Water access

Resident questions the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee's actions on water

The Morning Star (Water flows for growing farm April 5) reports that terms of an agreement between the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee and the Township of Spallumcheen were arbitrarily bypassed so treated water is now supplied to a private agricultural business.

Director Akbal Mund is quoted as saying, “We’re here to help our businesses grow.”

This is too much to impose on City of Vernon taxpayers coping with hugely exorbitant water rates. The 80,000 apple trees should have been planted in a area where untreated water is available.

Was the orchardist advised in advance that water would be made available despite the existing agreement and a staff recommendation against providing additional water?

In the same newspaper, a letter to the editor expresses concern for local cattle producers facing hardship. Should we be subsidizing those cattle producers too?

How long would the list be of local businesses wanting financial help? I am not against helping small business, it’s what is being used to do it, subsidized treated water for agricultural water at my expense.

Now a dangerous precedent has been set.

As you are aware, using treated water for other than domestic purposes is most controversial, but if this is a short-term solution for the orchardist, at the very least, he should be paying the same rates as I do for the same treated water.

The master water plan referendum against borrowing money to support it, and objections to high water rates, have been at the forefront of the news.

When GVAC arranges to provide a private agricultural business with treated water at a lower cost than what I am paying, it’s a slap in the face.

Mund seems to have forgot that he also wears a mayor’s hat. Who’s looking after my interests?

It seems to me that decisions about our water are being made without the utmost respect our most precious resource deserves, and with little or no regard for the people who pay it. Is the City of Vernon taking any action so I am not subsidizing the cost of water for the orchard in the long-term?

Morris Alger

Vernon