As 2023 budget deliberations approach, the District will be publishing a series of “You Asked” articles to better explain key challenges our growing community faces. 

Each time we turn on the news it’s no longer a surprise when we hear the cost of living - keeps going up. Consumer Price Index also known as CPI, is used to measure the average cost change over time in the prices paid for goods and services and is an indicator of inflation. The latest 12-month average % change for B.C. CPI is 6.7% (source: Statistics Canada), and the construction market has seen increases well above CPI over 2021 and 2022.  As a result, there has been large increases on materials, labour, and service costs which impacts the District’s ability to fund improvement, renewal, and daily operational costs of the water system.     

Water is not exempt from rising cost: 

Our water system provides water for drinking, washing, flushing, fire protection and irrigation.  Addressing water quality issues, ageing infrastructure, and undersized piping for adequate fire suppression needs, adds pressure for the District to fund these important improvements. The 2023 Draft Water Master Plan looks to address these community needs by including the following major capital improvements: 

  • Construction of a water treatment plant on Beaver Lake and Kalamalka Lake.
  • Dual distribution on Oyama Creek water source (Oyama Creek water for irrigation, Kalamalka Lake water for homes).
  • Replacement and upsizing water mains in Okanagan Centre, Carr’s Landing Road, Cornwall Road, Oyama Isthmus area, and other locations in conjunction with the small diameter mains program.
  • Ongoing facility system renewal and maintenance to continually ensure safety and reliability throughout the District. 

With the significant cost increases observed over the past 2-3 years, continuing to improve and replace the District’s water system requires rates that reflect current market conditions. On January 26th Council will be briefed by staff on the rising cost for water service in Lake Country and consider options for the rate increase that will impact all District water customers.  

Get Involved!

There are lots of ways to get involved with the water rates and the 2023 budget process: 

  • January 26, 2023 – Staff will present to Council on water and infrastructure requirements and funding options. Attend in person or watch live on-line.
  • January 26, 2023 - Council will deliberate the five-year financial plan at 1st reading. Attend in person or watch live on-line.
  • January 31, 2023 – Council will be hosting the 2023 Town Hall via Facebook Live and Streaming technology. Plan to attend in person or from home.