City of Kelowna's water use plan short-sighted

The Okanagan Fisheries Foundation has come out against the City of Kelowna's 2017 Integrated Water Use Supply Plan.

The proposed plan calls for drawing drinking water from two main sources - Mission Creek when water quality is good, and from Okanagan Lake the rest of the year. It says this will cut the cost of pumping water from the lake for the majority of the year and on treating the water. 

Mat Hanson at Fisheries Foundation says the amount of water currently being taken from Mission Creek is having a profound effect.

"The ecosystem as a whole, whether it be invetebrates, fish, bird life, even small mammals and the ecosystem in general - the only reason it survives is that water flow. The allocation as such right now is that the river is down to a trickle in August," he says.  

Hanson says major stakeholders like First Nations and the BC Wildlife Federation have been left out of the loop on the plan.

"There has been a real lack of consultation, and I think in terms of social license and public acceptance, I really don't believe that Kelowna's community values line up with the Kelowna water use plan as it stands," he says.   

Hanson also says a lot of time, effort and money has been spent to restore the creek's fish and wildlife habitat and to expand the Mission Creek Greenway, so using it as a new primary drinking water source is short-sighted and ill conceived. 

A petition opposing the City of Kelowna 2017 Integrated Water Use Supply Plan is at www.change.org.