The Regional District of Central Kootenay is talking about setting up a new entity to manage its 19 water systems.

RDCK water board proposed

A new authority may be established to govern the 19 water systems owned and operated by the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

A new authority may be established to govern the 19 water systems owned and operated by the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

A regional water supply board would be comprised of the 11 rural regional district directors plus Creston, according to chief administrator Brian Carruthers.

“It would essentially be a subcommittee of the board with the specific purpose of operating and making recommendations with respect to our water services,” he said. Currently, the regional district’s water systems, which include Balfour, Riondel, Ymir, and South Slocan, are operated “relatively independently.”

“It is prudent for the board to ensure consistency in how water services are delivered,” Carruthers said. “It is difficult to deal with a number of individual water systems without some central opportunity to make decisions or recommendations.”

The water board is expected to meet monthly and have a structure similar to the regional district’s three waste subcommittees.

Existing volunteer management commissions will remain in place for now, Carruthers said, but the water board would have to consider their role in operating the systems and setting rates.

The regional district has had a moratorium on accepting any new water systems for most of the last 15 years except for an 18-month period between 2010 and 2012 when it added several. Others remain in the queue.

Carruthers said lifting the moratorium would be something for the water board to consider, but its primary focus would be on existing systems.

The regional district board gave two readings last week to the establishing bylaw. They also voted to notify the existing water commissions.

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