Kelowna agricultural water customers are invited to share their thoughts about water rate design options at an upcoming information session open to the public, and at a stakeholder workshop, which requires pre-registration.
“More than 500 agriculture customers are planned to transition into the city water utility in 2020 at completion of phase one of the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan,” said Kevin Van Vliet, Kelowna’s utility services manager.
“A review of agriculture irrigation rate design is necessary to ensure a fair structure that encourages conservation and supports farming operations.”
The South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID), South Okanagan Mission Irrigation District (SOMID) and the city all charge for water in different ways. City hall says engaging customers about rate design preferences now will allow customers some input into the rate structure and provide advance notice of any changes that may affect them starting in 2020 when SEKID and SOMID join the city’s water system.
Staff and consultants will be available at the informal, “come-and-go” format, public information session to discuss the rate design process and options on Feb. 21 between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Reid Hall in the Benvoulin Heritage Park on Benvoulin Road. (The hall is attached the Benvoulin Heritage Chruch)
About 25 to 30 volunteers will participate in the second workshop, scheduled for Feb. 22 from 1 p.m. to 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., representing the diverse interests of agriculture industry, customers and water service. The goal is to have a balanced group, looking at the variety of water rate principles and rate design options to gain an indication of the preferred rate design for this customer classification.
To participate in that workshop, a registration form must be completed at kelowna.ca/water. Stakeholder groups have been contacted directly. If there is more interest than seats available, names will be drawn lottery style.
Those who can’t participate in person can see the workshop information at getinvolved.kelowna.ca.