Greater Vernon faces higher water rates

Rate hike of 17 per cent coming down the pipe for Greater Vernon water users

Greater Vernon residents can’t avoid higher water rates this year.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee approved a domestic rate hike of 17 per cent Thursday.

“There will be a lot of unhappy people but there is a cost to run the service,” said director Catherine Lord, adding that residents should put the service in perspective.

“B.C. has the lowest water rates in Canada.”

Much of the money from the rate hike will go towards separating Duteau Creek agricultural customers from the domestic system because farm uses don’t need treated water.

Separation would increase capacity at the treatment plant to meet domestic needs.

Greater Vernon commercial water rates will jump 18 per cent in 2012 while those for agricultural users will go up five per cent.

The water rate increases must still be approved by the Regional District of North Okanagan board.