Monday, March 27, 2017

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Coldstream Council Meeting - March 27, 2017


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Some real data on Greater Vernon water use.

Greater Vernon water customers are repeatedly encouraged to keep reducing their water consumption. However, while they keep reducing consumption their rates keep increasing to satisfy the ever increasing budget. 

According to information provided by the Okanagan Basin Water Board Okanagan residents consume an average of 675 liters of water per day as demonstrated below. 

This consumption is well above the Canadian average of 329 liters per day and well above the BC average average of 490 liters as well.

Of course, Greater Vernon Water Utility officials constantly remind us to do our duty and constantly reduce our consumption. So it's worth reviewing how we, Greater Vernon residents contribute to the high water demand. Here is the calculation based on the GVWU Annual Reports:

The total domestic, Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) water consumption of Greater Vernon for the last 5 years was 30,831 ML for an average of 6,166 ML/year. Assuming a consumer base of 55,000 the average daily water consumption per person is 307 liters and change as compared to the full Okanagan Valley consumption of 675 liters per day. Do we really have much of an effect on the overall daily water consumption of the Okanagan Valley?

Even if we added the agriculture water to our daily consumption the average total consumption would be 65,590 ML or 13,118 ML/year  for a daily combined consumption of 653 liters per person/day, less than the individual consumption of 675 liters per person/year in the Valley.

My question to staff is: why do customers in Greater Vernon need to conserve water more and more while paying for it more and more? The budget is set for any given year using more water will reduce the unit cost of water. At least customers have the extra water for their use.

It is assumed that the information published by the Okanagan Basin Water Board is correct!

Source of information: GVWU Annual Reports 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't touch my toys! Angry baby panda.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Duteau Creek water shut down


Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Coldstream Committee of the Whole Meeting - March 20, 2017


RDNO Board Meeting - March 22, 2017


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Kelowna recives $44 million for domestic water separation

March 17, 2017

A successful funding application for Phase 1 of the 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan means clean safe drinking water is one step closer for citizens of South East Kelowna and a plentiful supply of agricultural irrigation water is coming to the South Mission.

The federal and provincial governments approved the City of Kelowna funding application of $43.9 million to bring treated lake water to South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID) ratepayers for domestic use, and to resolve irrigation supply problems for the South Okanagan Mission Irrigation District (SOMID). The project will also allow another five small private water systems to connect. 

The total project cost is $61.3 million, with a combined local contribution of $17.4 million representing 28 per cent of total project costs.

“Funding of this magnitude is something we rarely see – in fact, this is the largest single grant anyone at the City can remember receiving,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “I want to thank the federal and provincial governments for acknowledging this essential need in Kelowna and for committing to help ensure our citizens have safe clean drinking water for a rapidly growing population a resilient and redundant water supply system to meet our agricultural needs in the face of climate change.”

A transition plan, a requirement of the provincial government and the grant application, is underway to map out the process for SEKID and the City of Kelowna to work together on Phase 1 of the 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan.  Pending the timely completion of a successful transition agreement clean drinking water is anticipated to be delivered to the majority of SEKID ratepayers by the end of 2019, or earlier if possible, with a target completion date to all SEKID customers by 2020.  In addition to the significant direct cost savings to ratepayers the project would also be completed 10 years faster than without government funding. The work to service SOMID is also expected to be completed by 2019.

“The plan achieves more than just good water quality – it will also achieve rate equity, a more resilient and robust system and maintains the interest of our agricultural community,” said Project Manager Ron Westlake.

The grant announcement will allow for the initial phase of the long-term integration plan to be implemented and set the groundwork for future integration.  Phase 1 includes the separation of agricultural and domestic systems in SEKID; in the short-term domestic water will be supplied through a new transmission line connecting to the City of Kelowna’s water distribution system from Okanagan Lake.  Agricultural water will continue to be supplied from Hydraulic Creek with emergency connections to the domestic supply in the event of service disruption. Phase 1 will also see a sustainable agricultural water supply delivered to SOMID, along with upgrades to the City of Kelowna’s water utility to supply both SEKID and SOMID and accommodate future growth.

The overall direction for an integrated system is established by the 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan and will inform future phases. The plan was developed using existing plans during a Value Planning exercise held in January, as a provincial requirement to determine the best lowest cost city-wide solution. The study was conducted by an objective engineering firm from the United States, with the participation of local water experts. 

The new plan will achieve:
Clean drinking water for all citizens

Agricultural interests maintained and protected
A resilient and redundant system that will help Kelowna navigate an uncertain future when it comes to climate change and increased regulation

Equitable rates, supply and service – some residents are paying twice as much as others for water that doesn’t meet Canadian guidelines, depending on which irrigation district is supplying the water.
“This plan will eventually ensure all our citizens have clean drinking water at equitable rates, while our domestic and agricultural needs are met with an integrated system that has the flexibility to draw water from a number of options to meet demand,” said Mayor Basran.
So much for GVWU staff's arguments that government grants would not be available for domestic water separation. 
We will be the only community in the valley to spend millions of dollars to treat agricultural water with ultra violet irradiation and eventually filtration only to use 80% of it on agricultural irrigation. Good job, consultants and staff!
SEKID customers, who earlier rejected a borrowing referendum of about $25 million, will now be getting a brand new domestic line attached to the City of Kelowna's domestic water supply from Okanagan Lake courtesy of senior governments grants of $44 million.

To date we spent over $70 million on our soon(?) to be updated Master Water Plan. (Only $35 million was authorized by ratepayers in the 2004 referendum). About 60% of these monies were spent on altering the perfectly functioning irrigation system. The remainder was spent on the domestic water supply improvements from Kal Lake. 

GVWU staff recently released the expected long term budget for the Master Water Plan. 
In addition to the already spent $70+ million we can expect to spend an additional $147 million for a grand total of over $215 million for the plan. And these are the estimates by the same people who estimated the cost of the Duteau Creek Treatment Plant at $16 million (final cost almost$30 million). About $111 million of this money will be spent on the irrigation system (the old VID) for a grand total of about $156 million. The cost of the original VID system was $7.9 million.
There is one more important thing to remember: staff and politicians do not want to fail this time. So instead of going out for another referendum the proposal is to collect money from us in advance through water rates. The annual amount would be about the same as our annual cost of financing would have been for the rejected $70 million (in the range of $4-5 million annually). When sufficient reserves are collected in future years then portions of the plan will be constructed as money allows.

The problem with this approach is that many of us will never see the improvements we are paying for in advance. It's like someone setting aside money for a house so he/she would not have to borrow. In the meantime he/she lives in a rental home while the cost of the dream house keep escalating and part of the mortgage is spent on the rental. Instead, if the plan is the right plan, we should borrow the funds and pay while enjoying the benefits of a new MWP. I would be the first one to vote for a normal, separated domestic/agriculture water system. This plan is not the right plan!

Look for future discussions on this very important issue for our community right here in this blog.

Next: The hidden costs of the current proposed MWP! Who is paying for what and the cost to you!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Coldstream Council Meeting - March 13, 2017 - Lavington Fire Hall

Reminder, the meeting is in the Lavington Fire Hall!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Greater Vernon Advisory Committee Meeting - March 9, 2017

Note: Water rates discussions!!


RDNO Board Meeting - March 8, 2017


Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Coldstream Committee of the Whole Meeting - March 6, 2017


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.