Over the last few years, upgrades to intake screening facilities and pressure reducing stations in the District of Lake Country have increased efficiency and safety, which has allowed operators to meet the new demands with no net increase in staff. To continue this trend, the district has begun a program of integrating and automating operation facilities.
Water Distribution System Planning
Naramata residents have seen considerable activity on their water system since construction began in February. Work is well underway on two contracts.
Water is a precious thing. Williams Lake is blessed with an abundant source of fresh, clean water that’s relatively easy to extract and distribute. Unfortunately, like any good thing, our water supply is not infinite. During the past two years, the City of Williams Lake has worked hard to determine just how much water there is, and how to best manage it to ensure adequate supplies for future generations.
The Black Mountain Irrigation District (BMID) provides domestic water to 20,000 people and irrigation water to 4,100 acres of agriculture on the east benchlands of Kelowna. BMID draws from Mission Creek, which is the most significant creek feeding Okanagan Lake.
There are three areas that utilities should address to improve their financial strength: financial planning and management, effective pricing, and affordability. This article discusses these areas, as well as their benefit and importance in encouraging effective planning and preparation for utilities to meet future challenges.
Industry studies in recent years have raised awareness of the magnitude of asset renewal and replacement needs in the water industry, but little comparative work has been done on asset management. To help fill this gap, the AWWA Research Foundation sponsored the study summarized in this article.
Faced by the need to repair and replace aging infrastructure and at the same time build new systems to meet population growth, water utilities must make increasingly complex decisions about where, when, and how to invest their capital improvement dollars. What's more, their decisions must involve a range of stakeholders and win their “buy-in” in order for projects to receive necessary financial and community support.
Technology will transform the water utility workplace—from how utilities manage and use information to how they treat and monitor water. Understanding the nature of these changes and the appropriate use of technology can reduce costs, allow for better and quicker decision-making, and enable better management of increasingly complex information databases.
It has been suggested recently that water and sewage utilities move to “full-cost” accounting as a means of addressing some of the challenges facing them. However, there are disagreements regarding how to implement this concept, and few estimates exist that show the impact of such a change.
Even in “water-rich” Canada, many jurisdictions are having trouble providing adequate, clean fresh water as their populations not only grow, but also exhibit higher expectations for water availability and water safety. The conventional approach to such problems accepted the history of constantly growing demand for water and responded by extending pipelines, constructing more dams and drilling deeper.