City rejects CBT’s Water Smart initiative

By David F. Rooney

The City has rejected an opportunity to participate in the Columbia Basin Trust’s Water Smart Initiative largely due to its call for the city to help reduce Basin-wide water consumption b y 20 per cent b y 2015.

“Maybe we should look for a made-in-Revelstoke solution,” Councillor Phil Welcok said during Council’s discussion of this issue last Tuesday.

The City had originally applied on Nov. 24 to participate in the program, which will select 10 communities from among the applicants to participate. Each selected community would receive $5,000 they must match, access to shared resources and technical expertise to help reduce their water consumption.

The Water Smart Initiative also has a charter that calls for water consumption to be reduced by 20 per cent b y 2015 and it is that commitment that scared off City Council.

“While the wording of the Charter commitment does not state that the City will fully reduce domestic consumption by 20 per cent, the City will be expected to make significant reductions,” said a report to Council b y Brian Mallett, director of Engineering and Public Works.

“The biggest problem is that it would accelerate our own plans,” Councillor Antoinette Halberstadt said. “It’s too fast for us.”

The City does want to reduce consumption here and is already looking at introducing water meters, but it prefers to do this at its own pace and according to its own timetable — not some one else’s.