Friday, June 4, 2010

Duteau Creek Reservoirs at 94% of Previous Low

To address issues surrounding Stage 3 water restrictions (imposed end of April) raised by residents and the business community, the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has created a Drought Response Team, comprising 3 elected officials, 1staff, as well as Fisheries and Environment reps. 

"There will also be a group of stakeholders -- including residents and businesses -- that will present information to the core task force," states Richard Rolke's article in the June 4, 2010 edition of The Morning Star.

The article states:  There's some concern the process could become cumbersome with so many people involved.

Really?  REALLY?  No kidding, Kermit!

Had directors on the water board and bureaucrats been acting on our behalf -- whether 10 years ago or 20 -- we would not have to remind them today that we exist.

Is it any surprise that golf courses, turf farms, car washes, hotels, restaurants, landscaping and swimming pool contractors need water?  

This isn't rocket science, boys.
And some of these boys have been around a long time, undoubtedly privy to the study 10 years ago which indicated that Duteau Creek's water storage needed to be increased for a growing community.

Yet today, "we have $100,000 in this year's budget for a(nother) study," stated Al Cotsworth, water manager, recently.

"We have a lot of bureaucrats covered but the general public isn't," said old boy and water director Doug Dirk.

Well, Doug Dirk is certainly part of the problem, having served on Coldstream Council for at least 12 years, and a water director as well.   Had Doug Dirk managed to, even temporarily, remove the gigantic bias hat he perennially wears, he would already have been representing business.  Businesses would not today need to join a committee.

So why are businesses and residents being invited to join the "drought response team"?

To spread around the blame? 
To drag things out for 18 months? 

"I can't see having that amount of people meeting over 18 months and having as good a result," said director and Vernon Councillor Patrick Nicol.
As good a result as what?
As what the present boys have achieved?

They've achieved bugger-all.
Pardon the colloquialism. 

So what have directors and councillors been doing?
Certainly not representing business.

In an 8-minute drive-radius, there's the North Okanagan Regional District (home of the water authority), there's Coldstream Municipal Hall, Vernon City Hall and, naturally, also Eric Foster's MLA office, as well as Colin Mayes' MP office.

Over-governed and under-served.
Yup, that's us.

Now more and more people will sit on committees, and form additional committees (the Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council come to mind, to name only two).

It is your duty to represent us.  All of us.
Not just to receive our property tax dollars.
We would happily voluntarily reduce (to use the water authority's phrase) our property taxes by 20 per cent.  Would you then realize we businesses are here in your community?

In the case of Highlands Golf, we possess a 55 gpm water allocation, bought many years ago with hard-earned dollars.
Isn't it illegal for the water authority to take money for something they cannot supply?
Imagine a business doing that.
It's called fraud.

So how could directors and bureaucrats have planned without the need for all these committees?
By drilling wells (and no, Antwerp Springs is NOT the only spot to drill wells), and increasing upland reservoir storage.

To this businesswoman, six half-empty reservoirs would be considerably better than the current two.
Sounds simple to me.
But then I'm not a water director or a bureaucrat or a councillor.

"They need to muddy the water," offers Kia.

They're already halfway there.