WATCH: Kelowna is getting a new lake

A massive reservoir project in Kelowna is slowly taking shape.

The $30 million Black Mountain reservoir has been years in the making and recently got the go ahead to build one of the major components of the project.

But the irrigation district says it’s going to need some extra funding before the water starts to flow.

Engineer Bob Hrasko and the BMID trustees are getting on with the groundwork — phase one if you will — of this massive undertaking.

Along with providing a consistent source of water for customers of the irrigation district, the new reservoir will also serve as a back up supply for the rest of Kelowna.

“This one is the only upland source. So if something ever goes wrong with the lake — in the long term — this also has to protect the residents of Kelowna,” says Hrasko.

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Ultimately, the reservoir will contain one billion gallons. In other words, Kelowna is getting a new lake.

“It will be a new lake, it will be a private lake though. It’s a drinking water reservoir, there’s no activity on it. It will be fenced, it will be secure. It’s for the water supply. It’s not for recreational use in any way,” says Hrasko.

When the reservoir is done, its deepest point will be 100 feet and will have two dams. But that’s all years away. BMID is chipping away at the mega project — most recently getting rezoning approval to build an elaborate, $5 million UV water treatment facility.

But the actual construction and filling of the reservoir won’t begin until the money is place, in order to prevent a massive increase in local water bills.

“We just won’t start the reservoir until we’re ready or we have enough funding so there isn’t a big rate shock.”

If Ottawa and or Victoria come through with their share of the money, it’s hoped the reservoir in place within five years from now.

The project is estimated at $30 million.

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