Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Committee discusses OK Lake options - my comments are in red.

Tapping into a new water source could create challenges in Greater Vernon.
Members of the master water plan stakeholders advisory committee were provided with information Thursday about possibly drawing water from Okanagan Lake, something that presently doesn’t occur.
“You would have a pump station at the head of the lake and pump all of the way to the Mission Hill treatment plant,” said consultant Brett deWynter.

A pump station would be required because Okanagan Lake’s surface elevation is 341.5 metres, which means it is lower than Vernon.

“No one has control over what electrical rates will become,” said deWynter of the need for power to pump the water uphill.

Interestingly, pumping from Okanagan Lake to Goose Lake is what consultants are recommending to do. GooseLake is at an even higher elevation. The water pumped from Okanagan Lake would be used for irrigation. The question should be: why spend $2.6 million for a pumping station on Okanagan Lake (plus the cost of pumping) for the sparse demand for irrigation water from Goose Lake (see inset)? Duteau water or even Kal Lake would be quite sufficient to provide the water needed for Goose Lake supply just as it is done now. Based on the inset table the average use for the years 2012-2015 was 390 ML/year.
The present water system is gravity-fed, with Duteau Creek at an elevation of 649.95 metres and Kalamalka Lake at 391.7 metres.
Not quite so! Some parts of the system is gravity fed but a large proportion of the proportion of the water is pumped. All of the water from Kalamalka Lake is pumped to the treatment plant at Mission Hill and, after treatment, pumped up to the reservoir near the Alan Brooks Nature Centre. From hear some of the system receives water through gravity others, like the Rise, Turtle Mountain, Predator Ridge, etc. get their water through pumping.
Committee member Paul Williamson suggested constructing a treatment plant near Goose Lake that could draw water from Okanagan Lake and service northwest Greater Vernon, Spallumcheen and the Okanagan Indian Reserve.

“That’s an option we should definitely look at,” he said.

Another concern about switching from the Duteau source to Okanagan Lake is the potential arrival of invasive mussels in the region.

The mussels flourish in calcium rich water such as Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes, whereas there are low calcium levels in Duteau Creek.

These mussels clog water intake pipes, pumps and boat motors. They also deplete food sources for fish and produce toxins that kill fish and birds and contaminate drinking water.
The mussel issue, while real, is kind of a "red herring" (or red mussel) since we are feeding 75-80% of our water supply from Kalamalka Lake. That would be tough to change. Further more, the future supply is going to come from Okanagan Lake no matter what system we chose for now.
 “Putting an intake in at different depths (in the lake) could not work,” said Doug Neden, committee member.

The committee was also provided information on water utilities in other local jurisdictions.

In Kelowna, about 60,000 people get their water from Okanagan Lake, with the remaining 60,000 served by up to 10 other independent utilities.
To be more precise: "The water utility (of Kelowna) supplies water to more than 65,000 residents and more than 1,700 industrial, commercial and institutional properties in north, central and south Kelowna. The raw water source is Okanagan Lake."
“It has zero agricultural base,” said deWynter of the City of Kelowna utility from Okanagan Lake.
Presently, the City of Kelowna system is not filtrated but that may not be avoidable in the future.

“Water rates in Kelowna will go up, they are going up,” said Jim Garlick, committee chairperson, of government regulations.
That is true, water rates will go up in Kelowna as will do everywhere else. In fact, GVWU is planning an increase of 2% across the board and a further increase of about 5% for water meter replacements (subject to furthere discussions at GVAC) for 2016.
 In Penticton, two water sources are used and filtration has been in place since the mid-1990s.

“The treatment facility was built with 33 per cent tax dollars and the rest came from elsewhere (senior government),” said deWynter.

“Federal government funding is not where it was back in the 1990s.”

West Kelowna has two water sources and the treatment technologies vary.

“One group of residents pays for filtered water and another group pays for non-filtered water. It’s a legacy of two irrigation districts,” said deWynter.

Garlick says the amalgamation of Greater Vernon’s water utilities and system upgrades have been beneficial.

“I’m thankful that we have Duteau Creek. We have everyone paying the same rate and people can see through their water,” he said.

I am also glad that we have Duteau Creek. It provided the life blood of the North Okanagan for over a century. It permitted the development of a thriving agriculture industry. It was, and still is, good for agriculture it was not, and still is not, good for domestic water supply.

Had we concentrated on our valley bottom lakes for domestic water we would have been able to complete total separation for the cost we have already incurred or perhaps slightly more. In my opinion we must critically review Option 4  for a reasonable alternative to the proposed Option 2.

So far no new alternative was presented to the SAC members for consideration.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 24, 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;


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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.