New Water Supply plan unveiled to council

The city is planning to move forward with the first phase of a new Water Supply Plan, that looks at integrating Kelowna's water providers.

The report lays out a roughly $350 million plan that would do things like separating the distribution systems for drinking water and the agricultural supply, as well as use a combination of water from Okanagan Lake and Mission Creek to drink.

Don Stafford is a senior member of the Strategic Value consulting team, and says water from Mission Creek is a cost-saver, and it doesn't have to be filtered.

"Every drop of water that comes out of the Lake has to be pumped to get to somebody's house. Mission Creek can serve a very large portion of the city without any pumping," he said.

"There are areas that have to be pumped no matter what, but the big cost is your operational cost of delivering that water to the customer."

He says the plan would be to use Mission Creek for about 9 months a year, when the water quality is up to standard.

During spring run-off, when turbidity levels are higher, the city would pump in more water from the Lake instead.

Stafford says next steps are to prepare for Phase 1, which is adding infrastructure to clean up the water in South East Kelowna.

"The first is to make sure that we're not going to have a problem mixing the water. The second is to model the hydraulics of the system, so they can do the final detailed sizing of these new pipelines that are going to have to be built," he said.

"The third is then to go ahead and build the first phase, which is pipeline delivery systems."

The total cost is roughly $68 million, which the city is hoping will be offset by a $44 million grant from the province.

The cost of the $220,000 report from third-party consultants was split between the city and the South East Kelowna Irrigation District, and was not done with the cooperation of the other three major providers.

Mayor Colin Basran says they'll work to bring the others on board in the future, but first..

"The focus right now is that we're happy we have a city-wide plan, and our first focus is Phase 1 where the need is the highest," he said.

"Then we'll continue to work the province, Interior Health, and the other irrigation districts on a ong-term plan."