City of Kelowna officially takes over water utility; promises better service | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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City of Kelowna officially takes over water utility; promises better service

Image Credit: PEXELS

The City of Kelowna has taken the next step in its campaign to unify water utilities in the area by officially merging with Glenmore Ellison Improvement District.

The merger with Glenmore Ellison Improvement District is part of Kelowna’s Integrated Water Supply plan which was initiated back in 2017, according to a press release from the city issued today, June 21.

Six years ago the city took over the South East Kelowna Irrigation District and Glenmore Ellison was next.

Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas said the goal of unifying water utility in the city is to improve the resiliency of the water supply and efficiency of service, especially as the population increases. This announcement comes as the Okanagan continues to experience drought.

“We are pleased to be working with Glenmore Ellison Improvement District through this transition as we integrate water supply connectivity and operations to improve the overall resiliency of the system, which is becoming even more important as we continue to grow,” Dyas said in the release. “Our goal is to create a model for transitions that is simple, collaborative, and can easily be replicated locally and throughout the province.”

Glenmore Ellison supplies water to 24,000 people and 841 hectares of agricultural land. The total service area is 3,787 hectares. It draws water from Okanagan Lake, McKinley Reservoir and non-potable water for farming from Mill Creek.

This merger means the city now manages water service to roughly 100,000 people, about two-thirds of Kelowna's population.

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The improvement district and the city signed an agreement back in March but it recently received the stamp of approval from the province.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs Anne Kang said the merger is going to be good for residents in the Okanagan.

"People living in the Okanagan will soon have better access to important services and strong infrastructure that they need and rely on," Kang said in the release. "This new partnership will ensure community vibrancy and resiliency, so residents in this area can benefit for many decades to come."

READ MORE: Kelowna takes over another irrigation district

Merging water service is going to take time. The change is going to start in 2025, and the transition is expected to be complete by 2027.

In March, the city said the merger will have no impact on user rates. The city said residents will have the same level of service throughout the transition period.

Rutland Waterworks District and Black Mountain Irrigation District are the two major water systems that haven't merged with the city utility. 


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