Shane Melenko takes advantage of the wind and takes in some kite boarding on Kalamalka Lake. The Regional District of North Okanagan is seeking to preserve the safety and quality of the region’s drinking water and limit erosion on Kalamalka Lake while providing opportunities for water recreation. (Morning Star - file photo)

North Okanagan regional district promotes Kal Lake balance

Directors trying to balance preseving drinking water quality and recreation on lake

Nearly 60,000 people receive their drinking water from Kalamalka Lake, including residents in Coldstream, Vernon, and Lake Country.

As one of the most beautiful lakes in B.C., people also enjoy Kalamalka Lake for a variety of recreational activities, like swimming, paddling, and boating. Because recreation and the withdrawal of drinking water occur in tandem on the lake, guidelines that promote coexistence are necessary.

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is seeking to preserve the safety and quality of the region’s drinking water and limit erosion on Kalamalka Lake while providing opportunities for water recreation.

READ ALSO: Boating impact considered on Kal Lake

Drinking water is obtained through water intakes located at the north and south ends of Kalamalka Lake. An issue identified by a recent study is that boats stir sediment up from the lake bottom when they are driven close to shore in depths of four to five metres. This can compromise drinking water quality as sediment contains bacteria, heavy metals, pesticide residues, and hydrocarbons.

To avoid drinking water contamination, the RDNO is looking into ways to avoid re-suspended sediment from entering the water intakes.

Some of the recommendations of the study include designating low wake zones near the water intakes, designating power boat corridors away from the shoreline, and developing spill safeguards and emergency response plans. The focus of the upcoming year will be on informing residents and the boating community of the importance of water source protection and environmental values, and how we can work together to protect our resources.

“In no way are we trying to ban boating on Kalamalka Lake,” said Ashley Gregerson, communications officer with the RDNO. “We are looking at creating solutions that preserve the safety of our drinking water and the ability for boaters to enjoy the lake.”

READ ALSO: Kal/Wood Lakes study cites need to protect drinking water

Other recommendations of the study include adding swimming areas and corridors for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding in the shallow areas.

The RDNO will work with Interior Health (IH), the Okanagan Basin Water Board, District of Coldstream, District of Lake Country, and the Regional District of Central Okanagan to develop an outreach program to raise awareness of the impacts of motorized boating on drinking water intakes and sensitive shorelines.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Indigenous festival co-creator looking to build traditonal Okanagan event

The inaugural Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival is July 6 and 7

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

Most Read