EDITORIAL: Process followed for drought plan

Some residents have questioned the process since the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee initiated stage one water restrictions

Some residents have questioned the process since the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee initiated stage one water restrictions.

There have been some suggestions that the restrictions aren’t necessary or that the regional district acted arbitrarily and didn’t involve elected officials.

However, that isn’t the case.

“Staff are responding to the drought response plan we have in place,” said Juliette Cunningham, GVAC chairperson.

That plan first originated in 2010 when a drought response team was established. It was compromised of 26 individuals from throughout the community, including the hospitality sector, landscapers, farmers, government agencies and rank-and-file residents.

Through the committee’s hard work, a plan was developed that would not only provide consistency but establish a clear trigger mechanism for implementation based on reservoir levels, snowpack, precipitation trends, economic activity and population growth.

Beyond the stakeholders on the committee, the drought management plan went beyond the public for extensive consultation prior to being adopted by GVAC.

Given what appears to be a growing trend of reduced snowpack and warm springs, the concept of a drought management plan makes sense as every drop of water counts heading into the fall and the new year.

Yes there are concerns about GVAC’s handling of the master water plan and the failed $70 million referendum, but those are completely unrelated issues to handling water supply during a long, dry summer.

There should be absolutely no surprises when it comes to water restrictions.