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Have your say about water rates in Kelowna

The city is conducting a survey to review of the agriculture irrigation rate design

The City of Kelowna is asking the public to share thoughts about water rate design by completing the survey before Dec. 10.

With the addition of more than 500 agriculture customers planned to transition into the city water utility in 2020 at the completion of Phase 1 of the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan, a review of the agriculture irrigation rate design is necessary to ensure a fair structure that encourages conservation and supports farming operations, according to the city.

“This survey is the first step in the public engagement process and provides an opportunity for current, future and even potential customers of the city to weigh in on the discussion about water service,” said Kevin Van Vliet, utility services manager. “Ensuring an adequate, affordable supply of water for agriculture is a challenge that needs the support of the entire community.”

Rate designs can range from pay-per-use, as the city’s current agricultural class customers do, to South Okanagan Mission Irrigation District model which charges a fixed fee-per-acre of land that has been allocated water. Or it could be options that combine a fixed component with a variable component based on water use, such as the system used for city residential and commercial customer classes, or using increasing prices for increased use, as in Kelowna and in Southeast Kelowna Irrigation District.

Learn more about Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan – Phase 1 and sign up for email updates at kelowna.ca/water.

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