorporate the separation of domestic and agricultural water.

Financial models developed which then predicted the schedule of agricultural and domestic rates that would be necessary to successfully fund the future development of the water system to effectively meet the water needs of all water users covered in the region.

Osborn said agricultural water rates have increased almost exactly as perceived in the Master Water Plan.

“The agricultural water users were under the clear impression their rates would increase by the cost of living,” he said.

In 2009, the increase would rise from $210.56 per hectare to somewhere between $214.77 to $215.82 per hectare.

A nine per cent increase would see agricultural water users paying $229.51 per hectare.

“The industry will not only have suffered an unwarranted expense increase, but this increase is compounded into the future expenses of operation,” said Osborn, who argued that the agricultural community was not consulted when the nine per cent increase for all users was proposed.

The reduction for agriculturists means a potential loss of about $45,000 in revenue for NORD, but that didn’t concern Coldstream director Doug Dirk, who made the motion to reduce the rates.

“We have all kinds of special projects that came up during our budget deliberation, and we can decide those within the budget, but we’ll be able to handle $45,000,” said Dirk.

BX-Silver Star director Mike Macnabb voted in favour of the motion, but said more work on how much water is used by agriculturists needs to be done.

“I don’t want to punish the agriculturists,” he said. “But we have to get a little more information.

“The number 2.5 per cent is the best working number until we get more information.”

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Local Government Grants Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 275

Contents
Section
1 Grants to local governments and related organizations
2 Repealed
3 Unconditional grants
4 Conditional grants
5 Grants to other bodies
6 Consultation with local governments
7 Power to make regulations
8 Transitional — authority to continue payments under former Acts

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Local Government Grants Act
Local Government Grants Regulations
[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 111/2009, March 13, 2009]

*This is only a snippet, please click link for entire Regulation*

Part 4 — Conditional Implementation Grants

Division 1 — Water and Sewage Infrastructure Grants

Eligibility
13 Any municipality, regional district or greater board may apply for a grant under this Division if it

(a) constructs water facilities
or sewage collection and disposal facilities, or

(b) contributes to the cost of constructing facilities that are operated on its behalf or for its benefit by another municipality, regional district or greater board.

Amount of grants
14 (1) The payment of any grant under this Division is subject to an appropriation.

(2) For a grant under this Division,

(a) the minimum amount of the grant is 25% of the capital cost of the facilities, and

(b) the maximum amount of the grant is 50% of the capital cost of the facilities.


(3) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 135/99, s. 6 (a).]

(4) As an exception to subsection (2), if the minister considers that there are insufficient funds appropriated to make a grant in accordance with those subsections, the minister may consider only part of the cost of the facilities as eligible for a grant.

[am. B.C. Reg. 135/99, s. 6.]

Conditions of grants
15 In addition to any terms and conditions established by the minister, a grant under this Part may be made on one or more of the following conditions:

(a) that, unless the facilities to which the grant relates are completed within the period or by the deadline specified by the minister at the time the grant is approved, or extended by the minister or an authorized official from time to time, the grant will not be paid or will be paid in a lesser amount;

(b) that the local government provides to the minister information and reports respecting the project to which the grant relates as requested by the minister.

-------------------------------------------

Division 5 — Special Grants

Classes of grants
25 The classes of conditional grants which may be made under this Division are as follows:

(a) special assistance grants, being grants to assist in the resolution of municipal or regional district problems that, in the opinion of the minister, are unusual or unique and for which the minister considers no other means of providing the assistance is available;

(b) regional district supplemental grants, being grants to assist in the provision of services in regional districts that are, in the opinion of the minister, sparsely populated and financially disadvantaged.

Eligibility
26 (1) Any municipality or regional district may apply for a special grant under section 25 (a) of this regulation.

(2) Any regional district may apply for a regional district supplemental grant under section 25 (b) of this regulation.

Amount of grants
27 (1) The payment of any grant under this Division is subject to an appropriation.

(2) The amount of a special grant under section 25 (a) of this regulation is in the discretion of the minister and may be made on one or more of the following bases:

(a) a fixed amount;

(b) a fixed amount per resident multiplied by the population of the jurisdiction;

(c) a percentage of the costs towards which the grant is being paid;

(d) an amount established in relation to assessment in the jurisdiction.

(3) The amount of a regional district supplemental grant under section 25 (b) of this regulation is in the discretion of the minister and may be made on the basis of either or both of the following, subject to the limit that the maximum amount of such a grant that may be paid to a regional district in any one fiscal year is 90% of the amount referred to in section 8 (a) of this regulation:

(a) a fixed amount;

(b) a percentage of the amount referred to in section 8 (a) of this regulation.

Conditions of grants
28 In addition to any terms and conditions established by the minister, a grant under this Division may be made on one or more of the following conditions:

(a) that all or some part of the grant is used for a purpose specified by the minister;

(b) that the local government provides to the minister information and reports respecting the use of the grant as requested by the minister.

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Land Title Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 250
This Act is current to April 1, 2010

Matters to be considered by approving officer on application for approval
86 (1) Without limiting section 85 (3), in considering an application for subdivision approval, the approving officer may

(a) at the cost of the subdivider, personally examine or have an examination and report made on the subdivision,

(b) hear from all persons who, in the approving officer's opinion, are affected by the subdivision,

(c) refuse to approve the subdivision plan, if the approving officer considers that

(vii) the cost to the government of providing public utilities or other works or services would be excessive,

(viii) the cost to the municipality or regional district of providing public utilities or other works or services would be excessive,

------------------------------

Local government matters to be considered by approving officer
87 Without limiting section 85 (3), the approving officer may refuse to approve a subdivision plan if the approving officer considers that the subdivision does not conform to the following:

(a) all applicable provisions of the Local Government Act;

(b) all applicable municipal, regional district and improvement district bylaws regulating the subdivision of land and zoning;

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Land Title Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 250
This Act is current to April 1, 2010

Division 4 — Approval of Subdivision Plans

Time limit for approval and consideration of public interest
85 (1) A subdivision plan must be approved or rejected by the approving officer within 2 months after the date it is tendered for examination and approval or within another period that may be set by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) If, under subsection (1), the approving officer rejects the subdivision plan, the approving officer must forthwith notify in writing the applicant, or the solicitor or agent of the applicant, of the rejection, stating briefly the reason and the approving officer's requirements, if any.

(3) In considering an application for subdivision approval in respect of land, the approving officer may refuse to approve the subdivision plan if the approving officer considers that the deposit of the plan is against the public interest.

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Local Services Act
Subdivision Regulations
[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 4/2010, January 14, 2010]

* This is only a snippett, please click link for entire Act *

Application
Where these regulations apply
1.01 These regulations apply to the subdivision of all land in the Province except land

(a) within a municipality,

(b) regulated by a bylaw under section 938 of the Municipal Act, and

Purpose
Purpose
2.01 The purpose of these regulations is to assist in assuring the safe, healthful, equitable, efficient, economical and attractive subdivision of land for the benefit of the community as a whole.

Regulations apply where there is no bylaw
1.03 Notwithstanding section 1.01 (b), where a bylaw does not regulate a matter covered by these regulations, these regulations apply to that matter.


[en. B.C. Reg. 424/87.]
 
Purpose
2.01 The purpose of these regulations is to assist in assuring the safe, healthful, equitable, efficient, economical and attractive subdivision of land for the benefit of the community as a whole.

Definitions
3.01 In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires:

"approval" means approval in writing from the authority having jurisdiction; 

"building regulations" means regulation of construction of buildings by a building code adopted pursuant to the Local Services Act or to the Building Regulations Division of the Municipal Act¹; 1. R.S.B.C. 1960-255

"community water system" means a system of waterworks which serves 2 or more parcels and which is owned, operated and maintained by an improvement district under the Water Act or the Municipal Act, or a regional district, or which is regulated under the Water Utility Act;

"potable water" means water which is approved for drinking purposes by the medical health officer in accordance with the Health Act;

Other regulations
4.02 Nothing contained in these regulations shall relieve the owner of a subdivision from the responsibility to seek out and comply with the legislation applicable to his undertaking.

Community water systems
4.09 (1) The design of any community water system to serve the subdivision shall be in accordance with the requirements of any authority having jurisdiction over the system pursuant to

(a) the Health Act and the Water Utility Act,

(b) the Health Act and the Water Act, when an improvement district has an applicable subdivision bylaw pursuant to the Water Act, or

(c) the Health Act and the Municipal Act, when a regional district has an applicable bylaw setting out the terms and conditions of any extension to its community water system,

as the case may be.

(2) The community water system approved pursuant to section 4.09 (1) shall be installed as approved before the subdivision is approved.

(3) Notwithstanding the requirements of section 4.09 (2), a subdivision may be approved prior to the construction of the community water system, provided that an arrangement securing performance of such construction satisfactory to the approving officer has been made with

(a) the Comptroller of Water Rights (under the Water Utility Act),

(b) an improvement district having an applicable subdivision bylaw adopted pursuant to the Water Act, or

(c) a regional district having an applicable bylaw setting out the terms and conditions of any extension to its community water system,

as the case may be, but in no case shall the subdivision be approved before the plans for the community water system have been approved.

Water supply
4.11 Where a community water system is to be installed in a subdivision, a supply of potable water adequate to serve the subdivision shall be proven before the subdivision is approved.

"potable water" means water which is approved for drinking purposes by the medical health officer in accordance with the Health Act;

Access to navigable waters
5.06 When a subdivision borders on the shore of navigable waters, access shall be given in accordance with the requirements of the Land Title Act.

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Here is an article from the Vernon Morning Star letters section of March 21, 2010 that we thought was a good article.

Water woes has serious consequences for agriculture and mid to lower income families.

Water Woes - Increase in water cost has serious consequences.

Gyula Kiss excellent blog

http://coldstreamernews.blogspot.com/

concerning this rate increase, water issues generally, and what other communities are paying.

Check out this article on sustainability that is posted at coldstreamernews.blogspot.com.  There is some red printing added to the side of the article by coldstreamer, that we thought was well written.

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Check out http://coldstreamernews.blogspot.com/ for more about the water debate between
Coldstreamer and Richard Rolke who is journalist of the Vernon Morning Star

Avoiding the blame
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 30, 2010

It’s always easier to pin the blame on someone else than taking the time to look in your own backyard.

Case in point is Coldstream council telling farmers to take their complaints over higher water rates to Vernon city hall.

“You have the support of the council of Coldstream. You need to raise your concerns with them,” Coun. Richard Enns told Ted Osborn, agricultural community representative, recently.

“It’s really the council of the City of Vernon that we need to convince. That’s where some of the pressure should go,” added Coun. Doug Dirk.

But what they neglect to point out is that every time the financial plan — including the nine per cent rate hike — went before the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee or the North Okanagan Regional District board, Coldstream’s representative raised his hand for it.

Coun. Gyula Kiss has made numerous comments publicly and on his blog about the negative impact of the rate hike on customers and consumption levels. But when push came to shove, he still voted for farmers and residential customers paying more for water this coming year.

When asked about his actions, Kiss said, “Water is only part of the budget. If I am the only one voting against, it’s like I’m grandstanding. You don’t want to do that.”

But is it actually grandstanding when you express legitimate concerns on behalf of yourself and others?

Did Kiss not find it unusual that he was raising the concerns of agricultural water customers at the March 17 NORD meeting and then, within minutes, was ensuring the budget was unanimously adopted?

Yes Kiss’ one vote wouldn’t have stopped the budget from moving ahead, but it would have sent the message that higher water rates were unacceptable. Taking a stand sometimes means being the odd person out.

I also find it odd that Coldstream council is directing Osborn’s concerns specifically to Vernon council when it was the entire 13-member NORD board that approved the 2010 budget, including the higher water rates. The city only comprises three of the votes there.

Along with the city representatives and Kiss, the other Greater Vernon politicians that backed the nine per cent hike were electoral area directors Mike Gavinchuk and Mike Macnabb.

If questions should be directed towards anyone, it should be the two Mikes who represent the largely agricultural BX, and Kiss, who comes from Rural Living At Its Best. It’s them, not the boys from the big city, who departed significantly from the interest of agricultural customers.

And that situation wasn’t lost on Osborn.

“Areas B, C and Coldstream went along with it. It leaves a very bad taste,” he said after the March 17 meeting.

Ultimately, I’m left wondering if Coldstream councillors have a true picture of what went on at the regional meetings or if they are just trying to dodge the controversy by redirecting the blame.

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Water board receives funding
Vernon Morning Star - February 06, 2010

New funding will allow the Okanagan Basin Water Board to develop policy that will help address water needs in the region.

The OBWB will receive $298,000 from Natural Resources Canada over three years, matched by $331,850 in cash and in-kind contributions through the OBWB and various B.C. agencies.

“The Okanagan valley has among the highest drought risk in Canada, with some of the fastest population growth, and an economy that is heavily dependent on water for agriculture, tourism and retirement industries,” said Anna Warwick Sears, executive director.

“Despite the known risks, very little work has been done to ensure the reliability of supplies for the future – until now.”

Between 2007 and 2009, the federal government invested heavily in phase two of the Okanagan water supply and demand project, with more than $1.1 million in cash contributions towards the $2.5 million budget total.

The goal of phase two was to provide an up-to-date scientific assessment of current water availability in the Okanagan basin, and how it will be impacted by population growth and climate change in the near future. Phase 2 will be completed and launched in March 2010.

“After three years of intense study of water issues in the Okanagan, we are getting a handle on what climate change and population growth will bring,” said Warwick Sears.

“We’re thrilled with this funding. It will take us to the next step – finding solutions to address these issues.”

Phase three will use the phase two science to modernize water policy in the Okanagan, and communicate facts about water to the public and elected leaders. Phase three will also make the data and models available for valley-wide regional and local government planning.

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Protecting water resources a critical political issue
Kelowna Capital News - By Jennifer Smith - March 23, 2010

He’s written a stack of books, honed an “expert” reputation in his field and has a United Nations label on his current project—the International Decade “Water for Life”—but Robert Sandford’s true talent is building a simple message.

“People will walk across the room and turn off a light to save energy and they’ll let the tap run for five minutes. That is the equivalent of letting a 60 Watt bulb run for 14 hours,” he said Tuesday.

Sandford, the keynote speaker for World Water Day at UBC Okanagan, made it clear water is as much a concern for our world, and our country, as peak oil and climate change; in fact, they’re all the same problem.

If you understand that energy issues are water issues and water issues are energy issues then the political decisions needed to conserve both—and stem the tide of climate change—really become much clearer, in his mind.

But the entire move hinges on avoiding political lobbies which push profit over logic. “We cannot afford to let crucial water issues be hijacked by public relations spin,” he said. “The domain of water resources is not politically neutral.”

What Stanford wants Canadians to know is that we’re water pigs. While our popular mythology may peg us as conservers, we’re really running through our water at an unprecedented rate.

Energy and water are intrinsically tied as it takes a tremendous amount of energy to both clean and move our water resources and it takes even more water to create our energy—whether that be hydroelectric or the water used in oil extraction.

By and large, the world accepts it’s currently at what’s called peak oil, meaning oil resources are on the decline, but we only have about another decade before we’ve also peaked on the world’s water resources, Stanford said, adding it too is about to become a very critical resource in ways most Canadian don’t ever think about.

Cities will soon be competing with agriculture not just for land, but for water, he said, as the global population has grown so large it is poised on the brink of a food crisis.

As we eat 70 per cent more than we drink, the water needed to produce food is going to be critical in the future and increasingly more valuable.

“Agriculture will become more important to our economy than oil and gas,” Stanford said, noting it too may one day be the source of global conflict.

As for the other driving force behind the problem, the controversial little issue which typically steals the media spotlight, Stanford says climate change and our water issues are really the same foe.

“Most climate change damage is actually from water,” he said, pointing out it both deluges us during storms as climate change alters our weather patterns and is eradicated from environments that really need it, causing drought.

As glaciers melt and the snowpack recedes ,we’re losing more water than the water system recycles.

Moving forward, he urged the students gathered to watch his talk to push for expedient political response and be wary of the “spin” involved in the water debate. While this country has not yet reached a resource crisis, Stanford gives it only a decade more before those walls begin closing in.

“I do have hope for the future and that hope resides in my faith in subsequent generations,” he said.

jsmith "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Water study receives climate change funding
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - March 26, 2010

Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, explains the results of the Okanagan water study released on Friday.
Sean Connor/Capital News

Funding to permit the Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Study to move toward the next level of improving access to the information for communities was announced Friday by Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan.

The study was unveiled just prior to his announcement, along with some of the masses of data collected in the past three years about water resources in the valley.

The $201,300 comes from the B.C. Regional Adaptation Collaborative and is aimed at climate change action plans.

Water use in the Okanagan Valley is “close to the edge,” commented Brian Symonds, director of regional operations for the environment ministry.

“Snowpacks are our early reservoirs for this valley. People need to be responsible. There’s just not a lot of precipitation.”

The study was a collaboration of local government through the Okanagan Basin Water Board, along with provincial and federal governments.

Executive director Anna Warwick Sears, in conducting a ‘tour’ of the study’s results, said one of the most shocking discoveries was that domestic outdoor water use—water for lawns and gardens—is the second highest use of water in the valley, at 24 per cent of the total.

“It’s just for cosmetics. When you think about the possibility of us running out of water, you have to consider how we value it when we use it that way,” she said.

Data from the study will be available for the use of the public in the coming months through the OBWB website at: www.obwb.ca.

Access to it will be through a web-based reporting tool, and it will include such information as precipitation throughout the valley, water licences and who holds them and where, groundwater resources and streamflows.

It will be possible to create different scenarios, such as how much more water will be required in the next 20 years if everything remains the same, if there are population changes or if agricultural needs changed.
 

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Is there a drop to drink?
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - March 29, 2010

Okanagan Basin Water Board executive director Anna Warwick Sears would be underwater beside the Manteo Resort’s dock at high water in a normal year. This is shaping up to be the second consecutive year of drought in the Okanagan as the lake level is at a near-record low.
Sean Connor/Capital News

Individuals in the Okanagan use an average of 675 litres of water a day, double what the average is across Canada, 329 litres, and nearly six times that of people in France, 150 litres, and Israel, 135 litres.

Yet the Okanagan is the most water-short area of the country, considering precipitation and demand.

Water use by those living in the Oliver and Osoyoos areas where their water use is not metered, is even higher, yet it’s even drier there than in the central and northern parts of the valley.

That’s just some of the information to be gleaned from the Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Study unveiled Friday.

Of the total water use in the valley, the second highest amount used is domestically, for outdoor use. In other words, most of it is sprayed onto residential lawns.

The highest use is for agriculture, at 55 per cent, while outdoor domestic use makes up 24 per cent of the total.

Domestic indoor use is next, at seven per cent, followed closely by golf courses, at five per cent, commercial, at four per cent, then industrial and parks and open spaces, each at two per cent, and institutional at one per cent.

Both agriculture and golf course use contribute to people’s livelihoods and the valley’s economy, but that can’t be said of green lawns, notes Anna Warwick Sears, executive-director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

“We could provide water for double the population if we took out just a third of our lawns,” she commented.

Adding more storage and infrastructure for water is costly and environmentally damaging when instead we could conserve water by changing our concept of landscaping, she adds.

In the entire basin, 80 per cent of the total precipitation on average is lost to evapo-transpiration, either directly from open water surfaces, or drawn up by the roots of trees and plants and transpired away to the atmosphere, according to Brian Guy of Summit Environmental, project manager for the study.

The study contains a huge amount of data that will be used in planning future water management in the valley, notes Sears.

There are 101 known water suppliers in the basin, who supply about 82 per cent of the total water used.

There are more than 4,000 water licences for storage or use, including 443,000 megalitres (1,000 litres) for off-stream use and about 351,000 megalitres for in-stream, or conservation use.

About 95 per cent of the volume used is by 57 main water suppliers, who hold 88 per cent of the licensed storage.

There are 36 large upland reservoirs, capable of storing a total of 133,000 megalitres.

Surface water sources account for 67 per cent of the water used, while groundwater is the source for 22 percent; imported water, eight per cent; and recycled wastewater, three per cent.

Okanagan Lake, Mission Creek and Kalamalka-Wood Lake are the three main surface water sources.

The study is an unprecedented collaboration of the basin’s regional districts through the OBWB; provincial ministries of environment, agriculture, and community development; federal ministries of environment, fisheries and agriculture; the Okanagan Nation Alliance; UBC-Okanagan and Vancouver; SFU; University of Victoria; the Water Supply Association of B.C., B.C. Agriculture Council and others.

It was funded through the OBWB, provincial environment ministry, the Gas Tax Fund, the Canada-B.C. Water Supply Expansion Program, Natural Resources Canada’s Regional Adaptation Collaboratives program and in-kind contributions from partner agencies.


*****

Judie Steeves

staff reporter

Normally, McCulloch Lake—the main water reservoir for the South East Kelowna Irrigation District— would fill and spill with melting snow in spring.

But this is not a normal year.

This is shaping up to be the second consecutive drought year in the Okanagan Valley, and SEKID, with its relatively-small, low-elevation watershed is in the most precarious position of the less than a dozen major water utilities in the Central Okanagan.

Another key reservoir, Okanagan Lake, did not fill last year and will not fill again this year. In fact, it is at near-record low levels for the nearly a century it has been controlled by man, using dams.

McCulloch Lake was only about two hectares in size and a half-metre in depth 90 years ago. Today, that storage capacity of 7.5 acre feet has been increased to 13,475 acre feet.

The reservoir was created historically to serve agricultural users downstream; to permit the growth of Kelowna’s first orchards on the benchland above the city: SEKID was born.

It’s a similar history to that of local utilities such as the Peachland, Westbank and Lakeview Irrigation Districts on the Westside; to the Glenmore-Ellison and Black Mountain Irrigation Districts in Kelowna; and to the Lake Country water utility.

All source their water from reservoir lakes at higher elevations, created in the early years of the last century to turn the valley from brown to green with orchards.

Downtown Kelowna’s water source is Okanagan Lake, as it is for several smaller Westside utilities, and it is an auxiliary source for some of the other irrigation districts, including Peachland’s Trepanier source. GEID and Lake Country have some water rights on Okanagan Lake as well as their main upland sources.

Some, including SEKID, also have wells from which they source some of their water. Rutland Waterworks is based entirely on well water, or groundwater rather than surface water. Groundwater sources are inextricably linked to surface water.

All depend on snow stored over winter at high elevations around the valley to fill their reservoirs in spring during runoff, for use during the dry months of summer, which is also the growing season.

And, that’s where today’s problem lies.

For the past two years, the snowpack levels have been well below normal around the Okanagan and last year there was a record low amount of precipitation during June, normally the wettest month in the valley, another blow to water utilities.

This year, for instance, the snowpack in SEKID’s watershed is at 67 per cent of normal. Just a little to the north, Vernon’s is at 56 per cent.

Ironically, that means that for the second year since it was built, the new Turtle Lake reservoir, constructed by SEKID to store an additional 1,700 acre feet, won’t store a drop of water again this year, notes manager Toby Pike.

It also means it’s likely the board of directors will decide it’s necessary again this year to restrict homeowners to outside watering just two days a week, and to restrict the allotment for farm connections to 20 per cent less than usual.

It’s a decision that won’t be taken lightly, and it’s one that will be opposed by many water users, but it’s the only reason the district got through last year without running out of water, says Pike.

“We’re releasing the minimum from McCulloch Lake and we’re not doing our full watermain flushing program this spring. We’re paring down water use everywhere we can,” Pike said.

“It was really hard on people last year. You can’t minimize that. If we have a wet spring or summer, we can ease up on the restrictions.”

However, in the SEKID, there is a culture of scarcity; there has been since 1920, says Pike, adding, “We’re used to it. We conserve.”

It’s because of that SEKID was the first irrigation district to begin metering agricultural use of water. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Others are now following suit.

Pike admits there were complaints last year from both homeowners and farmers about water restrictions. Some homeowners were warned about over-use, then fined, and some even had their water shut off.

So did some farmers, although Pike says those irrigating perennial crops like fruit trees would be the last to see further restrictions on water use, because of the financial hardship it would cause and the long-term damage that could result.

Agricultural water use benefits not only the farmer but the economy of the whole valley.

However, the Water Supply and Demand study is about managing water not just for the water-short years such as 2003, 2009 and 2010.

It’s intended to provide a foundation for planning water management every year.

Pike sees it as the basis for determining where in the valley water supplies are available for future development.

“Those who manage growth need to know where the water capacity is,” he said.

“When we look at growth, we should be looking at proven water resources, not at licences.

“It should be a hydrological exercise. It makes sense to mate licencing with hydrology.”

OBWB executive-director Anna Warwick Sears agrees it’s important that planners incorporate the study’s information in Official Community Plans, so that growth occurs where water is available.

The study makes it clear how variable the supply of water is in different corners of the valley—just as the bare pilings on docks around Okanagan Lake make it clear there’s isn’t much of it available this year.

However, there are still gaps in information, as hydrologist Don Dobson notes it’s important that a comprehensive network of hydrometric stations are re-instated throughout the watershed in order to monitor water flows.

That information can then be incorporated into the models to provide more-accurate and up-to-date scenarios.

“We have to measure it before we can manage it,” he says. Without knowing what’s going on in the watersheds, it’s not possible to manage water wisely.

Bob Hrasko is manager of the Black Mountain Irrigation District and has been involved in gathering information for some of the models that form part of the study.

He says they are a very detailed and technical assembly of information.

He envisions them ensuring water managers do the right things.

“It will take some time to learn to use and integrate this information into day-to-day and future management decisions,” Hrasko said.

“We needed a handle on what is being used and what is available, in terms of water.”

This is a landmark study, according to Brian Symonds, who has 20 years experience working in Okanagan water management for the environment ministry, and who is now director of regional operations for the water stewardship division.

He expects it will be used to run a lot of different sorts of scenarios and to make many different decisions about water in the coming years.

It’s also likely it will be used as a model by other jurisdictions, he commented.

And, it’s an initiative that was valley-driven, not top-down, so it’s ‘owned’ by the valley it affects and if reflects what those in the watershed feel is needed.

Looking back, Symonds recalls when he began here there was an expectation that water would just flow from the tap when it was turned on.

It was taken for granted. That’s beginning to change, he says.

“Water is fundamental to the economy, the social fabric and the environment of the valley,” he commented.

Mystery groundwater

While surface water is visible and quite easily quantified, groundwater is quite the opposite, so the task of people like hydrogeologist Remi Allard in coming up with a groundwater balance for the Okanagan Basin was a challenging one.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about groundwater,” he begins.

People generally visualize it as a motionless reservoir, or as a flowing river under the surface.

“However, neither vision begins to describe the complex movement and variability of groundwater flow, which is a function of the type of soil, sediment or rock it moves through (the aquifer) as well as the elevation differences between where water enters the aquifer and where it exits,” he explains.

Many connections, both natural and man-made, exist between groundwater and the land’s surface and people often don’t understand the short and long-term implications on groundwater as a result of climate change and land development.

“The most important thing we can do to protect groundwater, is to pay more attention to it,” he states.

Above bedrock, groundwater is mostly in sediments. These are called alluvial aquifers.

Below bedrock, much less can be stored because of the solid rock, so it’s only found in cracks or fissures in the rock.

Alluvial aquifers are mainly found in the valley bottoms or adjacent to streams above the valley bottom.

Prior to this study there was only very sparse data available on groundwater supplies in the Okanagan Basin, which meant there was very little information from wells accessing aquifers to assemble to come up with a groundwater balance for the basin.

After identifying the quantity of water that enters the basin from precipitation and how much runs off, they audited groundwater resources by using complex spreadsheets.

In the end, they couldn’t completely reconcile the groundwater numbers, particularly in some parts of the valley he admits.

“There are still things we don’t understand. We need to do more work to gather additional information to fill in those gaps,” said Allard.

What was most surprising was that more groundwater is being used in the basin that was thought.

In all, 22 per cent of water used is from groundwater sources.

Along streams, groundwater can be recharged by surface water in places, while in others, the surface water in the stream can be recharged by groundwater, particularly in winter when surface sources are frozen.

Allard sees the impact of this study as very practical science which will identify areas of the basin that have issues, as well as elevating the general awareness of water supply and demand issues.

He does believe the results will underline the need for additional work.

In addition, he feels it will be interesting to see whether or not the Okanagan Basin Water Board uses this to leverage its ability to manage water in the basin.

He’s hopeful that regional districts will look at the results of the study and the water balance in different areas and use the information available to assess where sufficient water is available for growth and development.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Water improvements may carry a hefty price tag
Keremeos Review - Text By Steve Arstad - November 17, 2009

Changes to B.C.’s Drinking Water Protection Act in 2003 may have some hefty financial consequences for Kaleden’s Irrigation District in the not too distant future.

The Interior Health Authority, who was given the responsibility for interpretation and implementation of the Act by the province has since issued the decree that all surface water used in community water systems must be filtered.

Locally, Okanagan Falls and Keremeos irrigation districts source their water from wells - ground based supplies that do not require (at least not yet) supplementary filtration. Kaleden’s water supply comes from Skaha Lake, however, putting that community into the “must filter” category.

“There are different methods of filtration,” commented Kaleden Irrigation District Superintendant Kevin Huey.

The cost for small irrigation districts like Kaleden to reach this level of filtration is going to be a challenge for both the irrigation district and its residents.

“We are about to begin our capital works update for the district,” Huey continued, “we will formulate two documents - one dealing with general system upgrades, and another solely devoted to the Interior Health guidelines and how we plan to achieve them.”

One important point to note with respect to the legislation’s potential cost and Kaleden’s water supply is the fact that even though the community’s water is sourced from a surface supply, Kaleden has never had a significant health related issue with its water.

“Our turbidity levels have never exceeded one NTU,” Huey noted. “We have never had a boil water advisory or boil water advisory order. Our lake water has always been consistent in quality.”

Based on past history of the irrigation district, is the new regulation necessary? It’s a question many Kaleden property owners may wish to pose to the Interior Health Authority, as Kaleden has, at present, no access to grant funding for infrastructure upgrades such as this.

“All system upgrades will be borne by the Kaleden ratepayer,” Huey said, “and the cost will be considerably more than what the new intake cost.” (Kaleden installed a new water intake line in 2005, at a cost of $564 per household.)

Although the regional district has access to grant funding in certain cases, Huey believes that provincial government priorities would preclude Kaleden from being eligible for grants and the irrigation distrct would be taken over by the regional district .

The new regs apply to all water suppliers containing populations greater than 500 residents. That means that other public water systems drawing from the same source, such as Lakeshore Highlands and Skaha Estates, are currently exempt from the edict.

Kaleden Irrigation District is currently looking at a number of options that might be acceptable to Interior Health. They include such ideas as finding a new, ground based water source for domestic with twinning the irrigation system so that irrigation and domestic supplies are separated.

“In Kaleden, 90 per cent of water used goes on the ground,” Huey said. “To install a UV treatment system here, we would be looking at something in the neighbourhood of two million dollars. IHA could possibly give us temporary filtration deferral”

The West Bench neighbourhood near Penticton faces a similar issue, as the community takes its water from Okanagan Lake. They are currently in discussions with the City of Penticton to tie into that city’s water supply, which has been filtered for several years.

The need for Kaleden to finance such an upgrade is a point which many residents may wish to debate. The application of such stringent standards is only being felt in the interior. The rule is not consistent on a province wide basis. Is it reasonable to expect an irrigation district like Kaleden - with 1200 households - to pony up so much money for an upgrade that - based on historical evidence - is not going to bring tangible health benefits to the community?

“It should be said that Interior Health has not had a free ride,” Huey added. “The province is still the overriding body on this - it is their legislation. The K.I.D. board has no choice but to plan for it.”

Huey said that the board is currently looking at a phased in approach once a direction has been taken. Metering of water use is also on the horizon for Kaleden residents as the district attempts to get a handle on the amount of water consumed for domestic use in the community.

“The reality is that water is really cheap,” Huey concluded. “People have to realize that costs are going to go up.”

For local ratepayers, that will be for the right reasons, hopefully.

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Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Agenda December 14, 2009

Agenda No: 6.11

DEVELOPMENT & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT REPORT For the Board

TO: Chair & Members of the Regional Board
FROM: Delphine Maja, Sr. Engineering Technologist
DATE: December 14th 2009
SUBJECT: Proposed New Regional District of Central Okanagan Water Systems Fees and Regulations Bylaw

RECOMMENDATION:

THAT the Regional Board give 1st, 2nd , and 3rd reading, reconsider and adopt the "Regional District of Central Okanagan Water Systems Fees and Regulations Bylaw No. XXXX, 2009."

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this bylaw is to re-establish regulations under which water will be provided and to re-establish fees and charges which may be imposed against the owner of any parcel located within any of the Regional District of Central Okanagan water system service areas:

  ~ Westshores,
  ~ Killiney Beach,
  ~ Dietrich,
  ~ Sunset Ranch, and
  ~ Falconridge.

As well as the new domestic water system at Upper Fintry and Valley of the Sun, which is currently under design.

This bylaw repeals and replaces the "Regional District of Central Okanagan Water Systems Administration Bylaw No. 1108, 2005, as amended. Essentially capturing the same scope, except for the following housekeeping amendments and updates:

Revising and Standardizing of:

1) the layout and numbering system,

2) the wording with respect to fees and charges for system extensions and service connections,

3) the references to Regional District "Officials" and "Operators",

Increasing:

4) user fees to account for inflation

5) maintenance fees on the Killiney Beach and Sunset Ranch systems,

6) the capital service connection fee from $500 to $1000 on the Killiney Beach system,

Adding:

7) sprinkling restrictions, as per the regulations set by Westbank Irrigation District, Lakeview Irrigation District, WFN Utilities and the District of Peachland,

8) consumption restrictions for the Dietrich system users in accordance with the Trepanier Ditch Water supply agreement.

9) a disclosure statement that utility billing continues during disconnections, unless a "permanent" disconnection is made

10) a maintenance fee for the Falconridge system,

11) a disclosure statement that disconnection and reconnection fees still apply if the water has been turned off due to miss-use of system.

12) a special use permit for watering newly seeded or sodded lawns during sprinkling restriction periods,

13) a disclosure statement that system record drawings may not be exactly accurate,

14) a disclosure statement that pressure and/or continuous supply, and/or containing sediments in systems is not guaranteed,

Deleting:

15) all references to the West Kelowna, Sunnyside, and Pritchard water systems. It should be noted, that Engineering Services will endeavor to have all 5 water systems thoroughly reviewed in 2010 to determine the immediate and long term capital requirements as well as the operation and maintenance budgets.

DEVELOPMENT & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT COMMENTS:
THAT the Regional Board give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading, reconsider and adopt the "Regional District of Central Okanagan Water Systems Fees and Regulations Bylaw No. XXXX, 2009."

continued at link above because we did not reproduce this section of document here, it was too long

---------this part not reproduced (BYLAW NO. ???? ----------

continuation here

Regional District of Central Okanagan Water Systems Fees and Regulations Bylaw No. XXXX, 2009
Page 12 of 16

SCHEDULE "B" FEES & CHARGES

1. Application for Connection Fee (lresidential unit) $200.00

2. Killiney Beach Capital Service Connection Charge $1,000.00

3. Water Meter Fees (/meter)*:

    3/4" diameter $440.00
    1" diameter $635.00
    1 1/2" diameter $935.00
    2" diameter $1,220.00

  * Any additional costs incurred will be at the expense of the owner. If it is deemed that the
    premises is inaccessible to install a water meter, repair a water meter or to obtain a meter
    read due to gates, unrestrained dogs or any other reason, a non-refundable charge of
    $100.00 per billing period will be charged to the property.

4. Disconnection Fee* $75.00
   * Maintenance fees shall continue to apply during temporary disconnections from the water systems.

5. Temporary Disconnection Re-Connection Fee $75.00

6. Water System Extension & Water Capital Service Connection Fees:

     =(All capital costs*) + (3% administration fee*) + (25% security deposit*)

  * Where upon application to connect the Owner will be provided with an estimated capital cost
     including all applicable taxes.
  * In no case shall the administration fee be less than $150.
  * In no case shall the capital costs be less than $1,000.
  * Upon completion of the works, the Regional District shall reimburse the applicant any remaining
     balance of the security deposit. If the security deposit is insufficient to cover the costs then the
     Regional District shall recover the costs from the Owner in accordance with the Local Government
     Act and the Community Charter.

7. Water Rates:

a) User fees shall commence on the day which final inspection is made or as determined by the Building Inspector.

b) Annual fee increases are effective January 1st.

c) Maintenance fees shall commence immediately upon registration of a property.

d) Billing will coincide with any other utility charges being levied by the Regional District on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

e) User and maintenance fees shall be due and payable thirty (30) days after the billing date.

f) Any user fees or maintenance fees that remain unpaid on the 15th day of December of each year shall be deemed taxes in arrears and shall be forthwith entered on the real property tax roll by the collector as taxes in arrears.


Water System User Fee Maintenance Fee Per Residential Unit Per Parcel

WATER SYSTEM

ANNUAL USER FEE
PER RESIDENTIAL UNIT

ANNUAL MAINTENANCE FEE
PER PARCEL

  2010 2011 2010 2011
Dietrich

n/a

$1,104 $1,132
Falcon Ridge $442 $454 $150 $200
Killiney Beach $226 $232 $150 $200
Westshore $226 $232 $150 $200
Sunset Ranch « 0.25ha) n/a $250 $256
Sunset Ranch (> 0.25ha) n/a $1,800 $1,800

   continued at link above ......

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Basin board looks at better border relations
Kelowna Dailey Courier - J.P. Squire 2009-03-26

It may be called the Okanagan basin, but, in reality, the Valley‘s watersheds are shared with Big Brother to the south. And there could be expensive times ahead as Big Brother flexes his muscles to satisfy an insatiable demand for water and power. Okanagan Basin Water Board‘s governance panel will look at the big picture today during a 4:30 p.m.

discussion at Kelowna Yacht Club entitled Shared Waters, Shared Responsibility. It is part of World Water Week activities.

“We want to bring attention to the fact that when people look out of their windows in Kelowna, they don‘t necessarily associate Okanagan Lake and the United States,” said Nelson Jatel, the board‘s water stewardship director.

In 2013, for example, the International Joint Commission, which has politicians from both countries, will renegotiate an agreement which determines how much water from Osoyoos Lake flows south across the border.

“It talks about the (maximum-minimum) levels that need to be maintained on Osoyoos Lake, and that has implications throughout the entire system, right from Wood Lake all the way down to the border,” said Jatel.

Southern Interior residents also have to keep an eye on other issues, such as the proposed $260-million Shaker‘s Bend power dam eight kilometres northwest of Oroville.

The U.S. infrastructure project by an Okanogan County utility would potentially flood 9,000 acres of the Similkameen Valley, including most of the orchards and vineyards, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band reserve and Highway 97. It could cost $350,000 to $500,000 for this province to present its case in the U.S. A similar project affecting the Lower Mainland in 1974 cost canoeists and flyfishers $125,000 and when they lost, did destroy the affected area.

“Once these processes are started, No. 1, who takes a leadership role? And No. 2, where does that funding come from to make sure that our interests are protected?” asked Jatel.

A study is underway to determine if there are any benefits to Canada, but “it‘s pretty clear that there aren‘t.”

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The Regional District of Central Okanagan operates eight water distribution systems, servicing almost 2,400 customers. The systems are in the following areas: Killiney Beach, Pritchard Drive, Falconridge, Sunnyside and Green Bay, West Kelowna Estates, Sunset Ranch, Star Place and Westshore Estates. The systems vary in size with the smallest servicing eight properties and the largest system encompassing more than 800 customers. In 1982, the Regional District began operating its first water system in Killiney Beach, which was acquired from private owners. In 1988, construction began on the Falconridge system, the first to be built by the Regional District. The most recent addition to the Regional District water utilities occured in 2005, when the assets of the Sunnyside and Green Bay systems were acquired from private owners.

http://www.wjwc.ca/whois.htm

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Ministry of Community Services said on the phone that the more people applying for a water system grant the more apt you are to get it, as less people applying for a grant have a decreased chance of getting a grant.  For example if there were only grant money for one system and there were two communities applying, the the community with the most people the system served would get the grant.

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RDCO email reply dated Feb 16, 2009

How many properties within the boundaries of RDCO water systems, have homes but are not connected to the community water systems?

Star Place water system…all eight connected

Falcon Ridge (Deitrich) water system…one property on well, all others connected.

Sunset Ranch water system…all properties connected.

Killiney Beach water system…14 properties not connected

Westshore water system…20 properties not connected

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NewRegional Board Meeting Agenda Jan 15, 2009

Item 1.1 Towns For Tomorrow Grant Application.pdf

Looks like the Regional District of Central Okanagan is going to offer Fintry subdivisions a water well system from Fintry Delta, as this is what the Towns for Tomorrow water system grant application says at the link above.

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NewGovernance and Services Committee Agenda Jan 15, 2009

Item 4.2 Regional Drinking Water Team.pdf

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For example, letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.

http://www.epa.gov/owm/water-efficiency/water/benefits.htm

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Water Fees - Surveys and Statistics

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Is it fair that Upper Fintry vote water in for Valley of the Sun when many people at Valley of the Sun already have a water well.  Is it fair to lump all the subdivisions into the same vote?

If just Valley of the Sun was voting, then maybe Valley of the Sun would vote a water system out as many people have water and if they don't, that's their problem.  They should have thought of that when they bought and were told by RDCO that water may never come.  That is exactly what RDCO told okanaganlakebc.ca.  There is no reason why residents should be forced to pay for someone else's water!

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The BC Environmental Assessment Act requires an environmental assessment to be conducted for a well or a well field extracting 75 L/s or more of groundwater.

http://www.obwb.ca/policy_legislation/

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Division 4 — Committees, Commissions and Other Bodies

Standing committees of council

http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/c/03026_05.htm#part5_division4

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Who’s in Charge? (page 17)

In order for this project to proceed smoothly and efficiently, it will mean a combination of the following forces must team up and work together (listed in no particular order):

- Regional District Staff
- Consulting Engineer
- Director Edgson
- Community

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Lakes, streams, water bodies  (page 11)

Most of the upland lakes are constructed water storage reservoirs, capturing and transporting the annual snowmelt and rainfall to lower and dryer elevations in the Okanagan Basin.

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/planning/pl_en_dis.pdf

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Payment options for a water system (page 16)

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Senior Engineering Technologist (page 4)
http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/engineering/NWwater/PresentationDec2008.pdf

Delphine Maja, Engineering Tech. II
Planning Department Memorandum (A -02-0 7)
March 20th, 2002
  This file is in RICH TEXT format (.rtf)

Engineering ethics

In Canada "only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public and private clients."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_engineering


Water resources engineering is concerned with the collection and management of water (as a natural resource). As a discipline it therefore combines hydrology, environmental science, meteorology, geology, conservation, and resource management. This area of civil engineering relates to the prediction and management of both the quality and the quantity of water in both underground (aquifers) and above ground (lakes, rivers, and streams) resources. Water resource engineers analyze and model very small to very large areas of the earth to predict the amount and content of water as it flows into, through, or out of a facility. Although the actual design of the facility may be left to other engineers. Hydraulic engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. This area of civil engineering is intimately related to the design of pipelines, water distribution systems, drainage facilities (including bridges, dams, channels, culverts, levees, storm sewers), and canals. Hydraulic engineers design these facilities using the concepts of fluid pressure, fluid statics, fluid dynamics, and hydraulics, among others.

Environmental concerns in relation to groundwater and waste disposal have spawned a new area of study called geoenvironmental engineering where biology and chemistry are important.

Environmental engineering deals with the treatment of chemical, biological, and/or thermal waste, the purification of water and air, and the remediation of contaminated sites, due to prior waste disposal or accidental contamination. Among the topics covered by environmental engineering are pollutant transport, water purification, waste water treatment, air pollution, solid waste treatment and hazardous waste management.

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Subdivision Servicing Bylaw No. 464, 1991 - Repealed by Bylaw No. 704

Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw No. 704, 1996 - Repeals Bylaw No. 464, Amended by Bylaw Nos. 810, 898, 930, 940, 1046, 1168, 1181

Lane means narrow highway in regards to utility corridors
Lane means a narrow highway in regards to this RDCO utility corridor.

Regional District of Central Okanagan Bylaw 704 - regarding lanes, highways, and right of ways

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Hydrology (from Greek: Yδωρ, hudōr, "water"; and λόγος, logos, "study") is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth, and thus addresses both the hydrologic cycle and water resources. A practitioner of hydrology is a hydrologist, working within the fields of either earth or environmental science, physical geography or civil and environmental engineering.

Hydrologic cycle
The central theme of hydrology is that water moves throughout the Earth through different pathways and at different rates. The most vivid image of this is in the evaporation of water from the ocean, which forms clouds. These clouds drift over the land and produce rain. The rainwater flows into lakes, rivers, or aquifers. The water in lakes, rivers, and aquifers then either evaporates back to the atmosphere or eventually flows back to the ocean, completing a cycle.

Ground Water
Groundwater is recharged from, and eventually flows to, the surface naturally; natural discharge often occurs at springs and seeps, and can form oases or wetlands. Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, also called groundwater hydrology.

Aquifiers
A confined aquifer is an aquifer that is overlain by a relatively impermeable layer of rock or substrate such as an aquiclude or aquitard. If a confined aquifer follows a downward grade from its recharge zone, groundwater can become pressurized as it flows. This can create artesian wells that flow freely without the need of a pump or rise to a higher elevation than the static water table at the above, unconfined aquifer.

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Somehow an invention could probably extract water from the air in an area without any water??  Could be expensive though, who knows.

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The Regional District of Central Okanagan has an immediate opening for a Infrastructure Services Coordinator

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is seeking an experienced, highly organized Infrastructure Services Coordinator to join our team. Reporting to the Manager of Development & Environmental Services, the Infrastructure Services Coordinator is responsible for the management of all Regional District utilities and infrastructure which includes water distribution systems, a tertiary wastewater treatment plant and collection system, and a regional landfill. You are responsible to ensure efficient and cost effective delivery of services including design, long term planning, budgeting, and implementation of infrastructure projects.

A comprehensive knowledge of public infrastructure management, specifically in relation to tertiary wastewater treatment plants, collection systems, water systems, and landfills is essential. The successful candidate will have successfully completed a Civil Engineering Technologist program and have professional membership in ASTTBC. Certification in EOCP Water Distribution and EOCP Wastewater Collection is preferred with computer experience in GIS, AutoCAD, and MS Office. A minimum of five years experience in managing staff, financial resources and infrastructure management is required along with experience in a local government environment. This position will have demonstrated leadership abilities, and excellent interpersonal, communication, and project management skills. A valid BC driver’s licence is required.

We offer a competitive salary and a full range of benefits, including professional development. This is a full-time, exempt position to commence immediately.

Please forward your resume and covering letter quoting Competition No. 0827 by 4:00 p.m., Friday, November 21, 2008:

Regional District of Central Okanagan
1450 KLO Road
Kelowna, B.C. V1W 3Z4
e-mail: hr"at"cord.bc.ca
fax: 250-763-7497
www.regionaldistrict.com

Location: Kelowna
Date Posted: Thursday, November 06, 2008
Posting Expires: Friday, November 21, 2008

http://www.civicjobs.ca/101.asp?jobpostingid=8824

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/hr/infrastructureservicescoordinator_ad0827.pdf

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Grants available for water projects
Vernon Morning Star - Published: December 26, 2008

There’s up to $300,000 available in grants for innovative and collaborative projects in 2009 that promote water conservation and water quality improvements in the valley.

Proposals must have a stamp of approval from the local council or regional district board before being forwarded to the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s grant program, explains program administrator Genevieve Dunbar.

Eligible applicants include local governments, non-profit community groups and irrigation or improvement districts.

She says they hope to see proposals for projects which could serve as models for other groups in the valley, and projects which will affect policy, so it’s not just a one-off impact.

Collaboration with partners and achieving matching funding is a bonus for an applicant. Often the OBWB funds can be used to leverage larger amounts, with grants from other sources as well, she said.

The board would also like to see applications for projects related to the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy prepared by the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council and released to the public in October. It’s available online at www.obwb.ca.

Usually they receive applications for double the amount of money available, she noted, so the successful projects are generally pretty good.

This is the fourth year of the grant program, which has given out $1.1 million for 59 projects. Dunbar said projects previously funded through the program have led to significant improvements in water conservation and water quality and have leveraged a substantial amount of external funding from senior governments and other donors.

The deadline for application is Feb. 13, and must include the resolution of support from the local government body.

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Is it at least 50% or greater than 50%?

From Ministry of Community Services Website regarding Local Services
http://www.cd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/gov_structure/community_charter/index.htm#services

In order for a petition against the establishment of a local area service to be successful, the petition must be signed by the owners of at least 50% of the parcels that would be subject to the local area tax. In addition, the persons signing must be the owners of parcels that in total represent at least 50% of the assessed value of land and improvements that would be subject to the local service tax.

In order for a petition for the establishment of a local area service to be successful, the petition must be signed by the owners of at least 50% of the parcels that would be subject to the local area tax. In addition, the persons signing must be the owners of parcels that in total represent at least 50% of the assessed value of land and improvements that would be subject to the local service tax.

http://www.cd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/gov_structure/community_charter/services_regulatory/local_area_services.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------

From RDCO Presentation to Residents December 4, 2008 (page 15)

To provide the water service RDCO must obtain ascent from the electorate and create a Service Area under the provisions of the Local Government Act, either by referendum, the alternative approval process, or by petition;

  • A formal petition will be circulated by mail to all registered property owners identifying estimated costs;

  • The petition must be supported by >50% of the property owners who own more than 50% of the net taxable value of all land and improvements in the area;

  • If the petition is successful RDCO would prepare the necessary bylaws and proceed with project.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Petition for local area service

212 (1) The persons who may petition for a local area service are the owners of parcels that would be subject to the local service tax for the service.

(3) In order for a petition for a local area service to be certified as sufficient and valid,

(a) the petition must be signed by the owners of at least 50% of the parcels that would be subject to the local service tax, and

(b) the persons signing must be the owners of parcels that in total represent at least 50% of the assessed value of land and improvements that would be subject to the local service tax.

http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/C/03026_07.htm#part7_division5

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The mine at Valley of the Sun is full of water and so are the ponds. There is also an underground stream that runs down alongside Firewood Road which is shown on RDCO's water map on page 17 and here on another of RDCO's water maps

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Map of proposed water system taking water from Okanagan Lake and from in front of Valley of the Sun (page 12)

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Ground Water in the Okanagan Basin

Groundwater is a reservoir that extends water availability.  Aquifers are a natural reservoir when surface water is inaccessible (frozen in the winter) or unavailable (low flows during the summer). (page 4)

Groundwater and Surface Water are a single resource (page 22)

http://www.obwb.ca/fileadmin/docs/Neumann_SW-GW.Interactions.pdf

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Snippett:

PROVINCE FIGHTS FOR RESILIENT RURAL COMMUNITIES
By Blair Lekstrom
Minister of Community Development
Dec. 1, 2008

And this government is taking action. Through my ministry, for example, we have assembled a RuralBC Secretariat that will help communities, workers and their families build their communities and diversify their economies.

Through our RuralBC Secretariat, we have assembled a team of regional economic development managers who will be working hand-in-hand with rural communities to help them access provincial and federal funding. We have community transition managers who work with community leaders to develop plans and strategies to steer communities through hard times.

We have launched a new website – www.ruralbc.gov.bc.ca – with a comprehensive list of tools that communities can access to achieve their vision for the future.

We have increased the amount of infrastructure funding available to keep people working and to keep our small businesses strong, while this market cycle works its way through. A further $50-million dollars is being added to the existing $21-million Towns for Tomorrow program to help communities with up to 15,000 people and regional district areas build community priority projects and maintain their quality of life. Another $10 million is being provided through LocalMotion to build walkways and bike paths.

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008CD0117-001832.htm
 

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How well (no pun intended) do you trust Jim Edgson and RDCO to do the right thing about this water system, because at least one person from Valley of the Sun has doubts.  A water system meeting can't even be held properly (who holds a meeting at 5 PM)?  Is that one of the clues besides taking so long, etc.  This one person would like to see an independent work on the Upper Fintry and Valley of the Sun water system studies as it seems RDCO is also studying the farthest away from at least one of the subdivisions first, and maybe wasting some money there. We thought of Corix to work for us.  La Casa should have been the last place to study if there were no water found anywhere else this person feels.  Wouldn't RDCO know approximately that a water main would cost upwards of 1 millon dollars from La Casa, and its repeated over and over in the studies that ground water is the best and cheaper option if available.  First off, maybe a water witcher should have been hired to look for water nearer to the Upper Fintry, Valley of the Sun subdivisions but yet no study has been done.  There is one underground stream that surfaces in one yard at Valley of the Sun and returns underground again and most likely runs down to the lake.  Why pump it back up from the lake?  And just look how long its taking to do the studies that have been done so far.  If this water system takes much longer there may not be any government grant funding left for a water system for these subdivisions during this credit crunch.  As well, with the problems developers are finding themselves in with credit these days as seen in the latest news, who knows Mr. Kubas development may have trouble as well???  We don't know if his situation may have changed.  We emailed Mr Kubas Nov. 28, 2008 asking how he is doing, and if Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun can still think of what is known as the Kubas development, which would be located in front of Valley of the Sun, as still being included in the water system study.  Mr Kubas has now replied, saying he is still in the game.  If you have questions for Mr Kubas please use our feedback form filling it out with your email address and we will forward your email address to Mr. Kubas so he has the option to contact you?  Not sure that Mr. Kubas wishes his email address given out, so without asking him, this is the best way for now until at least the first person inquires, then we will see what Mr Kubas wishes are about his email address.  Maybe he wishes to give it out, who knows we are not the judge but could be a middle man or woman LOL.

Regional District of Central Okanagan Organization and Responsibilities
Environmental and Development Services
Manager: Dan Plamondon
Engineering Section
Responsibility Areas

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Contains legislation, training courses, and education

BC Ground Water Association http://www.bcgwa.org/

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Canadian Government-funded initiative to look at ways of reducing water demand in regions of scarcity

http://www.idrc.ca/waterdemand

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Design Guidelines for Rural Residential Community Water Systems 2004

Role of the Consulting Engineer
The design and construction supervision is carried out by a professional engineer or limited licensee experienced in the waterworks industry. The terms of reference under which the engineer is hired by the developer or utility should specify that the engineer is responsible for both the design and construction supervision of the system or extension.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/water_rights/water_utilities/cabinet/design.pdf

Design Guidelines for Rural Residential Community Water Systems

http://www.cd.gov.bc.ca/LGD/infra/engineering_index.htm

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Government Infrastructure Grants
The Ministry of Community Development provides infrastructure funding to local governments through a variety of grant programs.
For more detailed information on funding for local governments please consult the Local Government Grants Act and regulations
http://www.cd.gov.bc.ca/LGD/infra/infrastructure_grants/index.htm

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2.2 Lawn and Garden Watering (page 4)
By far the largest portion of maximum day use will be for lawn and garden watering. The quantity needed depends on the area to be watered, climate during growing season, soil type and a number of less significant variables.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/water_rights/water_utilities/cabinet/design.pdf

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Capital Regional District: New Groundwater Supply, Cedars of Tuam Water, Salt Spring Island
Provincial contribution: $66,667. Project value: $100,000.

Drilling and developing a new well for a 16 lot subdivision, installing 550 m of water main, installing ultraviolet disinfection and chlorine to provide safe, potable drinking water.

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2005CS0073-001086-Attachment1.htm

This service provides a water supply, based on a well, for sixteen lots in the Isabella Point area. The service was an improvement district until joining the CRD in 2003.  The service is administrated by Cedars of Tuam Water Local Services Committee
Contact the Saanich Peninsula Control Centre for assistance.
http://www.crd.bc.ca/saltspring/waterwaste/water.htm

$100,000 divided by 12 lots like at Shalal Road = $8,333
$100,000 - $66,667 = $33,333 divided by 12 lots = $2,778 each lot includes UV disinfection

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Powell River Regional District: Myrtle Pond Water System Upgrade.
Provincial contribution: $703,457 Project value: $1,055,185.

Developing a new well, constructing a new reservoir, upgrading distribution pipes, and installing ultraviolet disinfection and chlorine treatment to provide a community of 51 homes with a consistent source of potable drinking water.

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2005CS0073-001086-Attachment1.htm

Project Value $1,055,185 divided by 51 homes = $20,690 each

Project Value $1,055,185 minus Provincial grant $703,457
= $351,728 divided by 51 homes = $6,897 cost to each lot included UV disinfection

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Montrose: Water Source Transmission Pipe Replacement
Provincial contribution: $357,333. Project value: $536,000.

Installation of a new transmission line from the community well to the distribution system.

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2005CS0073-001086-Attachment1.htm

http://www.montrosemyhome.bc.ca/history.html

Montrose became an incorporated village on June 22, 1956 with a population of 707 citizens housed in 250 residences.  Today, the Village Council is made up of a Mayor and four Councillors. The population of Montrose has increased to 1197 residents who occupy about 400 homes.

$536,000 minus $357,333 = $178,667 divided by 400 homes = $447 each home

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East Kootenay Regional District: Dry Gulch Water System
Provincial contribution: $1,798,000 Project value: $2,697,000.

Drilling and developing a well, providing appropriate water treatment, well pumps, a new reservoir and transmission main, and distribution piping to address a boil water advisory.

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2005CS0073-001086-Attachment1.htm

http://www.rdek.bc.ca/

$2,697,000 minus $1,798,000 = $899,000

We emailed the Regional District and the reply said they don't have a Dry Gulch water system?

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2007 Small Water System Awards

The BCWWA Small Water System Committee is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Small Water Systems Award. The winner has been selected by a panel of volunteers on the Committee to recognize small water systems in BC for initiatives that demonstrate outstanding effort in the delivery of safe drinking water. This year’s winner is the Copperdome Lodge in Pemberton BC, owned and operated by Ian and Michelle Porter.

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A 1 micron absolute cartridge filter will give you a credit of 2 Log (99 %) against crypto and giardia. This is a typical value that is used by many and comes from US EPA material. For small systems, most times we would follow the filtration with UV disinfection that is certified (NSF 55) for greater than 4 log inactivation of giardia/crypto.
http://www.bcwwa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=30

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1.1 Surface Water
A hydrology study by a professional hydrologist may be required to confirm the availability of water.  The reliable yield of the source, after the flow has been regulated by any
seasonal balancing storage, should be adequate to supply the design maximum day demand during a moderate drought in the summer.
A moderate drought is considered to be a period of low stream flow with an average frequency of once in twenty five years.

1.2 Groundwater
Wells are to be located, constructed, tested and disinfected in general accordance with the "Guidelines for Minimum Standards in Water Well Construction, Province of British Columbia (June 1982)". In addition, wells are to be protected from possible sources of contamination having regard to land use adjacent to the well and over the recharge area of the well. A well protection plan may be required.  The total developed groundwater capacity, or dependable yield of the well(s), should equal or exceed the design maximum day demand. The groundwater source(s) need to sustain this rate of flow continuously for 100 days in the summer, during which the aquifer would not be recharged by precipitation and without utilizing more than 70% of the available drawdown below the lowest seasonal static groundwater table.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/water_rights/water_utilities/cabinet/design.pdf

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In large capacity wells, a pumping test for maximum information may include one or more observation wells near the well being pumped, and this test is frequently run under the supervision of a consulting ground water geologist or a professional engineer, whose field of competence lies within the ground water field. In this test the observation well(s) should, of course, be in the same aquifer as the pumped well. In this procedure, pumping is started at a steady rate which is sustained for at least several hours. The drawdown is measured in observation wells and in the pumped well at frequent intervals during the pumping. Tests may be conducted at several different pumping rates. The analyses of these pumping data are rather involved. A number of assumptions are made concerning the nature of the aquifer, now to the well and other factors. These assumptions may not be correct, but they are usually close enough to give an approximate idea of the conditions prevailing. The analyses determines aquifer constants called "Transmissivity" and "Coefficient of Storage' " These measure the ability of the aquifer to transmit and store water. From the aquifer constants, predictions can be made concerning well yield drawdowns at various distances from the well and other factors. In this type of test, the performance of the well may be separated from the performance of the aquifer.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/water_rights/water_utilities/cabinet/design.pdf

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Ground Water Conditions in British Columbia

Groundwater graphs are updated monthly throughout the year. Maximum and minimum readings are updated September 1 each year.

www.env.gov.bc.ca/rfc/river_forecast/grwater.html (link no longer works so try this one) http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/

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QUESTIONS

How long does a UV disinfection bulb last before needing replacement, and how much do they cost?  RDCO's email say there are no UV water systems under their control and so can't answer that one???

  • There are different types of UV systems. UV systems exist to treat all possible flow ranges, from small point-of-use applications to entire municipalities. For household applications, a point-of-use or point-of-entry UV system can be used. A point-of-use system is a small, portable device that attaches to a faucet and rests on the counter. It can also be mounted under a counter. Larger point-of-entry systems are also available which are installed where the water supply enters the home, disinfecting the entire water supply. Should you decide to purchase a UV system, there are two types: Class A and Class B.  How much do UV units cost?

  • Costs vary from $300 for a basic self-installed unit to $700 – $900 for a plumber-installed system — which includes a basic UV unit and labour. Costs can go up to $1,200 for a unit with more features. These include a flow-restrictor to make sure that the treatment capacity of the unit is not exceeded, a solenoid — a device that shuts off the water when the power is off — and an intensity meter to close down the system if the bulb is not producing strong enough UV rays. If the system is combined with filters, there are additional costs for regular filter replacement. An annual filter/lamp replacement can be approximately $150. A lamp/bulb alone may cost from $40 to $100.00 depending on the wattage of the bulb.  Electricity costs are another consideration; however, the system is similar to running a 60W bulb. There is no additional water cost for running a UV system, as all of the treated water is available for consumption.

  • Water should be free of soil or sand particles (it should look clear and not cloudy). Such particles can block the UV rays and allow harmful particles to survive.

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/wawa/wawa_002.cfm

  • ULTRA-VIOLET REVIEW WHAT IS IT?- A technology using ultra-violet rays to disinfect water, consisting of:
    - A pre-filtering device to eliminate particulates
    - An UV light chamber to eliminate pathogenic bacteria
    - Activated Carbon to improve color, reduce turbidity, improve taste and remove or
    reduce toxic contaminants

  • ADVANTAGES OF UV
    - Uses no chemicals
    - Competitive with other systems
    - No storage of water required
    - Effective against bacteria and viruses
    - Easy to maintain once installed.

  • DISADVANTAGES OF UV
    - Pre-filtration is required
    - Clean glass parts are most important to ensure adequate UV exposure
    - Downstream plumbing must be disinfected on any broach and upon installation
    - Must constantly monitor for increased level of bacteria counts
    - Should be installed by a qualified serviceman
    - System requires electricity to operate. Power failure shuts system down
    - Must have built in or added on control devices
    - System requires constant maintenance of UV bulb and other components.
    - Does not effectively deal with giardia lambia cysts "Beaver Fever"
    - Requires special attention when treating surface water supplies.

  • UV POU systems are overkill of technology in municipal systems. The organism threat is well contained by municipal disinfection so the efficiency of the system is dependent on the quality of its pre and post filters which are not normally the focus point of the manufacture.

  • Stand alone UV exposure chambers are excellent in the rural community as POE devices to safeguard against an organism outbreak. They are not however effective on cysts.

http://www.doulton.ca/drinkingwaterfilters.html

How often do filter cartridges need to be replaced or cleaned, and how much does that cost?

Would a sand filtration system be effective for drawing water from Shorts Creek?  Sand is cheap ain't it?  Maybe a re-useable cartridge system where the sand could be changed??

What is the difference in cost for various types of piping material, as maybe a cheaper material could be used for a non-potable water line?  Iron, steel, fiberglass, pvc, etc.

  • Gray cast iron is the most common piping material in most North American cities and generally the most prone to failure. This study has resulted in a clearer understanding of the causes of pipe failures and the development of best practice guidelines for conducting of failure analysis on gray cast iron pipes. Corrosion is well known in the industry as a problem for all diameters of gray cast iron pipes (Figure 1), with failures due to corrosion penetrating the pipe wall becoming more common as the diameter of the pipe increases.
    http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/pubs/fulltext/nrcc44678/nrcc44678.pdf

  • The pipe materials most commonly used for water main construction in urban areas are
    asbestos cement, cast iron, ductile iron, PVC and pressurized concrete. Since statistics on the performance of these pipes were not readily available from the municipalities, it was
    considered beneficial to carry out a survey to characterize problems such as breaks.  Cast iron pipe is no longer used for replacement and its average age is estimated to exceed 50 years. Data on water mains provided by Jakobs and Hewes (1987) show that the present weighted average age for cast iron pipe in Calgary is about 41 years.  Table 3 shows that for cast iron pipe in 1992 and 1993, the average break rates were 35.1 breaks/100 km/year and 36.7 breaks/100 km/year, respectively. This pipe material represents 50% of the existing water distribution network.  Ductile iron pipe constitutes 24% of the water distribution network and the break rates for this material in 1992 and 1993 were 9.3 breaks/100 km/year and 9.8 breaks /100 km/year, respectively.
    The break rates for asbestos cement pipes were 5.4 breaks/100 km/year and 6.1 breaks/100 km/year for 1992 and 1993, respectively. This pipe material is dominant in Burnaby (BC), Edmonton (AB), Regina (SK), Moose Jaw (SK), Winnipeg (MN), and Sherbrooke (QC).  Asbestos-cement pipe is no longer installed, but still forms a significant part of the water distribution network in some cities.
    PVC pipe forms 10% of the existing inventory of the water distribution network. The water main break rates for PVC pipes in 1992 and 1993 were 0.9 breaks/100 km/year and 0.5 breaks/100 km/year, respectively.  The number of breaks in PVC pipes is too small to arrive at any significant statistical trend. The predominant failure modes recorded are longitudinal split and joint failure.
    It is difficult to observe any particular relationships that are statistically significant, because
    pressurized concrete water pipe forms a very small percentage of the water distribution
    systems.  It is inappropriate to draw any conclusions regarding the performance of pressurized concrete pipe because it represents only 4% of the total water distribution survey and because the length of pipe and the number of breaks are small.
    In 1992 and 1993, the total number of water main breaks was 3601 and 3773, respectively. Assuming an estimated cost for repair/break of $2500, the average annual total cost of repairs would be $9.2 million. The total number of breaks for 1992 and 1993 occurs in cities (the 21 cities in the survey) representing 11 % (3.14 million) of Canada's population.
    Extrapolating on a population basis, the average annual total national cost for water main repairs is $82 million. If an estimate were done on the basis of the total length of water distribution pipe across Canada (which is not presently available), the cost of repairs will be lower since an increase in the population does not necessarily mean a proportioned increase in the length of the water distribution system. Furthermore, all cities do not have the same average age, soil conditions and pipe materials.  Current data indicate that the most prevalent water main pipe material in place is cast iron, representing 50% of the total water distribution network. The average break rate of cast iron pipe is 35.9 breaks/100 km/year. Ductile iron pipe constitutes 24% of the network and has an average break rate of 9.5 breaks/100 km/year. Asbestos-cement pipe constitutes 12% of the networks with a corresponding average break rate of 5.8 breaks/100 km/year. PVC pipe represents 10% of the inventory and has an average 0.7 breaks/100 km/year.
    Other factors such as age of pipe in each water main break, soil bedding, backfill materials,
    ground water conditions, climate or installation and operational factors can influence the
    water main break rate, but these were not considered in the survey.
    1. Average age of cast iron pipe is between 40 and 50 years
    2. Oldest ductile iron pipe is 34 years old ( Bonds 1995 )
    3. Oldest PVC pipe is 34 years ( Sobot 1995 )
    4. Cast iron pipe has not been used since the late 1970's
    http://www.ipexinc.com/Content/en_ca/4_0_Thermo_Today/4_3_Economie/Water_Mains_Break.pdf

  • In 1664, King Louis X1V of France commissioned the construction of a cast iron watermain, which lasted more that 342 years in service
    Cast or Ductile iron Pipe corrodes only as a function of its underground environment, hence the extremely long life in so many installations.  Soil evaluation technology today can determine whether or not Ductile Iron Pipe requires special corrosion protection.
    Since 1958, polyethylene encasement has been used successfully to prevent the corrosion of iron watermains in some of the most corrosive locations in North America.  In 1922, cement mortar lining of cast iron watermain was first used to protect the interior wall of the pipe and improve water quality.  There are over 600 towns/cities in North America with cast iron watermain in service after 100 years.
    http://www.canadapipe.com/English/Brochure.aspx

At current water and sewer rates, a customer in Guelph pays approximately 3 cents for every minute that a tap runs.

Storm water and rooftop water could be recycled into a dual water distribution system through the separate irrigation/fire protection pipe.  This would remove the need and sights of big old water collection barrels.

Would it be possible to have Corix design our water system instead of Agua?  There is a Corix office at the Swan Lake junction.

City crews keep busy
Vernon Morning Star - Community - Published: November 27, 2008

Armstrong’s public works department has been busy.

The business and commercial water meter component of the city’s universal water metering project is currently underway by Corix.

Water meters will also be installed in 40 to 50 residential homes of volunteers before December.

The city expects the design element of its water treatment facility project to be complete in December, with the project going to tender in January.

Street sweeping has been underway for some time, the reclaimed water irrigation system has been winterized and materials and equipment are at the ready for snow removal.

How many km's of water main transmission pipe is it from Fintry Delta to Valley of the Sun, isn't it about 4 km's.  The La Casa report says a water main from La Casa may cost over $1,000,000 dollars?  Water mains are more expensive than distribution pipes you would think.

Would having dual pipes a shorter distance be in the same price range as one long water transmission main from La Casa at over $1,000,000 dollars?

What is the NW Area Criteria FUS Requirement for fire flow as mentioned January 16, 2008 La Casa report page 6 ?

Confirmation that the project uses the best available technology that is currently proven and economically feasible.

Confirmation that the project uses construction best practices.

In effect, the installation of a dual distribution system approximately doubles the cost of construction of the distribution system, although some savings may be achieved if the two systems are installed at the same time (instead of in series, with the non-potable system retrofitted into an existing distribution system).

http://www.oas.org/dsd/publications/unit/oea59e/ch30.htm

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The slow sand filter is an old technology that has recently re-emerged. An even graduated natural sand (3 feet deep) is placed in a constructed basin. The supply water is introduced into the top layer of sand and travels downward through the sand filter to perforated collection pipes on the bottom of the filter. Impurities in the water are removed in the top layer of the filter and accumulated for periodic removal by scraping. The removed impurities and top 1/2-inch of sand can be dried and used as a soil conditioner. No chemical additions or additional power are required. Operations and maintenance requirements are low. However, a certain land area is required for the filter basin. Figure ?? depicts the general relationship between land area for treatment versus complexity/cost of operations and maintenance. Disinfection with bleach is the final step.

Cartridge filters using microporous filter elements (ceramic, paper, or fiber) with small pore sizes are suitable for low turbidity surface water. (Use a graduated series of cartridge sizes to prevent rapid clogging of filter.) Again, a dual distribution system is recommended to lessen the volume of high quality water needed. Head loss through a cartridge filter is higher than through a slow sand filter, so a booster pump may be required to maintain adequate pressure in the water system. The paper and fiber filters are consumptive as they must be disposed when full of sediment (disposal frequency depends on turbidity in supply water). The ceramic cartridge filter can be cleaned mechanically (scrapping) and reused. Sediment cleaned from the ceramic cartridge can be dried and used as a soil amendment. Operations and maintenance is minimal. Disinfection with bleach is the final step.

Surface Water with High Turbidity. If the source water has a turbidity above 15-20 NTUs (nethelometric turbidity units), complete conventional treatment is required. This involves the addition of synthetic chemicals such as alum and polymer in a coagulation stage, followed by a flocculation stage before filtering in a rapid sand filter. The filter is hydraulically backwashed (usually once per day) to remove accumulated sediment from the filter. This backwash waste (containing the added chemicals) must be dried and disposed of in an approved manner. The complexity and cost of operation is high, maintenance costs are high, and chemical and power inputs are required. Dried waste sediments cannot be used as a soil amendment without further processing. The final step is disinfection with bleach.

Another means of transferring raw water from a source to a storage tank at a higher elevation without electrical or hydrocarbon input is the hydraulic ram. The hydraulic ram is a self-acting impulse pump that uses the momentum of a slight fall of water to force a part of the water to a higher elevation. A hydraulic ram is noisy, but the noise can be successfully mitigated with the use of sound-attenuating materials in an enclosure. It is practicable to operate a ram with a fall of only 18 inches, but as the fall increases, the ram forces water to proportionately greater heights. The hydraulic ram is well suited for areas where electrical power is not available and where an excess supply of water is available.   (*Note * Fintry Falls is within the vicinity of the Upper Fintry and Shalal Road subdivison's)

Gravity storage enables wind and photovoltaic pumping systems to be effective. Because these pumping systems work at relatively low pumping rates, the gravity storage tank acts as an accumulator to store water for heavy demand periods or for days when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine. Photovoltaic pumping systems can provide moderate daily flows of up to 25,000 gallons per day and produce total dynamic heads of 100-150 feet.

Dual distribution systems are very effective in that different qualities of water can be delivered to different use points.  Pipe contents should be color coded so that cross-connection problems can be prevented.

http://www.nps.gov/dsc/d_publications/d_1_gpsd_8_ch8.htm

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Rainwater collected from ground surfaces (parking lots, etc.) can be used for secondary uses such as toilet flushing and irrigation of food crops

http://www.nps.gov/dsc/d_publications/d_1_gpsd_8_ch8.htm

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Greater Vernon Water Systems (page 11 of the .pdf page number)

An Engineer sealed FUS calculation flow sheet shall be provided for the proposed development. Format of the calculation sheet should be in accordance with the example Fire Flow Calculation sheet included (at end of document).

If the water distribution system is split to provide separate irrigation and domestic service, fire protection must be available from one of the water systems to meet IAO requirements at all times of the year.

Fire sprinkler systems shall be allowed, however only where the water system has sufficient size and capacity. The design must provide details for the service pipe, connection size to the watermain and sprinkler system flow and pressure requirements.

------------------------------------------

For dual distribution systems, domestic and irrigation lines must have a 3.0m horizontal separation unless otherwise approved by GVS. (this part found on page 7 of the documents page number)

http://www.greatervernon.ca/user_files/File/Bylaw No. 2063 - Water Utility Waterworks.pdf

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Regulatory Barriers to on-site water reuse

BARRIERS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

The study found no outright prohibition of on-site water reuse:
however, three regulatory instruments at the national level could affect implementation.

These are:
The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (1996).
The Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality (1992).
The National Plumbing Code of Canada (1995).

The study report notes that water quality guidelines (both for drinking and recreational water) may impede the implementation of on-site water reuse technology by imposing unrealistic or inappropriate quality standards.

The National Plumbing Code (NPC) provides for alternative systems (such as dual water distribution systems within sites); this provision makes it possible to apply reuse technology. However, other provisions call for every water distribution system to be connected to a potable water supply.  The NPC also prohibits the discharge of non-potable water through outlets such as faucets or toilets.

A number of those contacted during the study identified technical requirements that, if addressed in the NPC, would facilitate the implementation of an on-site water reuse system.

The requirements included the following:
• colour coding of pipe material to identify water reuse plumbing components;
• guidance on appropriate backflow preventers specific to reuse systems;
• guidance on cross-connection prevention specific to reuse systems;
• pressure differences between potable and non-potable systems; and
• location of water reuse pipes within a building.

BARRIERS AT THE PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL LEVEL

The study report identifies and describes key issues raised with regard to the relevant regulations and regulatory barriers in each of the provinces and territories and also at the municipal level.

Health concerns were paramount. Health officials at all levels of government across Canada expressed concerns about the safety of on-site water reuse applications. They identified the following practical issues regarding the protection of public health:

• lack of a standard for the equipment needed and for the quality of water produced from recycled wastewater;
• the potential for risk from recycled viruses and bacteria;
• effluent storage and subsequent distribution to the appropriate fixture;
• management of excess effluent if the storage facility is full;
• making up a shortfall if necessary and protection from cross connections;
• management and treatment of recycled liquid (with soap scum, etc.);
• odour management for recycled liquid;
• long-term maintenance of storage and delivery equipment and water closets; and
• effective ongoing monitoring of water quality.

These issues are not dealt with specifically in existing Canadian legislation; however, provincial Public Health officials do have the power to deny any application of on-site water reuse until they are assured that it poses no threat.

From a technical perspective, the barriers in the NPC are carried over to the provinces and territories through their respective plumbing codes. On the other hand, the study report notes that these can be overcome, as provincial codes do allow a degree of innovation.

A Code of Good Practice and documented case studies demonstrating the existence of practical and safe systems should be developed to provide guidance and assurance to decision-makers and to address the additional barriers created largely by attitudes and misconceptions.

The study report notes that, even if all regulatory and attitudinal barriers are removed, on-site reuse of water may not become widespread in Canada unless certain economic issues are not resolved.  The economic issues in question are:

From a technical perspective, the barriers in the NPC are carried over to the provinces and territories through their respective plumbing codes. On the other hand, the study report notes that these can be overcome, as provincial codes do allow a degree of innovation.
According to the study report, certain municipal bylaws relating to sewage disposal could be interpreted as barriers to on-site water reuse.

http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/NH18-22-98-101E.pdf

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/publications/en/rh-pr/tech/98101.htm

We noticed a Vernon B.C. Corix office with plastic pipe and cisterns on a large lot at Swan Lake off the highway that leads to Falkland right near the junction of the two highways.

From Corix's overview webpage; "Our expertise allows us to offer a rational business model with increased accountability that fits with public sector goals. We provide the best possible solutions for our clients: safe, long term, cost effective utility infrastructure systems and services for communities and the people who live and work in them."

Corix recognized early on that an integrated approach to providing water, wastewater, traditional and renewable energy services will result in more sustainable solutions and reduced costs to system owners and customers. Our suite of products and services cover a wide range of competencies ranging from the design, build, finance and operations of renewable district energy distribution systems to water and wastewater delivery and treatment services, water products, and a host of community infrastructure services including the installation and maintenance of fire hydrants, storm sewers, street lighting and road maintenance. Corix also provides automated metering, rate design, customer care and billing services to ensure a comprehensive approach to water and energy resource management at the community level.

City of Kelowna: Corix is actively involved in the community of the City of Kelowna in several facets of its business. Corix has been providing water meter service, meter reading and customer care services to the City under a master services agreement since January, 2001. Under this same agreement, Corix and the City are exploring other opportunities for economic development in the City, including the “Sustainable Living Initiative”, a community based program that Corix and the City are developing to help increase energy and water efficiency in the community.  In addition, Corix operates a water products distribution branch in the City of Kelowna with 14 employees and several of Corix’s utility operations employees are also headquartered in the City. Together with the 11 employees located in Corix’s Kelowna-based customer care center, Corix employs over 35 people in the Kelowna area.

Sun Rivers Golf Community, Kamloops:  Corix has developed sustainable energy systems by incorporating GeoExchange technology and practical innovations in water conservation. A state-of-the-art dual water main supply system provides filtered and treated domestic water for potable use and untreated water for outdoor irrigation

Lonsdale Energy Corporation, North Vancouver:
With an estimated total cost for the district energy system of $8 million, the project was awarded a federal grant and low-interest loan amounting to $4 million in recognition of the system’s environmental benefits.

Dockside Green Development, Victoria: Dockside Green, located on the Inner Harbour in Victoria, BC, is the first ever LEED Platinum (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) sustainable community to be developed in North America. At planned build-out in 2014, Dockside Green will comprise 26 buildings totalling 1.3 million square feet supporting a community of approximately 2,500 people incorporating the very highest environmental standards.  Corix is a key player in delivering a suite of sustainable services to the residents of Dockside Green. Corix is a part owner of and will provide all of the operations for the renewable energy utility, which will deliver hydronic (water) energy for space and domestic water heating to residents through a district energy
distribution network. Hot water for the district energy system will be produced using an innovative gasification technology using locally sourced wood-waste. The entire project is expected to be greenhouse gas neutral, a first for this type of development. Corix will also operate an on-site wastewater treatment system which will use reclaimed treated water combined with captured rainwater for toilets, rooftop gardens, and a central water feature. The tertiary wastewater treatment plant, the first in the Victoria area, is being designed to deliver waste heat to the district energy system.

http://www.kelownachamber.org/

 

http://www.urban-systems.com/waterwastewater.htm

http://www.afcltd.ca/
AF CONSULTING LTD. provides technical services in the hydraulic resources field for the Okanagan Region.

Interior Testing Services Ltd.

Did you think the water fountain in Vernon at Polson Park looked cool when someone threw the coloring in?  Maybe a little food coloring in the water (like they put coloring in purple gas) would help people identify if the water were for irrigation and fire fighting?  Maybe some food coloring that would fade after being in the sun for a day or so.

In the United States, several water-reclamation systems have been in operation almost from the beginning of this century: Baltimore’s Back River plant (1942) and Grand Canyon Village in Arizona (1926), which has a dual system for potable and nonpotable output. In the Irvine Ranch Water District, the cost of reclaimed water was found to be one-third less than that of water from the usual system.

Reclamation of used water has also been initiated in Israel, Singapore, the petroleum--producing countries of the Middle East, and some islands of the West Indies. Other examples can be found in the Beijing-Tianjin area in China, which started operation in 1988, and North Africa. Studies are under way in São Paulo to explore the possibility of reusing water from a secondary treatment plant for industry.

Water reuse is gradually going to gain importance as a source of nonpotable water. Dual systems are a potential tool for better water use in countries where the risk of misuse is high. In any case, developing countries and particularly urban areas of the LAC region cannot afford to ignore this resource, which often represents the best option for meeting the crucial need for more water.

http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-29758-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

Effective water conservation programs across the country have shown that water efficiency and conservation should be considered a “supply” of water—an already developed resource that when tapped can help defer, downsize, or avoid altogether costly new water supply infrastructure. Aggressive implementation of water conservation technologies such as efficient faucets and toilets, water reclamation, recycling, gray water reuse, and rainwater harvesting have been shown to reduce water demand as much as 30 to 50 percent.

http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/grand-canyon/water-supplies_issues.php

Local Services Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 276

http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/L/96276_01.htm

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PHOTOS OF THE PONDS/LAKES AT VALLEY OF THE SUN

PHOTOS OF SHORTS CREEK

Map of proposed water system taking water from Okanagan Lake from in front of Valley of the Sun Presentation Nov 5, 2007 (page 10)
Map of proposed water system taking water from Okanagan Lake from in front of Valley of the Sun Sept 27, 2007 (page 12)

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Links to other websites and blogs

http://northokanagandaily.blogspot.com/

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Valley of the Sun Ponds and other Photos
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Big Pond ] FOI ] Gold Mine ] Middle Pond ] Minutes ] Pond 1 ] Rate Table ] Shorts Creek ] Single Pond ] Smaller Pond ] Survey ] Vegetation ] VOS Petition ] VOS Photos ] VOS Photos1 ] Well Data ] Wells ] Water System ] [ Water Systems ]

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Valley of the Sun Ponds and other Photos
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Westside Road Water Systems
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1973 Nov 7 OBWB ] 1973 Sep 27 OBWB ] 1970 Feb 16 Mun Aff ] 1970 Feb 9 PUC ] 1969 Sep 26 RDCO ] Advisory Services ] Bylaws ] FOI Act ] History ] Judgements ] Land Registry 60 ] Laws ] Letters Patent ] Licence ] Local Services 59 ] Local Service 59/495 ] Local Services 21/60 ] Local Services 70 ] Municipal Act 1960 ] Municipal Amend 69 ] Mun. Enabling ] Mun. Enabling 69 ] Order-In-Council ] Quashing ] RDCO CPA 1 ] Sub. Reg. 262/70 ] Town Planning 25 ] Water Advisories ]

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Westside Road Water Systems
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1973 Nov 7 OBWB ] 1973 Sep 27 OBWB ] 1970 Feb 16 Mun Aff ] 1970 Feb 9 PUC ] 1969 Sep 26 RDCO ] Advisory Services ] Bylaws ] FOI Act ] History ] Judgements ] Land Registry 60 ] Laws ] Letters Patent ] Local Services 59 ] Local Service 59/495 ] Local Services 21/60 ] Local Services 70 ] Municipal Act 60 ] Municipal Amend 69 ] Mun. Enabling Act ] Mun. Enabling 69 ] Order-In-Council ] Quashing ] RDCO CPA 1 ] Sub. Reg. 262/70 ] Town Planning 25 ] Water Advisories ]

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Westside Road Gossip
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Westside Road Gossip
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