Saturday, April 22, 2017

Disgusting Excess

It's not new during silly season.
But you'd think that the wasters would realize people may be offended by this duplication, and that it is no way to run a campaign.

Are you more likely to gain a resident's vote May 9th if they see the abject waste that you appear to support?

"Maybe that's how he ran his term as Member of the Legislative Assembly," Kia would've offered.

That's telling.

Dirk Minces Words

That's what I'd say.

Doug Dirk, GVAC Advisory Committee member was quoted in Gyula Kiss' blog on Thursday as saying "The (failed water plan) referendum is coming up on three years and we're marginally coming along on how to finance it..."

Gyula called his blog entry "Doug Dirk is too kind".
So it's kinda true.
The part about marginally coming along anyway.

But Councillor Dirk--a veteran (like Gyula) in Coldstream's political scene--is mincing words.
Side-stepping, actually.

Instead of admitting he hasn't a clue (same as his boss, Coldstream Mayor Garlick) in how to rein in the costly bureaucratic bush-beating, inefficiencies and bungling that today see chlorinated water irrigating farms, it basically underscores everything at Greater Vernon Water.
Doug Dirk wants residents to believe that the plan is still proceeding, albeit slowly.
He should've stated "frankly, folks, we're heading in a direction of no return.  We're totally screwed."


Let's see what Gyula posted under his heading of Doug Dirk is too kind:

Director Dirk is too kind!

Actually, the Master Water Plan has been going on since 2001, for over 15 years. It was supposed to be completed by 2007 (see MWP 2002 page 11-1). Then politics came in. Over $70 million later, amazingly,  we are irrigating agricultural crops with treated water, a huge waste of ratepayers money. Treatment cost runs about $1.5 million a year. Unfortunately, this water has chlorination only for disinfection while it serves about 20% of the domestic customers. It needs more treatment.
Now GVWU is planning to spend additional $8+ million so they can irrigate crops with even more expensive ultraviolet treated water. That is an extra treatment cost on top of the $1.5 million for a total of likely over $2 million annually. As the Chair person remarked, with UV we hope to be able to defer (but not eliminate) filtration for a bit longer. If filtration also has to be installed that will make the $8 million UV treatment redundant. It will also make the treatment costs significantly higher.

Kelowna and the South East Irrigation District (SEKID) were facing the same problem as Greater Vernon and VID did. Kelowna chose to take the gradual improvement plan by improving the water quality for the greater population of Kelowna first by installing UV treatment on the Okanagan Lake water supply. They have deferred filtration as the lake water quality was good without filtration.

When the problem with SEKID finally came to a crunch Kelowna went to the Government with the problem. They succeeded in obtaining a $44 million grant that will be used for total separation of the irrigation and the domestic water supply.

Greater Vernon Utility officials believed that government grants could only be used for treatment plant construction. Kelowna proved it not to be so! GVU wasted our money (and government grants as well) for constructing an ill-advised, money sucking treatment plant at Duteau because "...grants were available for treatment plant construction".

Kelowna is getting to work on a totally separated system that will provide highly treated Okanagan Lake water for both SEKID and Kelowna customers.

There is still time to reverse the current MWP direction. Projected additional cost to complete the MWP as it currently planned is roughly $150 million. About $110 million of that is proposed for Duteau Plant projects. In addition there will remain the annual treatment cost of about $2 million or more. These moneys would be more than adequate to cover the total separation costs.
The current masters of the MWP have been at it for nearly 17 years with little to show for their efforts. They are now bogged down in protecting the current direction. Since the construction of the Duteau Creek WTP there was a desperate effort to maintain the plant in the system even if it costs more to the taxpayers. They would not admit that there were mistakes made. New information has not been incorporated into the plans. For instance, the initial projections for water demand were hugely overestimated. We are still using those estimates in our plans to create larger than necessary infrastructure. 

It is obvious that a second opinion is needed to evaluate the MWP. When a potential expenditure for the plan is  over $215 million we should not rely on the opinion of a single group that ruled for over 15 years with questionable success. We must insist on getting a second opinion.

Staff and politicians try to eliminate further input from the ratepayers by using inflated water rates to collect funding for the financing of the water plan. This way they would not have to go for another referendum. It's kind of an "end run" to avoid the repeat of the 2014 defeat of the referendum. 
 However, this action is totally inappropriate as the current ratepayers will not get the benefit of what they are paying for. The benefits will only come after the moneys are collected and the projects are completed. For many that might be too late! Talk to your elected politicians and express your opinion to them!

My earlier activities: In 1991 I wrote a report with supportive evidence that total separation of the domestic and agriculture systems is the most cost effective option to follow.  MWP 2002 affirmed the same principle.

In 2006 I appeared in front of the RDNO Board of Directors requesting a Judicial Review (click for news report) of the direction of the MWP. It was refused. Instead, staff wrote a report stating that the Plan, which is incomplete even today,  was heading in the right direction. It seems that was not true.

This might be my last effort to appeal to my colleagues and to the Greater Vernon Water customers to demand an independent review of the plans. I have no more voice on GVAC. Neither staff nor politicians wish to hear opposing opinion.

Perhaps they will have to start listening to you, the customers!"

The unwelcome opposing views at Greater Vernon Advisory Committee meetings are the educated and analytical work of Gyula Kiss, who knows all aspects of numerous master water plans better than the GVW engineers and consultants combined.

So is Doug Dirk too kind with his politically-minced words?
Yup, suppose so.

Just another useless political comment from Doug Dirk, almost matching his political attributes.
Must be something going around.

"Maybe there's something in the water," Kia would've said.

Totally screwed up.

"Marginally coming along."
Maybe Doug Dirk is referring to how irrigated trees will fare under the soon-to-be UV-treated irrigation water!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Water Meter Readings page Updated

The blogger gremlins are still active, but here's the link to the data for January 1st through March 31st, 2017:

So, technically, it cost $356.12 for 28 cubic metres of water (including the residence).

"Doesn't that amount to almost $13 bucks per cubic metre water?" Kia would've said.


Those Hardy Calgarians

A warm welcome back to members of the Centennials, here in Vernon for a weekend recreational hockey tourney.

Mark, Mike, Paul and Rich were a little rusty in their 18-hole round...but apparently hockey went well.

They did grumble a bit that the cold prevented them from wearing shorts, as they did last year.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our Own Fake News

The United States isn't alone in the fake news phenomenon.

In fact, the North Okanagan area was likely the first to achieve that distinction with its consultant- and bureaucrat-biased "data" on the master water plan(s).

the Water Authority's ally...

Add to that the contrived biases of the Okanagan Basin Water Board and you've got a pack of liars that'll curl your hair.

So it's refreshing to get back to basics...something we residents can get our teeth into:

"Civil Servants must understand:
services required by their employers, the public,
must be provided cost effectively
and to the demand the public requires..."

I recall years ago the OBWB stating in a national publication that residents of the Okanagan used "x times" more water than the average Canadian household.  Twice the Canadian average, they said, as my blog post of October 24th, 2015, indicated.

Shaming Okanagan residents nationally.
How nice!
All fake news to suit their purposes!

But Gyula Kiss has a handle on the numbers, thankfully, and presented them in his April 7th post here.
Here's his post on the fake news of the water authority and the OBWB:

Response to Anonymous comments on: Some real data on Greater Vernon water use

Anonymous said...

   “Let's not assume anything!

    Actual residential water usage in Greater Vernon is closer to 222 litres per person per day, not 675.  (open a new browser window, copy and paste the following URL into your browser to access the 20-page report from J.Miles in 2009).    As Coldstreamer has calculated, we are already "doing the right thing" and conserving water (... probably because our rates are so high!).

    Same story with BC Hydro - customers do the right thing and conserve energy, and then the utility hikes the rates. We can't win.”

The above comment was in response to my blog post entitled: 

Some real data on Greater Vernon water use.
The quoted reference by Anonymous was published by Jennifer Miles in 2009. She is currently employed by the North Okanagan Regional District.  The report shows even lower per capita water use than was calculated by me. That calculation was based on water use data provided by Greater Vernon Water in their Annual Reports between 2011-2015 (reported average annual per capita consumption at 307 liters per day per capita).

There are some questions that must be asked:

The 2012 Master Water Plan was designed for a domestic capacity of 9,670 ML in 2011, increasing in steps to 13,360 ML in 2052. At the estimated consumption of 222 l/d/p the 9,670 ML would have supported a population of 119,339. Why would the planners design such a huge oversized infrastructure for a population of ~55,000? They must have been aware of the report Jennifer Miles.

The 2052 consumption estimate of 13,360 ML would provide domestic water for a population of 164, 877 using the 222  per capita estimates. Would we anticipate that kind of growth in 40 years?
Even at the per capita consumption of 307 l/d/p, calculated by me based on actual data, the projected 2011 consumption of 9,670 ML would have supplied  over 86,000 people. That’s an oversize of 57%.
 One set of data that made a huge influence on the per capita consumption was the high ICI water consumption. Without the ICI consumption the current per capita consumption could be in the low to middle 200's.
Obviously, if the 222 l/d/p consumption figure was used to estimate future water demands the plant would have been undersized. However, the currently available empirical evidence should be considered prior to establishing future water demand figures. Should we not incorporate actual data collected over 5 (or now 6 years)?

As for “Let's not assume anything!”: scientific reports must always state the assumptions the author of the report made in collecting the data for the study and for the conclusions.

Civil Servants must understand: services required by their employers, the public, must be provided cost effectively and to the demand the public requires within the available resources. If we require the public to finance an infrastructure that exceeds their needs and/or the capacity of the resource, then the customers pay more than they need to pay."

Yup, that's what calling out fake news leads to.
That we're not crazy;
that we're doing a good job at conserving water.

"But just think of all the folks that believe fake news," Kia would've said.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board's meme...

And it ain't over, based on this comment from staff, printed in the newspaper April 9th under the heading "Pressure grows for water plan."

"...However, staff insist that reviewing the master water plan has been proceeding, including public engagement."

Public engagement?
Total bullshit.
As usual.