2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan

from kelowna.ca

“While, technically, water quality issues can be solved independently by each provider, these independent technical solutions will be very costly, creating rate inequity for customers. The more cost effective solution is to create an integrated water system that meets the customers’ water service expectations, protects public health, improves the aesthetic qualities of the water, ensures equity in services and costs and creates a resilient and redundant supply system."

~ John Robinson, Team Lead, Strategic Value Solutions

The 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan, a result of a 2017 third-party Value Planning Study of the 2012 plan, calls for a city-wide integrated water system to achieve:

  • The best lowest cost city-wide solution
  • Drinking water that meets Canadian Drinking Water Quality Standards
  • Flexibility from administrative and operational perspectives
  • Maintain agricultural interests

The city-wide integration plan has a number of other benefits, including:

  • Water quality, rate, supply and service equity
  • Resilient and redundant system that meets domestic and agricultural needs
  • Efficiency in operations and administration

Preliminary numbers show a $95 million cost savings compared to the 2012 plan the Value Planning team was asked to review.

“The conclusion of the Value Planning Study marks a significant milestone for an exercise that began in 2010 to determine how best to proceed with the delivery of both domestic and agricultural water in Kelowna,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

The New Plan (Executive Summary)

Drinking Water

“Climate change is the biggest unknown when it comes to confidently planning water supply for Kelowna.  The best preparation for an uncertain future, is to integrate the systems to create resilient and robust networks for both domestic and agricultural water."

~ John Robinson, Team Lead, Strategic Value Solutions

The 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan, implemented over time, would see drinking water drawn from two main sources; Mission Creek when water quality is good and from Okanagan Lake during the remainder of the year. This significantly reduces the cost of pumping water from the lake for the majority of the year.  Existing wells and other creeks would also be utilized as supplemental water sources helping to defer advanced treatment.  The use of two main water sources greatly reduces the costs of advanced treatment when required by limiting the number of water sources requiring treatment. 

Agricultural Water

The plan calls for the separation of drinking and agricultural systems, allowing lower quality untreated water to be used for agriculture greatly reducing costs over time. The primary agricultural sources include Hydraulic, Scotty and Kelowna creeks, along with the ability to draw from existing wells, Mission Creek and Okanagan Lake if agricultural sources are compromised.

Hydraulic and Mill Creeks are at higher risk of supply shortage or failure compared to Mission Creek or Okanagan Lake.

Next steps

Read more about Kelowna Integrated Water - Phase 1