In October the board approved an extension to its moratorium on adding new water systems to its portfolio, at least until the end of February. File photo

In October the board approved an extension to its moratorium on adding new water systems to its portfolio, at least until the end of February. File photo

RDCK extends moratorium on water system takeovers

People hoping to have the RDCK take over their water systems will have to wait a little longer

by John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

People hoping to have the Regional District of Central Kootenay take over their water systems will have to wait a little longer.

In October the board approved an extension to its moratorium on adding new water systems to its portfolio, at least until the end of February.

Managing a safe and clean water system isn’t easy, and that’s why the RDCK fields requests pretty regularly from small water systems, asking the regional district to take over management of their micro-utility.

“The inquiring systems face similar challenges and issues: Limited and failing internal governance structures, lack of Interior Health regulatory and water quality issues understanding, lack of volunteers and volunteer burn-out, limited access to or inability to afford system operators,” manager of environmental services Uli Wolf told the board in a report.

But by taking on these burdens, the board becomes liable for the governance, maintenance, and safety of these systems. So it has to be done carefully.

The extension to the moratorium will allow Wolf’s staff to hash out complicated governance issues that still need settling surrounding water systems.

Even when that’s done, Wolf recommends the RDCK add no more than one water system a year to its service, to allow staff to cope with the complications that come with taking over a service.

– Valley Voice

Water

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