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July 02, 2009

Comments

John O'Fee

I am trying to be as clear and balanced as I can on the water use issue. As such, I feel I need to comment on this posting. Okanagan lake is part of a series of large lakes with a very modest river (creek) flowing out of the south end of Osoyoos Lake and into the Columbia River watershed. There is also a population of about 250,000 and a substantial agricultural segment drawing domestic and irrigation water from this source. As such, its a combination of water lost to evaporation in irrigation combined with wastewater treatment and septic systems feeding into what is essentially a very large pond.

Kamloops is served by a river fed from the Shuswap Lake. Our water flows are many multiples of the Okanagan system and we service less than half as many people. Even at our peak use we extract less than 1% of the flow of the South Thompson River.

In both cases our waste water and a good portion of our irrigation water ends back up in the same system.

The issue for Kamloops is not supply. The issue is the volume of water we have to treat, pump, distribute and store and the costs associated with that.

Arjun Singh

John,

When you say

"Our water flows are many multiples of the Okanagan system and we service less than half as many people. Even at our peak use we extract less than 1% of the flow of the South Thompson River."

can you provide a pointer to the data or source of your information?

One of the reasons I pointed to the Province article on Kelowna is I don't know if potential effects of climate change have been factored into our water supply studies. I know where climate change has been factored in, there has been quite a significant change in forecasts.

John O'Fee

Arjun,

I am using the figures provided by city engineering staff based on our water use and the flows of the South Thompson. Like any user, we get a provincial water license to extract from the Thompson River. I don't know what impact climate change is projected to have on the Shuswap (which feeds the South Thompson) so I can't answer the second part.

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