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Naramata vineyard flooded; landowner blames development

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Naramata vineyard flooded; landowner blames development – Mar 23, 2016

NARAMATA– Robert Van Westen returned home from holidays a few weeks ago to find about half an acre of his property flooded.

He says he expects runoff every year, but he’s never seen anything like this; and he blames development of housing and roads on the hillside above him.

“They’ve started building these homes; started last summerish type of thing. Because the water is travelling through their property they’ve diverted it through this culvert here,” says Van Westen.

Van Westen says as pipes divert water from the top of the hill to the bottom the water is collecting right on his property.

It’s the Ministry of Transportation, that is responsible for roads and culverts. The ministry couldn’t provide Global Okanagan with a comment before our deadline, but Van Westen has met with the ministry at the site.

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He says although they recognize the problem, they have not offered a solution.

Van Westen says without confirmation that the situation will be rectified, he can’t be confident enough to plant his new Riesling vines on the property.

“You know, these plants are coming from Germany and the deposit’s been paid. We’ve got to get on our land and farm,” says Van Westen.

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