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26th February 2022
Peachland's water a 'source' for concern

Contributed - Feb 22, 2022 / 12:53 pm Story: 360798

Peachlanders have experienced some technical issues with their new water treatment plant (WTP).

Watermain breaks and a couple of glitches caused a loss of water for residents in some neighbourhoods in the past couple of months. Itís a not so gentle reminder of what life without access to freshwater could be like.

A $2.5 million-upgrade is already in the works (and shows) continued demand for water comes at a price.

Having clean water at our taps is just one of three facets of municipal water delivery. The other two, besides quality, are the amount of available water (quantity), along with consistent, reliable supply (timing of flow).

Having clean water presumes you have a source of water. It might be a lake, aquifer, river, or an area of land called a watershed. To ensure you have enough water, and that you get water when you want it, your water source must be secure and protected.

Fortunately, the District of Peachland understands the need for clean drinking water and the need to protect the watersí source. The district lobbied for an upgraded WTP to deal with townís persistent water runoff issues, the result of watershed activities including clear-cut logging.

Boil water advisories were a regular occurrence until the WTP came online. The need for the WTP is a direct symptom of an unsecured source that is negatively impacted by a myriad of activities.The district was also the first in B.C. to contact the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development about this.

In 2019, council requested a ďpauseĒ on industrial activities in the watershed so an analysis of the cumulative effects on source water be conducted. Bewilderingly, Peachland is still waiting for the ministryís response. In the meantime, it has formed the Healthy Watershed Committee and a technical advisory committee to increase water awareness.

The recent announcement by the B.C. government of the development of a Watershed Security Strategy and Fund may aid future water concerns. The province is looking to fund watershed remediation, restoration and education.

Will this initiative be enough to secure our water source? Is it effective to re-wild land when clear-cutting is taking place next-door? Can we ever outpace deforestation with restoration efforts?

This is your chance to let the government know that while the WTP is a great start, two thirds of Peachlandís water problems still exist. Peachland needs its water source secured, just like Victoria and Vancouverís watershed reserves.

What use is a $25 million WTP or annual Watershed Security Fund if you donít have enough water or too much water?

Letís go straight to the source, we have only to look at the events of last fall. Do we want to be the next Merritt, Princeton or Hope?

Take the Ministry of Environment survey here and contact your MLA to demand watershed security. Tell your municipal elected officials you support watershed security and join the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance

Board of directors,
Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance