Press Release November 2021
November 12, 2021
Ofid media release information
The Okanagan Falls Irrigation District also known as the Okanagan Falls Improvement District is an independent standalone water system that provides water to just over 2200 residents.
There are only a few community water systems remaining in the Okanagan. All Irrigation/ Improvement districts have its own bylaws, policies and rates and must comply with Interior Health and the Canadian Drinking Water Protection standards.
The irrigation district looks after the Okanagan Falls Cemetery, Centennial Park, and administer the Okanagan Falls street lighting.
The history of the Okanagan Falls Irrigation Dist.area dates back to 1934, when…..
The irrigation district has 5 wells –3 in the upper zone, and 2 in the lower zones. The upper zone is unchlorinated, whereas the lower is chlorinated.
The Okanagan Falls Irrigation District faces infrastructure deficits
Unlike municipalities, and Regional Districts, an improvement district does not qualify for grants or government funding.
The Okanagan Falls Irrigation district developed an Asset Management plan in 2018 and has followed the……plan over the past few years adding funds to both the replacement reserve fund and the capital reserve funds for future improvements. The asset management plan is designed to help fund renewal of all of our infrastructure and try to be more sustainable.
In early 2021 our Engineers developed a Water Master Plan to identify a number of recommended projects to consider in order to bring our aging infrastructure up to current standards. The 17 recommended capital projects were prioritized to address the issues identified in the analyses of the system. The combined cost estimate of the capital projects is approximately 4.63 million dollars. Although we are (financially) healthier than many districts, there is still a substantial shortfall.
One of the high priority projects was a new dedicated main to the lower reservoir. This project will help with the contact time needed to reduce the Manganese in the lower zone. This project comes with a price tag of approximately $560,000.
“Like many smaller water systems, the Okanagan Falls Irrigation District is facing infrastructure deficit challenges. We don’t collect or haven’t collected enough from the water payers to fund renewal of all its infrastructure,” said Chair, Randy Perrett