water

Flooding in Faulder

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In an ironic twist, Faulder now has too much water! Darke Creek, which is typically just a dry culvert has overflowed with the higher-than-normal volume of snow melt.

The critical issues for Faulder residents (apart from personal property damage) are the status of the the main road and upstream dam on Darke/Fish Lake.  Rural roads and dams are the responsibility of the province, not the RDOS.   However, we checked with the relevant provincial ministries on May 17, 2011.  The Ministry of the Environment is aware of the situation and is monitoring the dam; the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is monitoring Fish Lake Road.

 

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RDOS may be taking over responsibility for water on the West Bench

As you may have seen in the newspaper (story in the Penticton Herald and Oliver Daily News), the WBID and RDOS are working together to resolve the water issue on the West Bench.  A proposal is going before the provincial cabinet to disolve the WBID and pass responsiblity for water on the West Bench to the RDOS.  The RDOS would then create a service area corresponding to the boundaries of the WBID.

Right now we are waiting for an Order-In-Council from the province to execute the transfer.  Until then, the WBID remains responsible for water on the West Bench.

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Water board‘s days numbered

The West Bench Irrigation District could be formally dissolved as early as next month, paving the way for a referendum on a possible upgrade of its aging water system.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has agreed to take over the West Bench water system, following the irrigation district‘s recent decision to apply for dissolution. The final step calls for the transfer to be approved by the province through an order-in-council, expected sometime in June.

BC wants to see action on West Bench water

The following article appeared in the on-line "Oliver Daily News" . Jack Bennest, who did the story and who has spent much time at the RDOS board table, asked me for some comments.  He included these at the end of the story. The story stems from a letter to the RDOS from the Province asking whether the RDOS would be willing to takeover the West Bench water system if the WBID decided to dissolve.

January 2011 Faulder water update

The provincial government has made one  Towns For Tomorrow grant available to the RDOS each of the past few years.  Last year the Faulder water system was selected by the RDOS board for its one and only application for the grant. Following the massive price increase in the Summerland option, we asked the RDOS board to consider Faulder for a second Towns For Tomorrow grant.  The following is a full list of the projects considered by the RDOS board for submission to the Province:

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Grant money goes down the drain

[I have not had much occasion in the past to agree with Mr. Walker (global warming, diagnosis of the SOEC's woes) but I do agree with the basic thesis of this editorial: The recent West Bench water referendum was a significant economic setback for the City of Penticton.]

The residents of West Bench threw another monkey wrench into Penticton council’s plans.

My summary of the West Bench water issue

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I finally found some time to do a back of the envelope comparison of the two options (UV versus the City of Penticton supplied by the WBID).  There is some complexity in this comparison because of different grant arrangements, different capital versus ongoing costs, and so on.  I have converted everything into present value (PV) in order to compare apples to apples. I also took the reservoir out of the CoP proposal because it is not in the RDOS UV proposal.

See the summary here

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Response to Summerland-Faulder water deal

The following letter was published in the Summerland Review (link to letter)
Published: August 11, 2010


Dear Editor:

Having chosen to live in various rural regions of B.C., I believed it was the responsibility of homeowners to provide their own water, either hand dig a well, have it extensively drilled or personally transport their water.

While living in Meadow Valley, I had to both filter and boil the drinking water. Never once did I think that others miles away should fill our water needs.

People have made their choice to live in the country, both enjoying all the benefits of rural living and also bearing responsibility for their own upkeep.

Upon moving to Summerland, I was shocked to discover the impurity of our local drinking water.

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