Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender has issued the following statement on the agreement between Kelowna water service providers:
“I am very pleased that the City of Kelowna, the Black Mountain Irrigation District, the Rutland Water Works District, the Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District, and the South East Kelowna Irrigation District have taken an important step together toward establishing a comprehensive long-term water supply plan for their entire area.
“All parties have agreed on a statement of principles and terms of reference for a value planning process that will allow for an independent third-party to review all relevant documents and information that would inform the development of a new, integrated water system for the region over time.
“This collaborative approach brings the municipality and the four districts closer to bringing to life an optimal, holistic water solution for the Kelowna area―a solution that provides the best, lowest cost approach, achieves public health standards, includes administrative and operational flexibility and maintains the region’s important agricultural interests.
“This milestone is the result of a commitment from all parties looking to achieve the best outcomes. With this type of positive and collaborative forward movement, financial support from the provincial, and federal governments can be considered. The Government of B.C. has been a dedicated partner in the process, most recently contributing facilitation support and a professional workshop on the benefits of the value planning process. We will continue this collaborative approach to support the project as it moves forward.
“I commend everyone involved, including Premier Christy Clark and local MLA's Norm Letnick and Steve Thomson, for their commitment to working together and forging a unified path toward providing an effective, sustainable water supply that supports residential and economic interests of the greater Kelowna region.”