Agricultural water needs raised

Fruit growers say the municipality and region need to take measures to ensure there is enough water for agriculture during drought years.

Fruit growers say the municipality and the region need to take measures to ensure there is sufficient water for agriculture during drought years.

Speaking to municipal council on Monday, B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association president Glen Lucas and Summerland orchardist Denise MacDonald said a dry year could be detrimental.

“If we ever do get a drought, we aren’t prepared for it at the agricultural level,” MacDonald said.

A decade ago, in 2003, Summerland experienced one of the worst drought years in its history. Following that experience, the capacity of Thirsk Lake was increased, expanding the community’s water supply.

“The solution is more storage,” Lucas said.

He added that the greater efficiency in water use has also helped fruit growers, but further measures will be needed, especially as climate change affects precipitation patterns. “We need more of an area-wide approach,” he said.

Municipal administrator Tom Day said the present discussions about water are about domestic rates. However, dialogue with the agricultural community will be reopened once the residential billing questions have been answered.

The Fruit Growers’ Association represents 540 member orchardists in the province. B.C.’s fruit industry is only 1/30th the size of Washington State’s apple industry, but there are many positive aspects about it.

“I think we’re the best Ambrosia and Gala producer in the world,” Lucas said. “Our growers are very advanced, even compared to Washington State.”

 

 

Just Posted

A campaign encourages families to put down their phones and talk this Mother’s Day

OpenTable’s #DiningMode gets Okanagan restaurants on board with a no phone policy while dining

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

Syrup commercially produced from Summerland maple trees

Maple Roch produces 50 bottles of syrup after trees in the community were tapped

Activities offered to mark Earth Week in Summerland

Numerous events planned, including the 13th annual Earth Day Celebration on Sunday

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Most Read