Attempt to relax ‘unreasonable’ rural water restrictions is water under the bridge now

NEWS/ REGION — Neighbours in the country usually began a conversation with two things. One is the weather. The older is water supply.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District directors wrestled Thursday with changes to water-supply requirements on rural subdivisions. Proposed changes in front of the board included a minimum of 2,273 litres (500 Imperial gallons) per day being available from a surface supply or 2,400 litres (528 Imperial gallons) from groundwater.

Ken Gillis.

Ken Gillis.

Proof would also be required that the water source was sustainable year round.

Ken Gillis, the director for Barnhartvale-Pritchard- Turtle Valley (Electoral Area L) thought that was asking for too much.

“If a person wants to locate on top of a mountain or some place where water supply is restricted, if he wants to take care of his own water supply, then we should let him do that,” said Gillis.

“A person should be able to put a cistern on his property.”

He also objected to a clause prohibiting dug wells (as opposed to drilled) except with a development variance permit. “That’s an unreasonable requirement,” he said.

Director of development services Regina Sadilkova said the 500-gallon capacity is considerably less than currently required.

Director Peter Milobar said people sometimes purchase property knowing it has a limited water supply and then want government to do something about it. “It’s always an expectation of the public.”

The new rules, he said, will force buyers to think a little harder about whether they should purchase a particular lot.

Gillis said he wasn’t trying to throw the baby out with the bath water but he questioned how anyone would prove year-round viability of a well. The water table goes up and down. “It’s the luck of the draw.”

His attempts to amend the amendments to the  subdivision servicing bylaw were defeated and the bylaw was approved as proposed.

About Mel Rothenburger (9367 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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