Saturday, March 8, 2014

GVAC Meeting - past and future.

Councillor Besso made an excellent presentation at last Thursday's (March 6) GVAC meeting explaining the geological history of the Okanagan Valley. She pointed out why the two major valley bottom lakes provide the best quality and most reliable domestic water supply.  

In her presentation she pointed out that Okanagan Lake is the most reliable and best quality domestic water due to the fact that it is extremely deep and much of its water comes from aquifers which provide well filtered water without having to perform expensive treatments.

My presentation was postponed due to the lateness of time and it will be rescheduled for next Tuesday at 9:00 AM at the RDNO Board Room. I will try to point out problems with the current Master Water Plan and will try to convince my fellow politicians to refer the plan to an extensive, independent peer review.

One of the principle reason for this request is the fact that after 12 years of intensive work and the expended funds totaling $68 million we have not been able to provide a solution to the dilemma of trying to provide domestic quality water through the irrigation system. The proposal of irrigating agricultural crops with highly treated, expensive domestic water does not sit well with me and with most of my constituents. 

The other problem I see is the fact that we selected the least appropriate water source to supply domestic water mainly to Coldstream and the Electoral Areas. This represents about 15-20% of the total domestic water demand but uses an inordinate proportion of our water dollars. 

The biggest mistake was made by ignoring Okanagan Lake as a potential water supply. This issue alone tied the hands of the consultants and left them spending most of their efforts and our dollars on studying the Duteau Creek water source almost to the exclusion of the others.

Anyone interested in the presentation is welcome to the next GVAC meeting where this issue and the issue of the future of the Civic Arena will be debated.

Both Councillor Bessoe and I are in favour of an extensive, independent peer review of the plan. We also oppose the proposed expenditure of an additional $111 for the current plan, starting with the referendum of $70 million in November. 

Your comments would be welcomed and helpful in our effort to bring a better alternative to Greater Vernon Water.



Anonymous said...

Yes, an independent review of this would be in order; not left to the Interior Health to have its own way. Why filter water that is going to be put on agricultural land?

Anonymous said...

The most obvious solutions are often the best. I've always wondered why the lakes weren't chosen.

Congratulations, Gyula and Maria, for being lead by commonsense and not custom.

Maria Besso said...

Thank you Gyula for your generous comments on my presentation, and your consistent perseverance in educating the public (and fellow politicians) on this very important issue. I hope many people will come to the Regional District Board room ( Corner of Aberdeen and Hwy 6) on Tuesday March 11th, 9:00am to hear your presentation and the discussion on the future of the Civic Arena. These decisions are all important, but it is always striking how much more time politicians are wiling to devote to the discussion of recreational facilities, versus the more complex and way more expensive issue of water. Don't get me wrong, Arenas, and Art Centres, and Parks etc. all contribute a great deal to the liveability and desirability of the area,however; if we artificially price our water exorbitantly by making unnecessary, ill informed, poor decisions, then; we will turn this green valley into a desert and all our beautiful arenas, ice sheets, and ball diamonds, will be devoid of people because they will go live where it is more affordable.

Anonymous said...

The complexity of this issue may be overwhelming for the lay person.

Gyula, may I suggest that you put your proposal in the format of a questionnaire with point form questions to which a simple yes/no could be checked.

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.