Funding for new Windermere reservoir pursued

  • Nov. 28, 2014 2:00 p.m.



The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors voted at their most recent meeting to ask the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to change the scope of an already-approved grant for Windermere water system upgrades to allow for reservoir construction.

The directors also decided at their Friday, November 7th meeting to ask the ministry for a one-year extension on the grant from the Build Canada Fund, which is set to expire on March 31st. The board has already approved the re-allocation of Community Works Funds for expanding Windermeres reservoir capacity.

The RDEK has made the commitment to continue moving this project forward, with the ultimate goal of providing the community of Windermere compliant drinking water that meets Interior Health drinking water guidelines, said RDEK Area F director Wendy Booth.

The proposed new reservoir will be required no matter what option is finally settled on for the Windermere water upgrades. It will provide extra capacity, in addition to the current reservoir, to help meet Windermeres water needs. The current reservoir (which is northeast of Highway 93/95 on the provincial Ministry of Transportations gravel pit near Windermere) will remain in service, but it alone no longer provides enough water for the community, according to RDEK project supervisor Elizabeth Ahlgren.

It is almost 40 years old and the population of Windermere has grown substantially and regulations around operational, emergency and fire flow have changed during those four decades.

The new reservoir project will cost around $2.3 million.

Efforts to find a long-term answer to the Windermere water issue are still ongoing, with the RDEK working on determining an exact location to drill test wells for groundwater.

The test wells will be somewhere in the vicinity of Windermere Creek on the northeast side of the Highway 93/95, and the RDEK is negotiating with property owners to obtain permission before choosing a specific site, according to Ms. Ahlgren.

At the moment there is no firm timeline for the long-term Windermere water upgrade project.

With the uncertainty around the feasibility of the well option and timing of future funding opportunities, there is not a set schedule for presenting options to the community, said Ms. Ahlgren. If the results of the proposed test well are promising, there would be at least another year of work to determine the number of wells required, confirm any treatment requirements and prepare an environmental assessment.

The RDEK will be experimenting with user-borne costs to help pay for the water system upgrades and will use mock water rates for a year before any actual new rates come into effect, according to Ms. Booth.

The mock rates would give users a chance to see how much they would pay for water using a flat rate, compared with what they would pay with a metered rate.

Just Posted

RCMP Report

Some of the more notable files from Columbia Valley RCMP week of August 12-18th

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Legend of the book bike

Book fairy hands out books to lucky recipients who spot her

Chamber seeks Business Excellence nominations

The Chamber is accepting nominations for the Columbia Valley Business Excellence Awards.

Summer Snack Program helps local kids in need of a good lunch

Summit Youth Centre is giving tasty, nutritious lunches and snacks to Columbia Valley kids.

VIDEO: Facebook rolls out tool to block off-Facebook data gathering

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the “clear history” feature more than a year ago

66% of B.C. residents want opt-out system for organ donation: poll

Support was lowest in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces

B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Vancouver Island school and difficult to remove

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Pregnant teachers fight to change WorkSafeBC compensation rules

Agency does not recognize risk to unborn babies when mother catches illness from work

Most Read