Sunday, May 31, 2015

Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Perhaps the most surprising comment at the Special GVAC meeting was this exchange:
 Director Gyula Kiss insists one issue is paramount above all others. “What is the most secure water source at the lowest cost for treatment?” he said. Kiss wants domestic use to switch from Duteau Creek to Okanagan Lake, but some staff question that concept. “We have not done any water quality studies on the north end of Okanagan Lake,” said Dale McTaggart, general manager of engineering.
That is exactly the point I was concerned about since 2002. There is no way one should embark on a 40-50 year Master Water Plan without fully investigating all the water sources, especially the one as important as Okanagan Lake. The security of water availability itself should put Okanagan Lake ahead of all other sources.



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thunderstorm Drops 15 mm On Vernon

Thunderstorm Drops 15 mm On Vernon
The North Okanagan got drenched -- but apparently escaped serious damage -- as a big storm made its way through the area Friday afternoon.

Environment Canada's David Jones says parts of Vernon and Coldstream received different amounts of rain.

"It was very heavy rain with the thunderstorm that rolled through. We recorded 15 milimetres of rain at the Kal Lake Lookout, and over at Vernon-Coldstream, we had about 6 mm. Both of those totals were in an hour, so all that rain fell over a very short period of time," Jones tells Kiss FM.

Jones says the severe thunderstorm warning and watches were both ended before 6 pm.

There was also lightning and thunder, and reports of some hail.

At last reports, BC Hydro was reporting five power outages in the greater Vernon area, the largest impacting 22-hundred customers.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review Process Started For Water Plan

Local politicians have got the ball rolling on a review of Greater Vernon’s master water plan.

At a special meeting of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee this morning, directors outlined around a dozen objectives for the long term capital plan that will be looked into closer.

Director Jim Garlick also led a motion to form a committee made up of water customers, stakeholders, and politicians that will set a terms of reference for the plan review

Directors also agreed to hold another special meeting June 11th.

The fate of the plan has been in question since local voters turned down a 70 million dollar referendum last fall for six water projects.


Neighbours' quick action douses Coldstream blaze

Quick-acting residents are being praised for keeping a Coldstream fire from spreading.
A house fire was reported in the 1300 block of Sumac Lane at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"The neighbours had two hoses on it and they knocked down the flames," said Dave Sturgeon, Coldstream fire chief.

"We would like to thank them for their actions."

The fire began in the attic and spread to the exterior of the structure.

"We are trying to determine the cause," said Sturgeon, adding that the blaze may be linked to an attic fan.

The occupants of the residence were not injured during the incident and it's not known how much damage was done to the home.

Besides Coldstream and Lavington firefighters, the B.C. Ambulance Service, B.C. Hydro and the RCMP were on scene.


Monday, May 25, 2015

South East Kelowna Irrigation District Public information

The issue of importance begins at 07:08 of the report.

This is an interesting story. 

Toby Pike is the manager of SEKID. I believe that referendum should have been approved by the people. Their annual costs would have been lower and they would have enjoyed the benefit of clean water much sooner. 

SEKID has the same problem we do: small volume of domestic water is delivered to customers through agricultural irrigation pipes. Toby put his finger on the problem  "it doesn't make sense to treat all of that water". They will do total separation with domestic customers receiving well water and untreated raw water will be used for irrigation through the existing system. 

How come this simple (but expensive) solution did not gain support in our neck of the woods? If we must spend money spend it on the right projects. Instead we wasted a lot of taxpayers' dollars.


Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Coldstream Council Meeting May 25, 2015

Note:  19 - 34


Application for Non-farm Use and to Subdivide in the Agricultural Land Reserve for the Property Located at 10080 Ricardo Road

 Report from the Planning Technician dated May 19, 2015 13-019-ALR Coldstream Ranch.pdf


Lumby holds its 1st March Against Monsanto!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin - May 15, 2015

Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin - May 15, 2015

The May 15th snow survey is now complete. Data from 27 snow courses and 49 snow pillows around the province and climate data from Environment Canada have been used to form the basis for the following report.
Click here for the Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin as a PDF file.
  Click here for the Basin Snow Water Index Map.
  Click here for the complete May 15, 2015 Snow Survey Data.


The first week in May saw a cold low pressure system move across British Columbia, bringing cooler temperatures and scattered precipitation. Into the second week of the month, a blocking high pressure ridge developed over northern BC and this pattern has largely persisted. This has brought extremely warm, summer-like temperatures across the northern portions of the province (20-25˚C) and warm conditions through other areas. Thunderstorms over the period have been the primary source of precipitation through the month, leading to sporadic and localized rain events.  Wide-spread rainfall has been limited in May.

Snow Pack

Warm weather through early May has led to rapid snow melt across the province. Most snow survey locations across the province experienced 50-200 mm of snow water equivalent loss over the May 1st to May 15th period. Current melt rates at snow pillows range from 5-25mm/day through most of the province, with some regions experiencing up to 30-40mm/day of melt.

May 15th snow basin indices have declined through most of the province since May 1st, and range from a low of 11% of normal in the South Coast and Vancouver Island, to a high of 122% of normal in the Nechako. May 15th snow basin indices have increased since May 1st in the Upper Fraser-East, Nechako, Lower Fraser, Upper Columbia, Boundary, and Central Coast.

Most regions of the province have extremely low May 15th snow basin indices (less than 49% of normal) (Figure 1). This includes the Middle Fraser, Lower Fraser, East Kootenay, Okanagan, Similkameen, South Coast, Vancouver Island and Peace. Below normal snow basin indices (50-79%) are present in the Boundary, South Thompson, West Kootenay and Stikine. Slightly below normal (80-89%) basin indices are present in the North Thompson, Upper Columbia, and Central Coast. Near normal (90-109%) snow basin indices are present in the Upper Fraser and Skeena-Nass basins. Above normal (>120%) snow pack conditions are present in the Nechako basin.

The average of all provincial snow water equivalent measurements for May 15th is 60% of average conditions. This is the lowest province-wide average for the May 15th bulletin in the past 31 years of record.

The extremely low snow pack this season is the result of warm winter and spring temperatures that have led to a higher than normal portion of the winter precipitation falling as rain rather than snow and high rates of early season melt.

Table 1 - BC Snow Basin Indices – May 15, 2015

% of Normal
% of Normal
Upper Fraser West
No Data1
Upper Fraser East
South Coast
Middle Fraser
Vancouver Island
Lower Fraser
Central Coast
North Thompson
No Data1
South Thompson
Upper Columbia
West Kootenay
East Kootenay
No Data1
No Data1

1    Data is not available either because there were no scheduled snow surveys or no snow surveys were completed.

Streamflow Runoff
Many rivers across the province experienced much higher than normal streamflow over the late-winter and spring period. This was a result of increased runoff due to winter and spring precipitation as rain and rapid early season snow melt.

In some regions of the province, particularly where there is still significant high-elevation snow packs remaining, streamflows remain above normal as unseasonably hot temperatures have been driving rapid snow melt. In unregulated streams in the Nechako River basin, for example, flow rates are currently at 5-year to 50-year return period flow levels.

In the southern part of the province, particularly on Vancouver Island, the depletion of this seasons’ marginal snow pack has transitioned rivers to extremely low levels for this time of year. Flow conditions in mid-May this year are more similar to what is observed in July or August in an average year and is an early indication that there is a risk of extreme low flows this season if the region does not experience wetter than normal summer weather.
Snow packs are still sufficient across some regions of the province to provide on-going seasonal risk for flooding. This is the case for regions that typically experience peak levels later in the melt season, including the Fraser River and Thompson River.


Current weather patterns are persistent, with a blocking ridge over northern British Columbia leading to limited flow of upper air and continued hot weather with some instability and thundershowers. This pattern is expected to continue through the weekend and into next week, with persistent above-normal temperatures. Current long-range temperature forecasts from Environment Canada indicate a high likelihood of above normal temperatures across British Columbia through the short (1 month) and long (3-month) terms.  Precipitation forecasts, which are less reliable than temperature, suggest normal precipitation over the next three months, with the exception of the eastern third of the province that may experience above normal precipitation.

Flooding is always possible during the snow melt freshet season, even in areas with normal or lower than normal snow packs. Given the snow conditions this year for most of the province, extreme weather, such as extreme precipitation or combined hot and wet weather, would be required to produce flooding or higher than expected flows in most areas of the province.  

In the Nechako and Bulkley Rivers, snow packs are nearing a point where flows on natural systems are expected to peak within the coming week. On the Nechako River near the confluence with the Fraser, the peak is expected to occur later as flows from the Stuart River are forecast to continue to rise. In the larger rivers of the province, warmer weather over the next 5-10 days is expected to continue the on-going rapid snow melt, and steady rises in river levels are expected.

With current weather conditions and outlook, the low flow season is expected to begin early this season. The extent of low flows will largely be affected by late-spring and summer temperature and precipitation. However, with the shift to earlier season low flows, there is the potential for very low summer flows in some regions unless wetter than normal summer weather occurs.

The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor snow pack conditions and streamflow across the province and provide flood and low streamflow advisories as needed. Snow melt “Freshet” information, including stream flow mapping, is available at: The next Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin is scheduled for release on Monday, June 8th.

BC River Forecast Centre
May 21, 2015 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Public Meeting by Citizens' Group - Schubert Centre - May 19, 2015

The Public Meeting organized by the Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan (CCMWP) drew a large crowd to the Schubert Centre. Several politicians also attended the meeting and watched the presentation by Eric Jackson, a well known expert on water and waste-water issues. He is currently a professor at Okanagan College on those issues. A question period following the presentation indicated overwhelming support for the efforts of the citizens' group.

Mr. Jackson consented to allow his presentation to be shared by the general public through this blog. The entire presentation can be viewed as a Power Point presentation here or as a PDF format here.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.



Monday, May 11, 2015

Canadian Drought Monitor - April 31, 2015

For your information!


Drought-stricken Californians turfing their turf for cash - will it be better or worse?

"Francisco Sevillano and his four-man crew grab their hoes, machetes and pickaxes and start hacking. Soon, instead of water-guzzling grass, her front and back yards will sprout drought-tolerant plants. And she's hardly the first on her block. In some areas it looks like a bizarre election: Everywhere there are lawn signs bearing slogans like "I'm conserving water. Won't you join me?" In many neighbourhoods like Meloni's, brown is the new green."

"Some lawn replacements may actually create 'heat island'"

Read more and watch the video!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

How much money do you save by conserving water?

Greater Vernon Water Utility customers are strongly encouraged to conserve water. Most customers comply  and believe that by saving water they also save significant amounts of money. They are mistaken. Up to 40 m3 consumption 1 m3 of water only cost customers $1.00 or less per m3.

To demonstrate the actual cost savings let’s compare the bill of customer “a” consuming 10 m3 of water per quarter to that of customer “b” consuming 40 m3.

For 10 m3 the bill would be $106.90 while for 40 m3 it would be $142.09 for a difference of $35.19. For this price difference of 33% customer “a” could use 4 times more water just like customer “b”.

Customers on sewer should be careful in the first quarter of the year where sewer fees are determined based on the first quarter water consumption.

The alternate rate proposal I put forward would distribute rates more fairly. Visit the comparison of the
two systems prepared by Councillor Spiers.

Customers conserving water should be treated fairly for their honest efforts of reducing water usage! My proposed rate system would reflect this principle. With this system customer "a" using 10 m3 of water per quarter would have a bill of $55.60. Customer "b" would be billed for 40 m3 water at $133.19. That is an incentive for conserving water and a reward for doing so. Everyone is treated fairly to boot!


Coldstream Council Meeting - May 11, 2015


Selected Morning Star Newsclip - In case you missed them.



Saturday, May 9, 2015

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;


We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

My photo
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.