South East Kelowna water district merges with city of Kelowna
And then there four…
The South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID) has merged with the City of Kelowna’s water utility department.
On Monday, the provincial government dissolved SEKID and transferred ownership to the city. Prior to this, there had been five water suppliers in Kelowna: the City of Kelowna, Black Mountain Irrigation District, Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District, Rutland Waterworks District and South East Kelowna Irrigation District.
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran has gone on record in the past saying he’d like to see all of the city’s water utilities under one umbrella. However, that has caused controversy, as some of the city’s independent water providers want to focus on improving their own water systems before talking about integration.
According to a city press release, dissolution of SEKID was necessary to secure funding for Phase 1 of the city’s integrated water project, which has a price tag of $86 million. The project will separate agricultural and domestic water systems in southeast Kelowna while also supplying agricultural water in south Mission. The project is expected to take three years to complete, with construction expected to start in July.
SEKID had also applied and received a government grant for $43.9 million for the integrated water project.
SEKID had been providing water since 1920. The city says merging daily operations will take place slowly over the next few years.