Water infrastructure projects get funding

Millions of dollars is being poured into water infrastructures in Kelowna, West Kelowna, and Lake Country.

The provincial and federal governments announced funding, through the joint Clean Water and Wastewater grant, for projects in the area on Friday.

$41 million is going towards building the new Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant in West Kelowna, $44 million is going to the City of Kelowna for phase 1 of a new integrated water supply plan, and Lake Country is receiving $6 million for Eldorado Treated Water Reservoir & Glenmore Booster Station.

“The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund was created to address water and waste water issues as they persist across the country,” Stepehn Fuhr, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country said “Locally this is good news for our community as we have our fair share of water issues”

The City of West Kelowna was very hopeful to receive funding for its $49 million Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant, following a water advisory that increased public demand for improvements.

“It’ll actually be our first really big project for the City of West Kelowna, in that range, since we incorporated in 2007,” West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater said “We’re really willing, ready, eager, happy to get going and the good news is for our residents that this is going to advance this project by a full 5 years”

Funding for Kelowna’s integrated supply plan will also shorten the timeline of the project, by 10 years. The plan will clean up the water in South East Kelowna Irrigation District, resolve irrigation supply problems for the South Okanagan Mission Irrigation District, and connect another 5 small private water systems.

“Phase 1 sets the stage for the future implementation of the plan that will provide clean drinking water for all our citizens,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said “maintain and protect agricultural interests, create a resilient and redundant system to help us navigate an uncertain future when it comes to climate change and increased regulation, and it will provide equitable rates, supply and service”

Another $600,000 is going towards improvements to the Falcon Ridge Water System.

50% of each project is funded by the federal government, 33% by the provincial government and the remaining 17% is covered by local government.