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Conversion to RDOS

Okanagan Falls Irrigation District

We have one more open house before the Conversion/Bylaw Vote

Senior Centre—1128 Willow St.

Friday, April 8, 2022

3:00 PM—5:00 PM

The Okanagan Falls Irrigation District (OFID) manages four services:

 Okanagan Falls Water System

 Okanagan Falls Cemetery

 Centennial Park

 Administration of Street lighting

Conversion to RDOS Services

OFID has completed several key documents and master plans in looking to the future of these services and to provide the best services possible to their customers.

The 2021 Water Master Plan includes requirements to improve water quality, increase system redundancy and develop additional storage. A key component of the plan is the economic model that recommends a timeline for capital project implementation along with the estimated costs and cost recovery methods.

The economic model illustrates the need for greater reserves and other resources to meet the upgrade needs of the water infrastructure.

In response, the OFID Board of Trustees has implemented an 8% increase each year in fees until at least 2024 to help collect some of the needed funds. Even with the rate increases, financial resources are insufficient to complete all of the necessary upgrades for the water system.

Okanagan Falls Irrigation District

Annual General Meeting

Senior Centre—1128 Willow St.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

5:00 PM

RDOS Regional Connections

The RDOS has set up Regional Connections to provide information and answer questions on the conversion process and what it means.


In late fall 2021, the Province announced a new intake for senior infrastructure grant applications. It was at this time, that OFID approached the RDOS to consider conversion of services to the RDOS.

RDOS and OFID have worked together over the past 6 months to conduct the necessary reviews to develop a joint work plan, a communication strategy and to review legislative requirements related to the potential conversion of the OFID services.

The upcoming Open House events will provide details of the review and answer questions on what a conversion to the RDOS could mean. Eligible voters at the OFID AGM on April 20, 2022 will be asked whether conversion and a borrowing bylaw should proceed.

Highlights from Assessments

Engineering Assessment:

Similar challenges as other utilities with aging infrastructure, rising costs and increasing legislative requirements to provide safe and reliable service to customers.

Over $4.5M in upgrades and repairs are required to meet immediate system deficiencies, meet regulations and operational standards identified in the Water Master Plan and the assessment activities.

Staff Capacity Assessment

Three full-time employees would transition to the RDOS—2 operations and 1 administrative position.

Part-time/casual staff would not transition but the tasks would be carried out by other RDOS staff.

Financial and Liability Assessment

OFID is managing its fiscal responsibility fairly well, with annual transfers to several reserves and planned rate increases in efforts to collect reserve funds to meet the upgrade needs of the water service.

If conversion is supported, the anticipated service cost increases are anticipated to remain similar to OFID’s at about 8-10% for the following several years depending on service changes or new loans started.

Infrastructure Grant Application

In February 2022, the RDOS submitted an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Environmental Quality Program. The grant, if successful, would be used for several high priority items identified in the Water Master Plan and address deficiencies in regulatory requirements, lack of redundancy and storage shortfalls.

Some of the work proposed in the grant application is the installation of a dedicated water main to the lower reservoir to ensure adequate disinfection time occurs before water reaches customers. Other main parts of the application involved relocating a critical valve into an above ground building and installing a new well pump.

In total the project is estimated at $2.1M. If the grant is approved, about 73% of the project cost will be paid for by the grant. The water system would be responsible for the remaining 27%. As OFID has been building reserve accounts for completing capital upgrades, the 27% required for this work is already available.

The Province is expecting to announce the successful grant recipients in early 2023.

Conversion Process is different from Incorporation

The conversion of OFID services to the RDOS would be a completely independent process from the current Electoral Area D service and boundary configuration study, and any future incorporation study.

These two processes are very different and are not tied together. Conversion of the four services from the OFID to the RDOS would not positively or negatively impact the outcome of the service and boundary configuration study, or any future incorporation study.

Future Infrastructure Projects

In order to address the other priority projects identified in the Water Master Plan, the service would need to borrow funds. A borrowing bylaw for $4.3M will be brought forward at the AGM on April 20, 2022 for approval. These borrowed funds could be used directly to fund immediate upgrades and also to secure contributory funds towards the next infrastructure grant program.

It is expected that the funds would be borrowed over a period of four years to prevent larger than expected user rate increases.