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Kelowna water providers in no hurry to comply with voluntary water cuts

July 23, 2015 - 11:52 AM

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Kelowna’s five water providers will decide next week whether to comply with a request from the provincial government to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 30 per cent.

Darwyn Kutney, general manager of the Glenmore Ellison Irrigation District, says the Kelowna Joint Water Committee will meet July 30 to discuss the request.

“I have asked that it be put on the agenda. Right now, we are in a good position so do we want to impose arbitrary restrictions when we don’t have the technical information to back that up? We will try to find a joint concensus on how to proceed and then take it back to our boards and councils for a decision.”

The province has declared the Okanagan to be at a level three drought scenario, while the Lower Mainland, the South Coast, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island are already at level four.

The Okanagan Water Basin Board has urged all the water providers within its region to comply with the government’s request.

But Kutney says Glenmore Ellison’s reservoirs are in good shape and there is no technical reason to move to stage two watering restrictions, the level needed to meet a 30 per cent reduction.

The Kelowna water utility, which draws from Okanagan Lake, has also indicated there is no technical reason to impose watering restrictions as lake levels are near normal and not expected to be drawn down significantly by September. It is the only water utility around Okanagan Lake that has not imposed at least stage one restrictions.

Despite the relative health of local water supplies, Kutney says new information could emerge or a new directive could come from the provincial government that could change the situation.

Kelowna’s five water providers are the Glenmore Ellison Improvement District, Black Mountain Irrigation District, South East Kelowna Irrigation District, the Rutland Waterworks District and the City of Kelowna water utility.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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