Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Additional information re: MWP - Key principles for creating the single water utility

Key principles for creating the single water utility.

The above principles were developed and adopted by the founding members of Greater Vernon Water. Let us examine how those principles worked out over the years.

a.     Currently GVAC is an advisory body to the RDNO Board. GVAC is composed of 3 members from Vernon, 2 from Coldstream and the Directors of Electoral Areas B and C. However, all final decisions are made by the Board of Directors representing Greater Vernon with the composition of 4 Directors from Vernon and one each of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C. The current Governance structure is contrary to the key principles of the GVWU agreement.

b.     The water quality is not the same for all non-agricultural customers. It is not a reality now and will not be the reality 5 years from now after the $70 million is expended. Currently the MHWTP water quality is better than that of DCWTP water. Five years from now the situation will reverse when the water will be filtered at Mission Hill. This is contrary to the key principles of the GVWU agreement.

c.    The agricultural industry is indeed insulated from high water rates. However, this comes at a tremendously high cost to the domestic customers. Agriculture’s contribution to the 2014 budget of $18,600,000 is $904,452 or 4.86%. Would a stand alone agriculture irrigation system could sustain itself for $904,452? It’s anyone’s guess. Estimated agricultural water consumption is about 60% of total water consumption. Average cost of 1 cubic meter of agriculture water is about $0.07 while the same volume of water of the same quality is costing domestic customers at least $2.16 if the customer is using 5000 m3 per quarter. I a domestic customer uses 50 m3 the unit cost goes up to $3.10.  Industrial, commercial and institutional customers get a break at slightly over $1.50 per m3. The key principle of insulated agricultural rates meets the intent but at an exorbitant cost to domestic customers.

    Water use for domestic customers is also strictly controlled as to when they can use their water and are urged to conserve water. The same water for irrigation customers is a fraction of the domestic cost and much less controlled as the attached photo illustrates.

d.    Non-agricultural rates are not based on a volume basis and are not uniform throughout the service area. In fact, low volume users pay the highest rates based on a unit volume. 


        Customers with no consumption:           $99.80
        Customers using 10 m3 per quarter:      $10.48/m3
        Customers using 50 m3 per quarter:      $  3.10/m3
        Customers using 100 m3 per quarter:    $  2.42/m3
        Customers using 1000 m3 per quarter:  $  2.18/m3
        ICI customers pay                                   $  1.50/m3 plus
$99.80 base fee
It is obvious that the non-agricultural rate structure does not follow the key principles adopted by the founding parties.
e.    This principle does not make sense. How can we grow beyond our ability to provide water to the growing population?

It is obvious from the forgoing that all of the principles were broken. So was the trust customers had in the Master Water Plan.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent summation. Until such time as these inequities are dealt with, I will not support any referendum to spend more money on "broke" system.

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About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.