Thursday, April 2, 2015

Farm Sparks Water Debate

Posted on 4/2/2015 by Pete McIntyre

Local politicians debated the pros and cons of providing water to properties outside Greater Vernon's boundaries at today's Greater Vernon Advisory Committee meeting.

In the end, an 80,000 tree apple orchard in Spallumcheen was allowed to buy two hectares of water allocation.

The farm will be supplied with potable water from the Duteau Creek Plant.

Director Jim Garlick says they need to have an overall plan for extending the boundaries by talking with neighboring communities.

"And that is water that is not treated or treated for industrial or for agriculture, and what we should be doing is involving them and bringing them into the plan so they can plan for it, and we can as well," Garlick tells Kiss FM.

Garlick says he's not against expanding the system, but says every time they provide special exemptions, it complicates the master water plan "a little more."

Director Gyula Kiss joined Garlick and Bob Spiers in opposition to providing the orchard with water.
Kiss is concerned about residents having to subsidize more of the costs to supply a farm with treated water, which in this case, is not in their boundary.

"The more we sell (to farmers), the more it has to be subsidized by domestic customers. That's why I can't support it," says Kiss. 

GVAC also approved extra water allocation for the PRT tree seed nursery on Highway 97 in Coldstream.

"The applicant has indicated that they require additional water volume to facilitate projected growth of the business," says Dale McTaggert, general manager of engineering for the Regional District of North Okanagan.

My concern with the proposal was that both request were for treated water sold at irrigation rates. Should we discontinue the practice of irrigating crops with expensive treated water I would have no problem supporting such requests.

Over six years GVAC toyed with the idea of reviewing water rates and make it more fare to domestic users. Now, without considering this important issue we sell more of this expensive water at highly subsidized rates. 

The issue of the Master Water Plan is also in limbo yet we make decisions as if the Master Water Plan issue is totally resolved. I believe the ratepayers still have a word in what plan they are willing to support with borrowed money.



Anonymous said...

It isn't rocket science to realize that you shouldn't put expensive treated water ( supported by domestic users) on agriculture. Maybe there should be a required basic intelligence means test befpre you are allowed to run politically; it might actually bring some logic to the table!

Anonymous said...

Only in the North Wackanagan:

A modest sample:

-irrigate with Eau de Shafted Taxpayer

- violate the spirit and sanctity of Kal Park enjoyed by so many for a road to a seasonal enclave of clever and crafty machinator/investors

-strip mall city scales and annihilate heritage


Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss;


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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.