Saturday, October 31, 2015

California's Drought

Excellent article in The Rotarian, November 2015, by Charles Fishman:

"California's drought may not be your drought...

In June, in the middle of the worst drought in California's settled history, San Francisco did something bold that got almost no attention.

The city passed an ordinance requiring all new developments of a certain size -- commercial or residential -- to install water recycling systems right on site.  Any new development of 250,000 square feet or larger will have to collect rainwater and gray water, clean it, and reuse it in the building or development for toilets, washing machines, and landscaping irrigation.  New buildings with the recycling systems will also will be able to sell this water to nearby buildings and developments.

With that ordinance -- which passed the board of supervisors unanimously -- San Francisco became the first city in the United States to make on-site water recycling mandatory.  In the middle of the drought, the city was getting ready for the next one, the drought that will come in 2022 or 2052.

The drought in California entered its fifth year this summer.  In April, for the first time in history, California's governor, Jerry Brown, imposed mandatory water restrictions on the state's water utilities, requiring residents to reduce their water use by 25 per cent over 2015 amounts.  In June, the first month in which this mandatory reduction was in force, residents surpassed that target, lowering municipal water use by 27 per cent statewide, even though it was the hottest June in California history.  In July, Californians did even butter, cutting water use by 31 per cent.

"It's a different world," Brown said.  "We have to act differently."

He made the announcement in a meadow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where there would normally be 5 1/2 feet of snow on an April day.  He was standing on bare ground.  California gets one-third of its fresh water each year from melting snow, but in 2015, the snowpack was just 5 per cent of the average, the lowest level ever documented.  Ninety-five per cent of the snow was missing -- on top of the four driest years in state history.

California's drought has been extraordinary any way you can measure it.  And because California has the largest economy in the United States, and has the largest population, and produces the most food -- including half the nation's fruits and vegetables -- the drought has affected places far beyond Sacramento and San Diego.

But at the heart of this is an insight, largely overlooked:  California has done pretty great in this drought.

The state's economy is soaring -- it has grown faster than the national economy in every year of the drought.  California leads the country in creating new jobs, and it is attracting new residents faster than at any time in the last decade.  Even its agricultural community -- which uses 80 per cent of the water the state requires each year -- is increasing production and sustaining employment.

There are pockets of misery in the drought -- communities where wells have run dry, where ordinary Americans struggle every day to get enough water, as if they lived in a developing nation without a water system instead of in the richest state in America.  But the astonishing thing is how little impact the drought has had on the most important economy in the country.  The reason isn't that water doesn't matter.  Water does matter, and California has spent the last 20 years getting ready for this drought.

If you look closely, what's really happening is that the state is pioneering a whole set of strategies and ideas that communities everywhere should grab hold of for themselves.

With the water recycling ordinance, San Francisco's officials were doing something rare when it comes to water:  They were acknowledging reality, understanding that the way to plan for the turbulent future of water is by changing how people use it -- not by hoping it will rain.

San Francisco has done this before.  California's last devastating drought stretched from 1987 to 1992, and once it ended, the city never relaxed its drought rules.  Instead, it embarked on a determined effort to get residents and businesses to use even less water, permanently.

Today, two-thirds of all homes in San Francisco have low-flow toilets, extraordinary for a city of that age and density.  Half of all homes in San Francisco have water-efficient washing machines.  Since the last major drought, San Francisco has cut daily residential water use from 59 gallons per person to 49 gallons per person -- less than half the U.S. average.

Scott Wiener is the city supervisor who wrote the water recycling law passed in June.  "Water is kind of nuclear in California.  We've been fighting about it for 150 years," he says.  "This is the time to take bold policy steps.  A crisis has a way of opening up political opportunities to make policy changes that would have been unthinkable 5 or 10 years before."

San Francisco's efforts are mirrored across the state.  California has a famously convoluted water system -- the engineering is complicated, with river-size volumes of water moved from the north down to farmers in the Central Valley and the sprawling metropolises of the south.  The state's system of water rights and water law is equally complex, with farmers growing similar crops entitled to very different quantities of water at very different prices.

"Southern California's entire $340 million in rebates was spoken for in a matter of weeks -- with homeowners committing to remove 170 million square feet of lawn, the same amount it took Las Vegas 16 years to remove."

But in the southern cities in the last decade, a new ethic has taken hold:  the idea that the cities need to strive for "water independence," that relying on water imported from Northern California and from the Colorado River doesn't make them secure, but dangerously vulnerable.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is the vast water agency that stretches from Oxnard, north of Los Angeles, to the Mexican border 200 miles south, supplying water for 19 million people -- half the state's population.  Since 1990, the number of people in the MWD has increased by four million, but the district uses less water in 2015 than it did in 1990.  Southern California has added enough people to fill Portland and Las Vegas without adding any new water.  All the population and economic growth that's powered the region in the last 25 years has been accomplished while conserving water.

Water conservation often gets trivialized -- low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators -- in ways that disguise its power.  But Southern California is just starting to change the water culture.  Although use of recycled water in California has doubled in the last 20 years, it still accounts for only an estimated 11 per cent of total urban water use in the state.  Even when it comes to rain, Southern California is just getting started.  The region's sewers collect all the water that falls on urban areas as rain -- often in just a few storms a year, but in huge volumes -- and rather than saving it for future use, the system dumps that water into the Pacific.

But there are signs that people understand that the world has changed, that the Southern California culture needs to adapt.  This spring, the MWD announced a dramatic expansion of a rebate program that encourages residents to remove their turf lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant plants.  Las Vegas pioneered such "cash for grass" programs.  Southern California's entire $340 million in rebates was spoken for in a matter of weeks -- with homeowners committing to remove 170 million square feet of lawn, the same amount it took Las Vegas 16 years to remove.

California's farmers are a more complicated story.  As a group, they have adapted with determination and creativity to increasing competition for water.  They also have done real damage to the state's water resources as they have struggled to survive the current drought.

In 1980, almost no farmers in California used micro- or drip-irrigation.  Today, one-third of the state's irrigated acres rely on these techniques, and the amount of land that is flood-irrigated -- a practice as imprecise as it sounds -- has been cut in half.

Putting water right where the plants are, as drip irrigation does, means that although farmers apply 20 to 30 per cent less water overall, individual plants get more water, and fields with precise irrigation have dramatically higher yields.  Between 2000 and 2010, California farmers increased the value of their harvest by 40 per cent for a fixed amount of water -- in part through smarter irrigation, in part by switching to higher-value crops like the almonds and pistachios that have gotten so much attention during the drought.

But California has a long tradition of allowing anyone to pump groundwater from underneath their own land -- not only without paying for it but without even recording how much they use.  In fact, it is the only state in which groundwater has been largely unregulated.  And in the drought, farmers are making up for the water they have lost under carefully regulated formal irrigation systems by pumping from wells -- replacing about 70 per cent of their missing water.

The unregulated pumping is overdrafting California's aquifers, taking far more water out than will soon be replaced, even when rain does return .  In some places in the Central Valley, the land itself is subsiding an inch a month or more because of the pumping, and the wells of towns and hundreds of homes have gone dry.

The farmers have been trading successful harvests in the drought for future water security.  "People are counting on digging deeper and deeper into the ground, into the 'water account' with the assumption that it will never dry up," says David Orth, general manager of the Kings River Conservation District, which sites in the middle of the Central Valley, California's agricultural heartland.  "I'm not sure there's much more room for resiliency."

But here too, the current drought will prove to have been a turning point.  In the fall of 2014, the legislature passed a far-reaching law that will not just regulate groundwater -- it will permanently protect the state's aquifers.  Every aquifer in California will be mapped and measured, and farmers and communities will be allowed to pump out only the amount of water that will be returned, by nature or with human help.  All groundwater will be managed as a permanently sustainable resource.

The sweeping groundwater law -- considered the most advanced in the nation -- is an example of how the crisis has open ed the way for policy changes that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, in a state where pumping groundwater has been considered a matter of personal freedom.  Although the final rules balancing pumping and restoration don't take effect until 2042, California farmers will have to pioneer ways to put rain and floodwater more efficiently back into aquifers.

"What can we do to build a cushion for our water supply
 and our water customers -- can we teach people
to use less, or create a second supply
 by reusing either wastewater or stormwater?"

Water problems can be dramatic, they can have far-reaching impact, but ultimately water problems are local.  For people who live in Chicago or Dallas, not eating California tomatoes and lettuce, or skipping the California wine, won't help battle the drought.

And while California has weathered the worst drought in its history with remarkable resilience, there is a limit to the state's short-term adaptability.  There's no telling how long the drought will last.  Since 2001, California has had only four wet years, or even average rainfall years.  Californians may not be living in a drought.  They may be living in their new climate.

Every community in the United States -- indeed, in the developed world -- has a water system, and every one of those water systems is at risk.  But where the water seems to be flowing fine right now, residents may not see the risk, or want to -- and that's as true of water professionals as it is of ordinary people.

Any water utility should be asking three basic questions:  How is the water supply we rely on changing?  How would we cope if our water availability were 10 or 20 or 30 per cent less than it is now?  What can we do to build a cushion for our water supply and our water customers -- can we teach people to use less, or create a second supply by reusing either wastewater or storm water?

If the answers to those questions are reassuring, then asking them is neither painful nor expensive.  If the answers are scary, then asking the questions now is much less painful and expensive than it would be after waiting even six months or a year.

Those are the blunt lessons from the California drought that people anywhere -- whether in arid areas like the Southwest or flush areas like the Great Lakes -- should be taking to heart.

California has held up so well this time precisely because of all the slow but steady change in water policy and water attitude over the last 20 years.  The state could be in crisis if the drought lasts another year or two -- but it would have been in crisis already if not for the work already done.

And no one in California is waiting around for the rain to return.  From the future skyscrapers of San Francisco to the future farmers of the Central Valley, Californians are putting in place innovative practices that will give their state a wider measure of resilience for the next drought."

"The BC gov't requested a 30 per cent reduction in the province's water consumption, but offered nary a penny toward innovative ideas or incentives," says Kia, adding " typical!"

And, with sea level rise, look at desalination work planned/constructed.

Congratulations California!!!!!

San Francisco Resources:
Stormwater Design Guidelines
Commercial Water Conservation
Residential Water Conservation
Water Efficient Landscape

B.C. Building Code:  greywater/dual plumbing changes

Review: The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman (2011)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Staving Off Futility

A review is a review is a review.
Or is it?

Following the second SAC meeting at RDNO, I'm reminded of boss Sewell's comment early in October, that he was "leery of reviewing a(ny) political decision."

But the entire review by SAC members is of material that formed the 2012 Master Water Plan, all of which was presented by GVW engineers and consultants, approved by GVAC Directors who sent it to the Board of Directors who approved it.   On looking at that list, I personally recall that one of the Board members described the entire GVAC system "dysfunctional governance" leading up to the last civic election (yes, the individual was re-elected).  The Master Water Plan is political, no doubt about it.

So far, disappointment among thinking people prevails; a dim light barely casting a glow on a lone sign:  Hang in There.  So people are hanging in there, hoping SAC members--the appointed volunteer reviewers--heard a little bell ringing during the October SAC meeting.  If not, then the review is indeed futile.

Long-time MWP critic, Gyula Kiss, a director of GVAC and a Coldstream councillor, can be excused for being a tad cynical despite no longer having to travel alone down the opposition road.

His thoughts following Thursday's meeting add additional relevancy to his long-held position that this water plan is fraught with folly:

"Interesting how the (biased bureaucratic) strategy is starting to work.

"...the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant is not doing the job!

It provides barely treated water for the $70 million spent on it, most of the treated water goes on crops at the expense of domestic customers, and to make it work at an acceptable level we must spend another $120 million."

After just two meetings it appears that some members are beginning to believe that the Duteau WTP was an OK investment and should be kept. This without ever considering the consequences. Duteau WTP could never work without the filtration plant. That was the order of Interior Health. DCWTP has only a single disinfection: chlorination.  In order to be approved by IH it will need a second disinfection method which was determined by IH to be filtration.

When a contractor screws up, wastes my money and then tells me that, like it or not, that's the job I must accept, it would be OK to say: "well, it was expensive but at least it is doing the job".
But realize one thing:  the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant is not doing the job!

It provides barely treated water for the $70 million spent on it, most of the treated water goes on crops at the expense of domestic customers, and to make it work at an acceptable level we must spend another $120 million.   Yes, an additional $120 million!

And don't forget that the treatment costs will stay with us forever.  In addition we forego all the environmental benefits of using Deer Creek for Kokanee rearing.

Just look at what SAC members are "reviewing":   Bureaucrats have ONLY provided SAC volunteer members with the option first accepted by most politicians, which was then rejected by most politicians and then revived by most politicians. 

"Back then we had two major water systems belonging to two major watersheds.  The Vernon Irrigation District provided all the irrigation water to its customers from the Fraser watershed for over a century. The only thing VID could not do was provide domestic quality water to the 20% of its domestic customers.  Mission Hill provided reasonable quality domestic water from the Columbia system and could have been expanded to provide domestic water to the 20% that were on the VID system." G.Kiss

Let's take a step back.
Pretend we are back in 2001 and review the material that was available for consideration, but today we do have all the information we received over the years (4 or 5 year actual vs projected usage, population numbers, and so on).   Naturally, they should have had all the information before they started designing the MWP.  (blog note:  Even Mike Stamhuis stated "information was sparse".)

Of course, at no time then did they have the albatross--the $30 million Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant--to hold them down (which does weigh on bureaucrats and politicians today). 

Back then we had two major water systems belonging to two major watersheds.  The Vernon Irrigation District provided all the irrigation water to its customers from the Fraser watershed for over a century. The only thing VID could not do was provide domestic quality water to the 20% of its domestic customers.  Mission Hill provided reasonable quality domestic water from the Columbia system and could have been expanded to provide domestic water to the 20% that were on the VID system.

We now know that there were plenty of water licenses available for both systems. We also knew that monies would have to be spent to provide quality water to all of the domestic customers.

The question was essentially:
  • Should we spend money to alter the perfect irrigation system, or 
  • Should we spend the money to disconnect the domestic customers from the irrigation water system?
So what have we learned from data since then?  The answer would've been a "no brainer".

The $70 million spent to date would have covered most of the costs associated with total separation of the irrigation system.

If you have doubts, check the 2002 MWP (pay attention to the highlighted sections and to page 72, Table 11-1).
   Note:  the financial analyst who prepared the table on page 72 of MWP 2002 is the same individual who estimated the current cost of separation at over $80 million despite the fact that over $12 million worth of separation has already been done.

And during the meeting--just like previously--the presentation by Interior Health contradicted staff's representation of Interior Health.  I had a meeting with Roger Parsonage and Dr. Larder (then head of IH) and they related the same policies to me:  that Interior Health doesn't make the plans for us, they want us to present an acceptable plan that will lead to the legislated water quality."   Gyula Kiss

nine (yes, 9) Options should be reduced to five,
eliminating 4, 8, 6 and 7 which "have no legs"...M. Stamhuis

Blog comment:  As potential candidate qualifications for the SAC committee were being determined in July of this year, I recall hearing during a GVAC meeting (and reading in the local newspaper) that bureaucrats planned--abetted by elected reps of Greater Vernon Advisory Committee--to have unbiased people represent various user categories of the soon to be formed SAC.  And that it was likely Gyula Kiss would not be sitting on either side of the discussion table, because of his biases.  Yet existing consultants--buoyed by their employers, the engineering bureaucrats--would form the armada mass on the knowledgeable side of the table...biased to the MWP).  Bureaucrats stated that an unbiased review would then occur, following the referendum defeat where 67 per cent of voters agreed with the biased Mr. Kiss. 

"The information provided on the assumptions leading to the various numbers is a bit sparse."  M. Stamhuis 

So where do the biased (to the MWP) bureaucrats and consultants keep failing?
By forging straight ahead with blinders on!

Even engineer Mike Stamhuis, in a letter to GVW engineers at RDNO as recently as 2013 indicated that the nine (yes, 9) plan Options should be reduced to five.  His letter (link below) provides pros and cons (including non-cost considerations) of the various options, all of which are listed at TM9 link below.

Mike Stamhuis:  "The information provided on the assumptions leading to the various number is a bit sparse."  No kidding!

"It is crystal clear that they recommend total separation" G. Kiss

Gyula Kiss provided important passages that, as he says, can educate anyone reading it.  It is crystal clear that they recommend total separation and they provide detailed financial estimates.  Mr. Kiss provided access to the Addendum and a number of other relevant information, any of which can be obtained by contacting Mr. Kiss.  For example, see GVW manager  Al Cotsworth's presentation of 2012 requesting an annual budget overage of $4 million for MWP projects over and above the annual budget (slide 50 of 50).

"With the increasing requirement for drinking water treatment,
it does not make economic sense to treat the water going to irrigation.
 Separation of the existing combined system into separate domestic water
 and irrigation water systems will allow the appropriate water
quality to be applied to the end use."  Addendum MWP 2004

"Once separation of the combined water distribution system
 is complete,  this plant will only provide water to the
 separated domestic water distribution system."

"Agricultural separation completed before filtration plant
 1 Smaller filtration plant to operate"
Addendum MWP 2004

"There are two major changes from the original MWP.
 The first is that there will be two water treatment plants
 (one on the Kalamalka Lake supply and one on the
 Duteau Creek source), instead of the single central plant.
 The second is that the separation of the
combined water distribution system will be phased over a longer period.
 This means that all the water in the combined system will be treated
 to drinking water quality in the early years of the plan.
 Full separation will occur in the second phase of the plan."
Addendum MWP 2004 

"...Swan Lake, Goose Lake area....
This will allow a downsizing of the new water treatment plant,
 since the full initial capacity will not be required once separation
of the combined water distribution system is complete.
At this point, it is expected that separation will be completed in the
 2011 to 2021 time frame."

"The original MWP was a sound direction that would have accomplished the regional water goals in a short time frame. Unfortunately, without
 senior government funding, this scheme would put a significant
 financial burden on existing domestic water customers."
Addendum MWP 2004

" direction accomplishes the goal of reducing the capital expenditures
 in the initial phase of construction to an amount that can be funded
 without a significant water rate increase."
Addendum MWP 2004

"The two key elements of the plan were the separation of 
irrigation and domestic water systems in the short term
 and the construction of a single, central water treatment plant
 to provide treated water to the domestic water distribution system."
Addendum MWP 2004


2002 Master Water Plan is here.
2004 Master Water Plan Addendum is here.
2012 Master Water Plan (see individual Technical Memoranda, (1-9) below.
2013 Mike Stamhuis letter to GVW on Options is here.

2015 List of Adopted GVAC Motions (halfway down page of this June 8/15 blog post).

TM1:  Summary prepared for SAC.  Domestic and Agricultural Demand Forecast is here.
TM1:  Domestic and Agricultural Demand Forecast is here.

TM2:  Summary prepared for SAC.  Evaluation of Water Supply Source is here.
TM2:  Evaluation of Water Supply Source is here.
TM3:  Summary prepared for SAC:  Source Storage and Supply is here.
TM3:  Source Storage and Supply is here.
TM4:  Domestic Water System Analysis is here.
TM5:  Independent Agricultural System is here.
TM6:  Water Conservation Strategies is here.
TM7:  Water Treatment is here.
TM8:  GVW Financial Issues and Principles to Support the Master Water Plan is here.
TM9:  System Separation Option (9 Options) Analysis is here.   (Note that Mike Stamhuis stated in his
            2013 letter to RDNO (see third research link above) that Options 4,8, 6 and 7 "have no legs" 
            and should be removed.)
TM10:  Financial Plan is here.

GVW Water Restrictions are here.

"Maybe review was incorrect...CCMWP should've asked for an autopsy of the water plan," suggests Kia. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Second SAC Meeting Disappoints

Overall, the meeting was disappointing.
It lived up to its billing as a review of data that formed the 2012 Master Water Plan, with the same consultants and staff, albeit with appointed SAC members and a public gallery. 

Thursday's Stakeholder's Advisory Committee meeting at RDNO began with a one-hour presentation by Interior Health's regional director of health protection, Roger Parsonage.

Roger provided the example of Kamloops and their water treatment plant (which--it was previously rumoured, and remains uncorroborated--was built entirely with government funding in 2005).

In a nutshell, Mr. Parsonage minimized--indeed contradicted--the fear mongering of Greater Vernon Water regarding filtration about issuing a filtration Order as the second--crucial--part of the Multiple Barrier approach to source water protection.

The scientific reason for a multiple barrier against pathogens (protozoa) is simple.  Chlorination alone has little, if any, effect on Cryptosporidium and Giardia, especially during higher turbidity events (seven events since May, 2012, and two plant "downtimes").   E. coli bacteria are present only in humans and other warm-blooded animals.  Some protozoa are human parasites, which can lead to many illnesses (Malaria, Amoebiasis, Giardiasis, Toxoplasmosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Trichomoniasis, Chagas disease, Leishmaniasis, Sleeping Sickness, Amoebic dysentery, Acanthamoeba Keratitis, and Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis,) according to Wikipedia.

To the question from a SAC rep "can filtration be deferred for, say, up to 20 years?" Roger Parsonage paused, then replied flatly, "No".  But that filtration deferral may occur as long as a plan is in place to enact a multiple barrier approach, AND that it also depends on source water test results.  He assured SAC members that Interior Health--province-wide--does NOT have different rules for different areas.  It is the source waters that are different.

The clincher here was "as long as source water quality tests find little variation," which obviously makes the Duteau Creek source waters--rife with wildlife/domestic cattle, as well as recreationists, neither of which have been excluded by any government agency.

(Blog opinion:) A community's Water Supply should be declared a Priority User over all other use, including public use, but that hasn't occurred in the Aberdeen Plateau's highlands!  For example, in North Dakota officials have managed to somewhat separate "legal water rights" from "priority of use" (intent) of waters.  The priority North Dakota established was:

  • Domestic
  • Municipal
  • Livestock
  • Irrigation
  • Industrial
  • Fish, wildlife and other outdoor recreational uses

Back to Roger Parsonage's presentation.
To support the trigger for the multiple--two-stage--approach, he stated that Interior Health has access to Medical Services Plan classifications where doctors' billing to the provincial health plan defines the class of the ailments.  IHA looks for "intestinal" complaints which "indicate a level of endemic illness occurring in a community".

To the question posed by a SAC member "could the 'intestinal' classification also include non-water-source reasons?"  (A good question, and presumably the questioner meant pre-diagnosed Crohn's Disease, Diverticulitis, etc.).

To that question, after another brief pause, Roger Parsonage replied "Yes, it could."

Next were ~2 hours of disappointment.
Disappointing rehashing by three consultants of spurious and now known to be hugely inflated water demand numbers (obviously given them by GVW bureaucrats to develop the MWP) that not only determined the size of the water treatment plan at Duteau, but also led to the decision to minimally separate agriculture--from domestic--lines.

One after another, consultants justified work based on projected water demand, seldom if at all referencing now-known actual consumption, year after year on the MWP.  

As the following table shows--to which consultants are now privy--the sheer immensity of over-projected numbers (percentage) versus actual consumption must make them shake their heads in disbelief...privately, that is.

Courtesy:  G.Kiss

And agricultural (allocation) demand versus domestic, extended to a 40-year horizon:

The consultants one after another stammered through huge projected numbers, each year never met by actual demand, culminating in "2011 metered domestic was 7205" (versus the stated 9,670).  Dale McTaggart, engineering boss at RDNO, said agricultural irrigation's actual remains at 12-13,000 a year.  
Seems they have a classification for the disparity too:  the difference is called a buffer.

So how accurate could the following GVW document itemizes some classes of water use that previously were lumped into one category, or weren't previously reported at all in any classification,  likely hastily produced in reply to a 2014 question (this table finally splits ICI from the Domestic category):

Is it any wonder that numbers are all over the map?

Another disappointment was the lack of support for a Motion from Terry Mooney, of Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan, to move TM9 to an earlier slot, perhaps November 19th or December 3rd (the extra meeting date).  The rationale for the Motion was that its Options were felt necessary to review earlier than the projected date of December 17th.

While Mr. Mooney's suggestion lacked support, GVW's TM4 Summary Paper provided silent support for the CCMWP motion with its reference to "Methods, point 3, the model 'scenario' used Option 1 of TM9 (no further pipe separation for Agriculture)."

"A buffer?" asks Kia, adding "Get me a Bufferin please."

Note:  Google definition defines "buffer" as:  a person or thing that prevents incompatible or antagonistic people or things from coming into contact with or harming each other.

Google must've been present during MWP consultations. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Closed A Month, But Still Busy

September 27th marked the end of the season at Highlands Golf, but work isn't done.  October's sunny days make a person want to be outdoors, certainly more often than during this summer's intense heat. 

A collection of October photos:

Here's Welder Mel reinforcing the 15-year old BBQ on the that it'll last another 15 years.

Welder Mel

And (below) it's Richard Lockwood of Lockwood Bros. Concrete of Armstrong as he takes on the task of picking up to reproduce--albeit better quality than the original from Leko Precast (which were a retirement gift from my employer)--concrete tabletops and seats for the two concrete picnic tables on the patio's west side.  The original tables have been falling apart for years (visible in photo below, see tabletop corner that continues to shed little pebbles from an insufficient amount of concrete used in their construction presumably).  Seats were also getting pitted, which allowed water to penetrate them too!

Richard Lockwood, of Lockwood Bros. Concrete

Tabletops continue to shed stones...

A lot of shed stones indicated the tables would eventually "disappear"

A bit of thought went into lifting the 720-pound tops prior to truckloading. 

Despite October's beauty, I can't help but remember that geese mate for life as this hunter sets up numerous decoys on ranchlands south of Highlands Golf...and within hours, as dusk approached, shots were heard.  It saddens me.

Hopefully not a "sport" hunter, and that he'll actually feed his family with his kill.

After the ugliness/sadness of the hunter's task, time for some happy photos:

yes, those are Palm Trees that flank 3 Yucca Rostrata!

Reddish geraniums against a rock wall

Fall-blooming Asters
A clematis' dried seedhead shows nature's supreme architecture

A weeping (grafted) larch begins its colour change behind yet-blooming lavender

"Autumn Joy" Sedum
This maple arrived with me from The Coast.
This variegated dogwood appears intent on hiding the Alberta Spruce

A bougainvillea, whimsical addition near the palm trees.

Saving the best for last,

My 17-month old grandson

Now, onto November!

OBWB's Congratulations?

Maybe it was lost in the mail.
Or the press release is being walked over to our local newspaper.
Surely the Okanagan Basin Water Board's congratulations to Greater Vernon Water users is uppermost in their minds.

Or maybe not.

It wasn't very long ago that our local newspaper published a chastisement from OBWB about water usage here, still on their website today.

“The Okanagan is a very dry place. We have less fresh water available per person in the Okanagan Basin than anywhere else in Canada. And yet, the average Okanagan resident uses more than two times as much water as the average Canadian.” - Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB Executive Director

And on it went: 

"On average, Okanagan residents use 675 litres of water per person, per day – year round, on their residential properties.  This is more than twice the Canadian average (329 litres), and much higher than that of other countries."

Joel van der Molen asked in a 2013 letter to the newspaper:  "How do they come up with their numbers?"
If the OBWB's water usage numbers didn't even remotely reflect his family's usage, how could they reflect the usage of most other residents?

But apart from embarrassing residents of the North Okanagan in newspapers across the nation that all seemed to carried the story, maybe OBWB's goal wasn't so much noble altruism or water conservation.
Maybe they had an ulterior motive that relied on skewing water usage numbers.
In other words, intentionally misrepresenting the numbers to suit another goal.

Perhaps the question would be easier to answer if it were rephrased "Why do they come up with their numbers?"
To prevent application for and development of the Okanagan Lake water source for Greater Vernon!
It's an entirely plausible answer.

Hindsight's clear vision now shows the OBWB as they continue with their goal of  "building bridges" with local governments.
And we all know that GVW wants their pet -- the overbuilt Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant -- to continue to be used versus receiving a water license on Okanagan Lake for domestic water, and having to separate all those agricultural lines from domestic...
And having to mothball a reasonably new plant--built on spurious and inflated data--that received $13.9 in Federal funding alone.

To learn "Who does the OBWB serve?" it's worth looking back into their history.

Back in 1969, someone from one of three (south, central and north) regional districts (that initiated the formation of the OBWB), apparently said: "no administrative machinery yet exists to provide the means by which local problems can be properly addressed and identified and the necessary corrective and preventative measures developed and enforced.  The Okanagan Basin Water Board should be established to fulfill this function." 

So in 1970 the OBWB was born, "instituted as a collaboration of the three Okanagan regional districts to provide leadership on water issues spanning the valley."
Today, their 58-page 2014 Water Management Program Review still contains that anonymous quotation on page 3 of the Executive Summary.

Since 2006, it is said, "the Okanagan Basin Water Board has assessed the status of water resources -- identifying priorities for water management; forming partnerships with all levels of government and local stakeholders; and delivering important information to decision makers.  The OBMW helps local governments prepare for impacts on water from population growth, development, and climate change.  Given the diversity of water interests in the valley, and increasing fiscal constraints, it is essential to build bridges between groups and avoid duplication of efforts."

"Over the next four years, B.C. will be rolling out regulations for the new Water Sustainability Act.  These changes will have sweeping implications for all aspects of Okanagan water management.  This program provides a mechanism for local governments to respond and adapt to the new regulations, and, if possible, to shape them to the needs of the valley."

Was Mr. van der Molen invited to become a "local stakeholder"?
No of course not.
They haven't stooped to the resident level.
The OBWB was busy "forming partnerships with all levels of government."
Including the bureaucracy at Greater Vernon Water at the RDNO.

In the meantime, residents here obeyed Stage 1 water restrictions imposed by GVW...but is this all really about water conservation?
Many people think not.
So has the OBWB reflected what residents have achieved?
Have they done press releases of congratulations?

Today, it's still on OBWB's website! 
That we use so much more water than anyone else.

Proof of the OBWB's pervasive influence was evident at the second SAC meeting October 22nd when a hydrologist with Summit Environmental Consultants of Vernon quoted material from the Okanagan Water Demand Project (from the OBWB) where the Okanagan Basin was described as:
 "a narrow strip that spans from Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada to the US border and includes five main lakes – Okanagan, Kalamalka-Wood, Skaha, Vaseux and Osoyoos – and surrounding mountains. The Okanagan Basin includes all the land that feeds water to our big lakes, and is almost 200 km in length and 8,000 km2 in area. Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Osoyoos all lie within the Okanagan Basin." 
The Okanagan Basin Water Board's logo collection...Canada's federal logo was inadvertently lopped at the right by blog.

The hydrologist was introduced as one of the three engineers that assisted in developing the Master Water Plan.  Since so much of OBWB's data appears to have been used to form the 2012 Master Water Plan, let's see what the OBWB's concerns today are, since updating residents' actual usage numbers appears to not be a priority.
  • Is our water over-allocated?
  • How do we protect groundwater?
  • How will we share during shortages?
  • How do we reduce risks to water quality?
  • How can we be more water efficient?
  • How much water do we have?
  • What does the future hold?

There is another reason for this lengthy focus on the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Shudder to think:  Could the Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan, with their request for an independent review of the Plan, have applied to the wrong people by going to Vernon and District of Coldstream councillors, and the Greater Vernon Advisory Council at RDNO?
Should CCMWP instead have made their presentation to the Okanagan Basin Water Board? 

In other words, does the OBWB's omnipresence justify a renewed focus by CCMWP to the real decision makers?
That question remains...

OBWB website graphic

Back to the OBWB's shaming of Okanagan residents for water consumption levels.

They need to have a look at Greater Vernon Water's annual reports, years 2011-2014, which summarizes water usage (predicted versus actual) as this table shows:

Courtesy: G.Kiss

"Total yearly consumption for Greater Vernon Water between 2009 and 2011 fluctuated between 22,000 megalitres (ML) and 27,000 ML per year," confirms GVW.  Yet look at the difference--for the purposes of developing a Master Water Plan--between projected water usage (demand) and actual consumption! 
Holy each year, GVW's consultants overestimated demand by between 52 and 65 per cent!

So maybe those projected numbers somehow suited OBWB's purpose of overestimating per capita usage per day.  As stated earlier, the OBWB still today on its website retains the incorrect per capita usage numbers, and GVW only recently updated usage numbers to actual (from projected) in reply to numerous questions.  And remember that the OBWB today is asking (above) "is our water over-allocated?" (meaning: do more allocations exist than are actually needed/used?  Ahem!!!!!) 

To achieve the most accurate number representing per capita usage per day,
divide the total 2014 GVW consumption (5,929,000,000 liters) by 365 days;
 divide the result by the estimated population of Greater Vernon (55,000),
 and the result is 295 liters/day
 (somewhat "off" as ICI--Institutional, Commercial, Industrial category--remains included).

It wasn't long before Greater Vernon Water officials had to report the truth:

The average residential customer's water consumption
was 274 liters per day.
  And consumption continues to decrease.

Let's look at Coldstream's consumption over two years, evidencing a slight consumption increase, shown in this table that includes revenues:

Courtesy:  G.Kiss
But look at the revenue increase ($526,635.) from Coldstream alone, representing a larger Base fee increase than Consumption ($281,444 vs. $245,191)!

"If allowed to continue," suggests Kia, "GVW will soon achieve their entire annual budget on base fees alone!"   And adds:  "...with consumption fees then relegating GVW to a for-profit organization, making them ineligible for tri-partite grants," Kia concludes in laughter.

GVW has the OBWB as a partner.

...while Joel waits for his letter of congratulations.

OBWB reference documents:
The 76-page Irrigation Water Demand Model is here.
The  21-page  Okanagan Water Demand Model Summary is here.
The OBWB's Agriculture Demand Water Model "was not found on this server".

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Water Bureaucrats Dig out Data

GVW bureaucrats are answering important questions posed during the Master Water Plan review/deliberations of the SAC committee.   By the very nature of the questions asked, this committee--after its inaugural meeting--evidences that a thoughtful and substantive review of the 2012 Master Water Plan may indeed be in the making.

"Nobody objects to supporting agriculture,
 but not with treated--and soon to be filtered--water
 for irrigation of farms and acreages."  A commenter

At its worst, the review by SAC verifies the machinations of the GVW bureaucracy to support the plan they have chosen and advised politicians to implement.

One example is that actual water usage and operations/maintenance costs are available for the four year period from 2009 through 2012, yet data supporting the Master Water Plan retain the projected numbers.

This blog entry provides this link to the Oct. 22 SAC committee Agenda in its entirety, however, questions posed--and bureaucrats' answers--are featured.

The entire list of SAC questions begins on page 10 of 22 at the above link.
However, only Questions 2, 3, 4 and 6 will be commented on:

QUESTION 2:  Total cost of treating, distributing and management of the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant and Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant?

GVW Answer:  on pg 9 of the link to Agenda, entitled "Summary of Water Treatment Cost per Megalitre"

A Reviewer's Noteworthy Comment:  The average treatment costs at Duteau and Mission Hill are presented, providing the average cost of treatment in ML (megalitres).  In 2011, one ML at Duteau costs $127.27 while at the Mission Hill treatment plant one ML costs $76.

However, only about 25 per cent of Duteau is domestic, so in order to get a clear picture of the cost differences the $127.27 must be divided by 0.25 ($509).  Divide 509 by 76 and the true cost is apparent:  1 ML at Duteau Creek Water Treatment plant costs 6.7 times more than at Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant.

QUESTION 3:  Difference of operating cost between agricultural and domestic customers?

GVW Answer:  A detail(sic) cost analysis of operational costs between agricultural and domestic customers was completed in TM8 of the MWP.   Appendices A, B, C1and C2 provides details of the analysis. The results are presented in TM8 – Table 4.1: (on page 10 of 20 at the linked Agenda)

A Reviewer's Noteworthy Comment:  Agriculture pays about 5 cents per cubic meter, both for treated and untreated water.  Agricultural revenues, based on data presented, are as follows:

2012:  $518,550
2013:  $430,800
2014:  $396,200
2015:  $423,100

QUESTION 4:   Are domestic customers paying for agricultural water?

GVW Answer:  Yes, as noted above in Question 3, there is a shortfall between agriculture revenue compared to expenses; therefore the difference is funded by domestic, industrial, commercial and institutional customers. One of the guiding principles to the formation of GVW in 2003 was that agriculture would not pay for upgrades required for improved water quality and that agricultural rates would remain competitive with other communities within the Okanagan Basin. The agricultural water rates are set annually based on a review of other agricultural rates within the Okanagan Basin to ensure the agricultural sector can retain financial stability within the valley.

A Reviewer's Noteworthy Comment:  No-one resents subsidizing Agricultural customers, but not by providing agriculture with treated water for irrigation.

QUESTION 6:  What about using Okanagan Lake as water source for GVW?

Answer:  Use of Okanagan Lake as the primary water source for GVW is examined in TM9 of the MWP as Option 6. See TM9 of a detailed discussion of this option. Discussion with the SAC will be completed when TM9 is reviewed at a future meeting.

A Reviewer's Noteworthy Comment:  Option 6 deals with Okanagan Lake.  However, when you check the total costs associated with Option 6, you note the filtration costs scheduled for 2042 included in the current costs.  Borrowed money is repaid in 20 years.  Savings in treatment costs will be quite significant over a 30 year period.

For more details on Option 6, primary water supply from Okanagan Lake, it's important to also learn  Mike Stamhuis' assessment of Okanagan Lake's potential as a primary water source.

Option 6 -- Complete Separation -- Okanagan Lake Source with Filtration Deferral -- This option has overvalued the Operations and Maintenance cost of the intake by not crediting the savings of mothballing the Kal Lake Intake.  This would reduce the option's NPV (net present value) to approximately $142 million.  If filtration deferral could be achieved for the life of the analysis the NPV of this option would be $108 million -- substantially the most cost effective.  It could be argued that this achievement may be more likely if we retained the Kal Lake intake.  In this scenario the NPV of this option would be about $118 million.  (highlighting:  blog author)
Michael Stamhuis 

 The link to Michael Stamhuis' complete 2013 assessment of Options, including Okanagan Lake, is here.

Another Reviewer's Noteworthy Comments, general in nature, but lucid indeed:

"One observation is that it might be useful to ask that data on non agricultural water be separated into domestic and ICI. I’m not sure that combining them serves a useful purpose given that domestic users tend to be rather piddling individually whereas ICI users such as Okanagan Springs and the hospital, I expect, are rather humongous.
As well, I think more data would be useful. For instance, I did not see anything to indicate where the water the city sprays on parks/boulevards what-have-you is tabulated/costed, nor did I see anything about “lost” water due to leakage/thievery what-have-you and to what or to whom it is assigned ibid per water for fire suppression, etc. These are not small amounts and should be spread across all users as generally required water usages?  Same with annual/semiannual flushing of waterlines. 
Very clearly, from my optic, the information provided clearly indicates that the location of the Kal Lake intake for the Mission hill plant is less than optimal for 3 reasons:
1) turbidity issues from rapid spring melt/ run-off flows from being so close to and within the turbulence upheaval of the outlet of Coldstream Creek delta,
2) being too closely located and subject to  contamination by milfoil removal at several times of the year  around the shallows off the head of the lake, and
3) ibid point #1, turbidity caused by heavy spates of rain in the Coldstream Creek watershed at various times of the year causing excessive turbidity around the shallow intakes.
What the  information provided did not cover was two very germane questions; namely, a plan to re-locate the Kal lake intake to a more beneficial location and the costs/benefits/ramifications of doing so.
My reading of the data suggests Greater Vernon water users are exemplary in their use of water. From the data provided it is clear that we, at an average per resident rate of only 274 liters per day, are far below the 675 liters per day ballyhooed by the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Obviously, people do respond to increasingly higher water rates both quickly and drastically and with unforeseen consequences on GVW projected rate income. Separating the ICI water from the domestic category would highlight that even more." 

"The Okanagan Basin Water Board misrepresenting the per capita water consumption is glaring," says Kia, adding "considering that news media all across Canada picked it up."

The OBWB should be ashamed of using bureaucrats' tactics.

Note:  The 87-page TM9, System Separation Option Analysis is located here.

Note:  The 51-page TM8, GVW Financial Issues and Principles to Support the Master Water Plan is located here.

Note:  The comparison of domestic water rates in the Okanagan/Thompson/Shuswap is provided in Addendum B, the last 5 pages here.

Note:  The comparison of agricultural water rates in the Okanagan/Thompson/Shuswap is provided in Addendum A, pages 15 and 16 here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Expert Engineer Stamhuis' Peer Review of MWP Options

Who knew there had in fact already been a Peer Review of the 2012 Master Water Plan?
Apart from the engineers at the Regional District, that is.


Coldstream's Chief Administrative Officer, Michael Stamhuis wrote a letter to the Regional District on April 15th, 2013 providing his comments on the plan's Options.  Prior to moving to the District of Coldstream, Mike Stamhuis was the head of the North Okanagan Water Authority (NOWA).
And he is a Professional Engineer.

At that time, for whatever reason, only one politician received a copy of the letter.
Today, (one and a half years later), all members of the SAC committee should receive a copy.

Here in its entirety is the letter.

"(on District of Coldstream letterhead), File No:  0470-30-12
Date:  April 15, 2013 
Regional District of North Okanagan
9848 Aberdeen Road
Coldstream, B.C.  V1B 2K9
Attention:  Dale McTaggart, P.Eng., General Manager, Engineering

Dear Mr. McTaggart:

Re:  Master Water Plan -- Review of Options

I have reviewed the spreadsheets for the various options and also considered the non-quantifiable attributes of the various options and provide my feedback as follows:

Part A - Net Present Value Analysis

I believe that work done to date on the Net Present Value (NPV) comparisons is the correct approach.  I also believe that the setting of the inflation and discount rates at 2% and 5% is very reasonable and am quite comfortable with these numbers.  I do have some comments on the numbers for the various options, however.  Some comments are based on my understanding of the workings of the various options and my assumptions may be different from the consultants' as the information provided on the assumptions leading to the various numbers is a bit sparse.  My comments are as follows:

Option 3 -- Complete Separation -- Two Treatment Plants -- I believe that the Operation and Maintenance costs for the Mission Hill Treatment Plant have been incorrectly stated in that an incremental cost has been attributed for the years 2012 to 2022 inclusive.  Under the formula where only the incremented costs or savings are evaluated, these costs should be zero.  This reduces the NPV by approximately $13 million to $156 million.

Option 5 -- Complete Separation -- Duteau Treatment Only -- This option has valued the operating cost of the Mission Hill Pump Station and the Grey Road Pump Station at $302,000 each.  These would be needed only during irrigation season when Duteau Creek's capacity is exceeded.  In a wet summer they might hardly be needed at all.  While there is no information regarding the consultants' assumptions, I believe this figure is excessive.  If these estimates are halved the NPV of this option would be reduced to $156 million.

Option 6 -- Complete Separation -- Okanagan Lake Source with Filtration Deferral -- This option has overvalued the Operations and Maintenance cost of the intake by not crediting the savings of mothballing the Kal Lake Intake.  This would reduce the option's NPV to approximately $142 million.  If filtration deferral cold be achieved for the life of the analysis the NPV of this option would be $108 million -- substantially the most cost effective.  It could be argued that this achievement may be more likely if we retained the Kal Lake intake.  In this scenario the NPV of this option would be about $118 million.  (highlighting:  blog author)

Option 8 -- Complete System Separation -- Duteau Creek Treatment with Mission Hill Filtration Deferral -- This option has not been tabulated correctly.  The numbers listed are almost identical to Option 5 which sizes the Duteau Plant so that deferral is not required.  Instead, Option 8 should show the Duteau Plant sized to 30 MLD.  This results in a net NPV credit of $3.9 million in capital costs and $30.9 million in Operation and Maintenance costs.  Offsetting this would be an increase in NPV of $4.8 million as the net cost impact at Mission Hill should be zero.  (It should be assumed that the current UV treatment and disinfection would remain.)  The result of these amendments would be a NPV of $136.6 million.

Option 9 -- Partial Separation -- Duteau Plant Only -- To compare "apples to apples" the size of the Duteau Plant should be sized at 170 MLD as listed in the narrative.  This would reduce the Capital and Operation and Maintenance NPV costs by about $5 million.  In addition, the Operation and Maintenance costs for the two pumping stations (Grey Road and Mission Hill) should be lower, perhaps by 50% or $5.5 million NPV (see discussion re Option 5 above).  Further, the addition of a Duteau Main upgrade at 3.6 million NPV has not been substantiated in that this option does not appear to be sufficiently unique to warrant this provision on its own.  Considering the above adjustments, the NPV for this option should be about $117.9 million.  This could be the most economic of the options that do not consider filtration deferral.

Part B -- Non-Cost Considerations

The discussion paper lists eight evaluation factors which seem to cover the various issues pretty well. However, there will be some overlap in some of the factors, especially between "Emergency Preparedness" and "Reliability and Availability of Supply".  In addition, the factors have been weighed very similarly (i.e. range 10 - 15%) and I believe that there are major differences in how they should be weighted.

The discussions around each option, its weighting factor and the ratings of the options tend to be general in nature.  I believe that they need to be very specific and need to directly consider the different characteristics of each option.  For example, the fundamental differences between no separation versus partial separation and full separation need to be borne in mind.  Also requiring consideration is the redundancy of one versus two treatment plants and the size of those plants.

A discussion of the various factors and suggested weighting is as follows:

1.  System Operational Ease and Flexibility -- 20%

The size and number of plants are a consideration in that smaller plants would be more straightforward as fluctuations in demand would be less.  Larger plants may provide more redundancy and flexibility.  Full separation would provide more complications in having two sets of pipes to deal with in rural areas.  However, this would be offset by having more consistent flows in the domestic pipes.  A single plant may be easier to operate but provide less flexibility.  Rating of the options under this factor may be difficult as the benefits of one attribute may be offset by complications of another attribute within the same option.

2.  Governance and Administration -- 40%

The consequences of our selection of the preferred option could have huge implications on the Governance and Administration of the utility.  Two examinations of thew impact of water devolution done in 2008 indicated that the water rate impacts would be such that they would render large variances in Net Present Value as trivial by comparison.  For example, full separation would permit the option of a separate sub-regionally governed agricultural distribution utility which would have a substantial rate impact on the different jurisdictions in a devolved utility.

Independent of devolution, a separated distribution system provides many administrative benefits in that it simplifies decision making around farm classifications, sale of non-potable water, new allocations, and use designation.  In addition, there could be economic benefits with expanded use of non-potable water.

3.  Emergency Preparedness -- 3%

While emergency preparedness is important, the overall state of preparedness is very good regardless of option selection.  While two plants would provide more flexibility in an emergency, they would also result in an increase in the probability of an emergency in the event of a plant malfunction.

4.  Finished Water Quality -- 5%

The weighting for this should be fairly small in that all options will be designed to deliver high quality water meeting or exceeding IHA standards.  It could be argued that full separation would allow for better finished water quality due to less fluctuation in demands for treatment plants, as well as in domestic distribution pipes.  This likely would reduce ultimate THM (trihalomethane:  blog author) generation in the domestic system.  If two plants and two sources are used for domestic water, some variations in water characteristics would occur which would frustrate customers in areas where the sources change back and forth.  A single plant would provide a consistent quality and / or could allow for blending of two sources.

5.  Reliability and Availability of Supply -- 15%

In this option two treatment plants and two sources would provide more reliability by redundancy.  Larger plants would provide a higher level of redundancy than smaller plants.

6.  Ease of Implementation -- 5%

The end result of the overall system operation is far more important than the implementation period.  However, some considerationm shold be given.  I believe that one plant will be easier to construct than two and that a non-separated system will be easier than a partially or a fully separated system to implement.

7.  Future Expansion -- 10%

At some point it will be necessary to consider new sources as demands continue to grow.  A separated system will be more more amenable to expansion as new sources can be incorporated directly into the non-potable system without new treatment or routing through existing treatment plants (requiring commensurate expansion of the plants).

8.  Environmental Impacts -- 2%

The overall variations in environmental impact should be fairly small between the options.  I believe that a separated system will have environmental benefits in that there would be less chlorine used and flushed, as well as less chemical and power use for smaller plants.  One type of plant may have fewer residual impacts than another.  The more widespread use of non-potable water in a separated system would also provide environmental benefits.

Once we agree on relative weightings of the various factors we should then apply them to the various options.  However, this exercise could be simplified by reducing some of the options first.  I believe that we can reduce the nine options proposed back to five options by eliminating four options that do not appear to have sufficient "legs" to warrant more detailed investigation.  These are as follows:  (highlighting:  blog author)

     1.  Options #6 and #8 -- These options could have NPV's of approximately $118 million each, making them the most economic.  However, these NPV's rely on success of long term filtration deferral.  As such, the difference in the NPV is, in my opinion, too small to offset the risk of need for addition of filtration over the planning period, especially considering that the NPV of any of the above options has a realistic variability of plus or minus 10%.

     2.  Options #4 and #7 -- These options have NPV's higher than the others and do not appear to have sufficient attributes that will make them more attractive than other options left on the table.

The remaining options should be left for consideration by evaluating their non-cost attributes.  Options #1, #2 and #9 all have similar NPV's.  Options #3 and #5 may prove comparable based on their non-cost considerations.  As the NPV's of options #3 and #5 are very similar, neither should be ruled out at this time.
Yours truly,
Michael A. Stamhuis, P.Eng.
Chief Administrative Officer"

Just a reminder...

"Now that's a Peer Review," says Kia, stating "all the warts and smiles in the same document, unlike what GVW provides SAC members."

Remember that GVW wrote assumptions for the water consultants (or why so many Plan edits????)
Assumptions that tie SAC members hands with the same rope. 

Note:  Michael A. Stamhuis is referred to in the North Okanagan's water history as "the architect of the 2002 Master Water Plan" (revised in 2004, and then scrapped in favour of the 2012 Master Water Plan).

Note:  RDNO Technical Memoranda 1 through 10 are here