Lake Country Mayor James Baker

Lake Country Mayor James Baker

Governments announce water infrastructure grant for Lake Country agriculture systems

$1.18 million dollar project split three ways between Lake Country, federal and provincial governments

  • Jun. 29, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Residents of Winfield, Carr’s Landing and Okanagan Centre will benefit from updated water meters thanks to joint funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Small Communities Fund.

The $1.18 million dollar project was announced on Monday at Lake Country municipal hall with Lake Country, and the government’s of B.C. and Canada taking on one-third of the total cost with each share pegged at $394,018.

The money will go towards installing backflow prevention devices on agriculture water users in Lake Country as part of the district’s water master plan. In 2014 the district installed the devices on farmer’s water systems in Oyama. In 2016 agriculture users in Winfield, Carr’s Landing and Okanagan Centre will have their systems brought up to safety standards with the new funding.

Five-hundred systems in total will be done.

“We put a high priority on having a safe, secure and reliable water supply that is sustainable,” said Lake Country Mayor James Baker. “The universal water metering and backflow prevention program is part of Lake Country’s contribution to environmental stewardship for the whole Okanagan water basin.”

Backflow prevention devices on agricultural connections being installed in Lake Country will help protect the water system from contamination. The project requires updating approximately 200 water meters with new meters that will help the region monitor water usage and identify opportunities to assure the long-term sustainability of the water supply for the area.

The project is among those recently approved in B.C. that will collectively receive more than $42 million in joint federal-provincial funding under the Small Communities Fund.

Of the 21 projects approved for funding in British Columbia so far, 11 are drinking water projects.

“This project is a great example of partnership between local, provincial, and federal government, and how improving infrastructure in communities across British Columbia continues to be a priority for this government,” said Norm Letnick, Kelowna-Lake Country MLA. “Once complete, residents of our region will have the confidence that the water system is more sustainable, for years to come.”

“We are proud to invest in projects like the agricultural water meter upgrades in Lake Country that will benefit our community by improving much needed local infrastructure,” added Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan. “We are investing in priority infrastructure projects that have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life of British Columbia’s residents while helping create jobs and economic growth.”