Lorne Martin with the 200 gallon tank on the back of his truck that he uses every couple of days to transport water to his home on McKellor Road in West Kelowna.

Upper Glenrosa water shortage problem targeted

Water-parched residents of Upper Glenrosa are being offered some relief by the District of West Kelowna in the form of a bulk water dispensing system.

The system, which would greatly reduce the distance many of the residents currently have to travel to fill tanks and truck water back to their homes, would be installed by the district and paid for by residents, if they  approve the plan.

Many homes south of Glenrosa Road above Gates Road have seen their water supplies dry up in recent years. A recent survey for the district showed at least 28 groundwater wells are not meeting residential needs.

The survey also found 16 other wells have water quality issues while 27 homeowners consider the water supply issue serious or very serious.

There are approximately 167 properties identified in the area.

West Kelowna council, after hearing from the Glenrosa Residents Association on behalf of the affected residents, agreed to  initiate a process to have the residents petition the district to determine support for the bulk water dispenser, which would cost $72,000 to buy and install.

Water would be charged for using a set rate, similar to the new consumption charge to be paid by property owners on the municipal water system who have meters in their homes.

This is seen as a short- to medium-term measure, but the long-term alternative of extending the water system into the rural area of Glenrosa will cost  $15 million.

And according to Mayor Doug Findlater, that’s a bill the municipality can’t currently afford.

The offer of the bulk water dispensing station came as good news to several residents who showed up to hear council deliberate on the issue earlier this week.

Lorne Martin, who has lived in the area for 35 years, said he had a good water supply up to two years ago when the aquifer his well uses dropped in level.

Faced with spending another $15,000 to drill a deeper well—and possibility that he might not reach water—he has been trucking in water.

He has a 200-gallon tank mounted on the back of his truck that he uses.

He said while he welcomes the bulk dispenser, he feels council members don’t realize what it’s like for him and his neighbours. “We are desperate right now,” he said.

Martin said when he originally moved to the area, he was told water mains would be extended there one day. But that day never came. Back then, the entire area was in the regional district.

He said he and others are concerned about having to pay for the water system, a bill that could see each property have to pay $436.

In preparation for deciding on the bulk water dispenser, district officials met with residents and circulated the survey.

Just under half the affected property owners responded and 40 per cent of them said there were issues with their water supply.

Forty-three per cent said the water issue needs to be addressed in the next five years.

But 62 per cent of the respondents said they opposed extending water service to the area, something West Kelowna director of engineering Gary O’Rourke said could be the result of the potential high cost of the work.

But while 62 per cent of respondents were opposed to extending water service to the area—something the mayor said could attract more development, something residents don’t want to see in the area— 69 per cent opposed the bulk water dispenser.

So it remains to be seen what kind of support the dispenser will have now that council has given the green light to residents petitioning for it as a local service project.

 

 

Just Posted

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Kelowna - Students were unaware of resources on campus

Interior Health managers voice discontent

Negative comments about work culture aimed at CEO Chris Mazurkewich.

Video: Bulky bobcat goes for a stroll

Bob Lindley shared a video of a sneaky bobcat strolling through his yard in Vernon.

Cops report explosion in number of thefts from vehicles in Central Okanagan

In just the first 2 1/2 weeks of 2018, the number has nearly tripled in Kelowna and West Kelowna

Kelowna and West Kelowna’s unsolved crimes of the week

RCMP are searching for a fraud suspect and vandal suspect in this week’s unsolved crimes

Kelowna’s Ursel to coach host team at Olympics

Bob Ursel is headed to the Olympics with South Korea’s national men’s curling team

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

EDITORIAL: With harassment allegations, students deserve better at UBCO

The lack of communication with students isn’t good enough for the Kelowna campus

Physical altercation turns to online threats in Celista

Police were called to a Shuswap ice rink after a group of men physically fought each other

Arson suspect heads to court

Vernon man suspected of starting a string of 2014 fires in Vernon

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

Most Read