The City of Kelowna says it won’t apply for grants for local improvement districts if the districts don’t agree to amalgamate with its water system. (photo: contributed)

Kelowna putting pressure on water purveyors to join its system

City won’t apply for grants for improvement districts unless they agree to amalgamate

The City of Kelowna is stepping up its pressure on hold-out water purveyors it wants to see amalgamate with its own water utility.

A staff report going to council Monday says under a new policy, the city won’t apply for any provincial money on behalf of Rutland Waterworks, the Black Mountain Irrigation District, or the Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District unless they agree to join the city’s water system.

Currently, under provincial rules, independent water districts cannot apply directly for provincial grants and applications must be made for them by the municipalities they are located in.

“The proposed city policy supports provincial policy that funding will only be made available through amalgamation with the city,” says the report going to council.

The city’s new policy will require that prior to any grant application, proposed capital improvements must include plans to physically integrate the system with the city utility.

To prepare for that, the city says it will establish detailed integration plans.

“These plans are to ensure the reliable and sustainable provision of clean, safe drinking water for public health and reliable water supply for agriculture and fire protection in the most affordable and efficient manner for all citizens of Kelowna irrespective of current water system boundaries or service area,” says the engineering staff report

In 2017, the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan presented, a what city hall called, its vision of a city-wide integrated water system instead of the “fractured water distribution system that currently exists.”

READ MORE: Millions announced in water funding

That year it also took over the South East Kelowna Irrigation District after securing a $43 million grant for it to improve its system.

That city’s plan includes separation of domestic drinking water and agricultural irrigation systems in rural areas and using the most appropriate water sources for each use.

Meanwhile, the city is also shutting down its Kelowna Joint Water Committee, which included the other water purveyors. It says it will continue working with other groups to improve overall efficiency, reduce risks, and form partnerships for shared services in an effort to best serve residents.

Founded in 1991, the committee was an umbrella organization to promote standardization of methods and materials, improve communications, and provide an integrated approach to water supply across the city.

The last official board meeting of the committee was in 2015, but since then, the city and water provider representatives have continued to meet as a technical committee.

“It has become apparent a working relationship with the improvement districts is sufficient to continue to build on the work of the KJWC and move towards an integrated water system over time,” says Kevin Van Vliet, the city’s utility services manager, in a report also going to council Monday.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Okanagan FC kicks off regular season Saturday night

OKFC starts their inaugural season of the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) in Penticton

Lake Country joins celebration of local government professionals

The district joined communities across the province by planting a new tree

Kootnekoff: Nervous about random drug testing?

Are you an employer with workers performing safety sensitive activities, but without… Continue reading

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada forecasts thunder, cloud and rain for one more day

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Missing Shuswap teen found safe

The teen was found by searchers at 4:30 a.m. on May 25

More than just a playground: Penticton’s Busy Beans Play Café to help parents and children

Owners Kim Wade and Tracey Wiseman want to use their expertise to help struggling families

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Okanagan woman celebrates 101 years young on the back of a Harley Davidson

Last Saturday Violet Madeline celebrated 101 years. A member of the Lower… Continue reading

Most Read