GEID Transition

The Glenmore Ellison Improvement District (GEID) and City of Kelowna will officially join forces now that a June 2024 Order in Council has been signed by the Province.  

The transition process is expected to occur over about three years, and both GEID and City of Kelowna customers will not experience disruption or changes in their water quality or delivery during this transition period.  

In March 2024, the GEID board unanimously signed a Transition Agreement with the goal of transferring the operation of GEID to the City of Kelowna. The conversion is consistent with Kelowna’s Integrated Water Supply Plan  and Provincial policies that call for improvement districts to gradually shift to local governments.  GEID is in a strong financial position and all major projects to deliver high-quality drinking water and reliable agricultural water supply have been completed.  

The gradual change will begin January 1, 2025 and run through 2027.  GEID staff and operations will be maintained as a business unit within the City to enable a smooth operational change. All GEID and City of Kelowna water utility customers will receive the same level of service through the transition while improving reliability, resiliency, and value in response to significant growth and climate change.  

Unifying the systems benefits both GEID and City water utility customers through improved supply and resiliency with better interconnectivity and integration of operations, and more effective and efficient emergency response across both systems, especially with a larger pool of trained water operators. In addition, GEID ratepayers will now have access to provincial grants for major capital projects along with lower interest rates through the Municipal Finance Authority.   

GEID will continue to operate as usual, with its own board and staff, for an effective transfer of ownership and operation over time. The transition plan includes continued employment for all existing GEID staff.  

FAQ - GEID Transition
How does bringing in GEID benefit the City’s water utility?

The shared benefits for both City and GEID rate payers in joining forces include:  

  • improved supply and resiliency through better interconnectivity and interoperability
  • increased emergency response for both systems with a larger pool of highly trained water operators
  • new access to provincial grants for major capital projects within GEID
  • better ability to plan and coordinate infrastructure projects including water, road, sewer and stormwater

The transition is consistent with the Integrated Water Supply Plan and provincial policies which call for improvement districts to convert to local governments over time. The provincially funded 2017 Value Planning Study confirmed that over time the most efficient and economical way to create more reliability and resiliency in both supply and quality of water throughout the city is to have an integrated water system.    

Additionally, as part of the transition, the City and GEID have completed a financial and asset audit to ensure rate payers do not take on any undue risk. 

What will happen to staff at GEID?

GEID has a long history of serving the Glenmore valley with experienced staff who know their water systems well and will continue to be vital in supporting operation of the system through transition and beyond. The City and GEID are committed to ensuring that all current staff members of GEID are treated fairly during the transition, with continued employment at existing terms and conditions to ensure a seamless and successful transition.   

Will this transition have any impact on water rates?

The transition itself will not increase rates for either utility. In the long term it should help improve resiliency and keep rates lower than otherwise due to economies of scale. Additionally, GEID ratepayers will gain added benefits from access to senior government grants and lower interest rates.

Within three years, the City will create a financial plan to merge GEID and City water rates, ensuring similar treatment for water customers across both systems. 

Will this impact the agricultural rate structure at GEID or the City?

The transition itself will not increase rates for either utility including agricultural rates. We have a long-term goal of one rate structure for all water customers.  During the three-year transition, we are committed to working with agricultural ratepayers to determine the best rate structure that meets the needs of the agricultural community.    

What about areas outside Kelowna such as Ellison?

The City of Kelowna water utility intends to continue providing quality water and service to those GEID customers who live outside its municipal boundary and will seek support in doing so from the Central Okanagan Regional District.  

Will this impact the way each utility deals with drought situations?

GEID and the City are both aligned with the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan Waterwise programs, which promote water conservation throughout the entire Okanagan Valley. GEID and the City water utility have a similar drought management plan with consistent water restrictions. 

Since our region has some of the lowest rainfall and highest water use per person in Canada, both utilities urge customers to watch their usage and take measures to lower their consumption. 

How can I provide feedback?

With this transition signaled, we invite any additional questions or feedback which will be jointly received by the City and GEID.  


If you would like to connect with the City of GEID directly, please refer to this Fact Sheet for contact information.