WBID

Resident urges audit of West Bench water bills

A property owner on the West Bench is calling for an audit of the community’s water billing practices to determine how many ratepayers are receiving special discounts.

Ronald Johnson said he discovered three years ago that some West Bench residents have  exemptions to avoid paying the per-acre water charge on non-irrigable parts of their properties, like gullies.

In one case, he discovered a landowner was being billed for just two of 28 acres, and based on his inquiries believes up to 10 such exemptions have been granted since 1996.

Focus Engineering report: West Bench Supply options (2011 predesign)

I have requested an electronic copy of the predesign report for the West Bench supply options.  I will post it here as soon as I get it. The report provides much more technical detail about the alternatives (e.g., pump horsepower, waterline routing, and so on).

Update 28 July 2011: The focus pre-design report has been posted to the RDOS website. Click here.

 

 

 

Some very rough costs for the new alternatives

I have attached the latest version of our internal calculations for three of the West Bench upgrade options (status quo, bulk water, new UV).  These are still very rough and pre-design.  However, they should give you some sense for the relative costs of the different alternatives.  They are also the numbers used in the July 22, 2011, newsletter and FAQ sent to all West Bench residents.

West Bench water system page on the main RDOS web site

Now that West Bench water is the responsiblity of the RDOS, a page has been added to the main RDOS web site.

The official RDOS page will house all the official RDOS news on the water system and the 2011 upgrade project.  I will continue to run this as a "shadow" West Bench water on this site to provide additional information and permit more resident feedback (each page on this site permits comments).

Public consultation regarding the 2011 West Bench Water upgrade project

At the request of the West Bench Irrigation District’s (WBID) Board of Trustees, the Province of British Columbia has officially dissolved WBID and transferred responsibility for the West Bench water system to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). This will ensure access to federal and provincial grants necessary for water system upgrades required by the Interior Health Authority (IHA) as well as ongoing operations and maintenance. In addition, a number of options for improvements are being proposed.

Although this water project has been going on for many years and residents have a good understanding of the issues, the RDOS is committed to a full process of public consultation BEFORE making a formal recommendation to residents.  I envision public consultation consisting of three stages:

Neighborhoods: 

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.

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

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.