Chance to address audience over water issue denied

  • Feb. 22, 2011 7:00 a.m.


To the Editor:

Area “D”’ residents and elected representatives,

   A group of taxpaying residents tried to address water concerns in the Twin Lakes aquifer via the Town Hall forum. Area “D” Director, Bill Schwarz denied their request to be on the agenda.

 Taxpayers of the Heritage Hills/ Lakeshore Highlands and their important concerns regarding Fortis’ towers, derelict premises and illegal dumping received the same treatment.

  Our intention was to inform the public that there is another looming water crisis in another South Okanagan aquifer. There is also responsibility for those in authority to act with due diligence upon facts presented by area residents. The fact is that two studies state that Twin Lakes area aquifer is already maximally allocated or in peril of over allocation. The golf course resort development’s “mining” of this aquifer will impact the water! There is insufficient compiled research of the geology, the hydrogeology, groundwater and surface water hydraulic interactions and interdependencies. There is no accurate quantification of this aquifer. The degree of science in this scenario is woefully incomplete, yet another developer is ready to start dynamiting rock cliffs and begin constructing a small suburb.

  The Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) appears to be situated directly atop the aquifer which we all draw from and will pump treated effluent directly back onto this vulnerable, unconsolidated aquifer. Gray water from 257 dwellings will irrigate a golf course with little or no organic mulch matter between the fertilized course and the aquifer underneath. There is less microbial life to counteract petrochemical fertilizers.  It is not designed to remove pharmaceuticals or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and will subject all life who use the aquifer to begin sharing eternally interacting medications and poisons. Petrochemical agricultural fertilizers will continue to enter the groundwater directly, fuelling the chemical frenzy.

 There has been insufficient consideration about this “grandfathered” development in an area where proof of water has always been questionable and water abuse is observable. 

  Director Schwarz states it was a different Director responsible 17 years ago and doesn’t address the 2011 water reality. He is now the elected representative. He must address and change the laws which allow for automatic grandfathering for zoning and subdivision based on the results of a single well pump test in the last millennium. To do otherwise is to not represent the concerns of constituents, in favor of future uncertainty due to inaction.

  Director Schwarz, you have position, power and political connections to begin the process to make this right.

   Do you have the will? How can we help?

 Stephen Brown, Twin Lakes Area Aquifer Group, Kaleden