Okanagan Falls Irrigation District Faces Serious Shortfall for Needed Upgrades – Keremeos Review

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Okanagan Falls Irrigation District advocates for funding for critical infrastructure projects.

The district is to find funds for 17 different capital projects needed to bring the water supply system up to current standards, which would cost around $ 4.6 million.

Despite having created an asset management plan in 2018 that allowed the district to store funds in reserves, it is still not sufficient to cover needed priority projects.

One of the most important projects is the construction of a dedicated main pipeline to the lower reservoir to reduce manganese levels in the lower part of the water area, however, this project alone is estimated at $ 500,000. .

Although Okanagan Falls is surrounded by lakes and streams, the water available to residents and businesses comes from underground wells. OFID has five wells: three in the upper zone and two in the lower zone. The upper zone is not chlorinated, while the lower zone is chlorinated.

The future potential for further development is hampered due to the lack of current water capacity; therefore, any vision of a new and improved Okanagan Falls is not possible with the existing aging infrastructure.

“Like many small water supply systems, OFID faces infrastructure deficit issues. We are not collecting or have not collected enough from water payers to finance the renewal of all of its infrastructure, ”said Randy Perrett.

As an independent improvement district, no government grants or funding are available.

In addition to the main Okanagan Falls water system, which provides water to more than 2,200 residents, the district also operates the Okanagan Falls cemetery, Centennial Park and street lighting for the city. community.

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