Letters to the Editor

Westside water must be protected

To the editor:

As members of the Trepanier Water Users Community, we oppose the water use application and the expansion of Crystal Mountain Resort.

Our farm is one of the oldest homesteads in the Okanagan and has depended upon the pristine water from the Last Mountain area for over 100 years.

People in Peachland and Westbank should be aware of the long-term potential hazards of an expanded development above their watershed. Water for this “village” will come from drilled wells which can’t help but affect our already limited water supply.

On the other hand, waste water and run-off from the golf courses, etc., will enter the watershed with some potentially nasty consequences.

The proponents for this development have worked for years to gain approval without doing an in-depth study of the environmental and social implications. The mandated assessment process was avoided by keeping the total number of rooms in the project just under the number that would trigger a full scale environmental assessment.

For almost a decade, the developers have lobbied and waited for a favourable and economic environment where they might slip in without too much opposition.

The merits and lack thereof for this proposed development have been argued ad nauseum, but one thing remains clear to us: The only true beneficiaries of this process are not residents of this area, or of Canada for that matter, and we will bear the true costs forever.

We can’t afford to keep giving away our most precious resources on the naive hope that it will all work out for the best.

If we don’t smarten up, those of us who plan on spending our lives in this beautiful valley will someday be shocked at what has become of it. How will we excuse the bitter harvest of our complacency?

Joe and Jessica Klein, Westside

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