Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan

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Looking towards the future the City’s Official Community Plan anticipates the City’s population will grow to 0ver 180,000 residents by 2040. Development pressures will only continue to increase, which will place a higher demand on water providers to provide high quality and reliable water to our residents.

Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan

Kelowna's Integrated Water Supply Plan (the Plan) is the result of a third-party Value Planning Study conducted in 2017 calling for a city-wide integrated water system.

The plan outlined the separation of drinking and agricultural systems, allowing lower quality untreated water to be used for agriculture, greatly reducing costs over time. The primary agricultural sources include Hydraulic, Scotty and Mill Creek, along with the ability to draw from existing wells, Mission Creek and Okanagan Lake if agricultural sources are compromised.

Preliminary numbers show $95 million in cost savings compared to the 2012 plan.​

Water Supply Plan   Executive summary 

Parcel tax lump-sum payment deadline extended
Kelowna Integrated Water Project

The first phase of the Kelowna Integrated Water Project separated agricultural and domestic water systems in Southeast Kelowna and delivered a sustainable water supply to agriculture in the South Mission. The project brought clean drinking water to about 2,000 households and met Interior Health’s 2025 clean drinking water mandate almost 10 years earlier than planned in Southeast Kelowna. Construction began in 2018.

Project funding

The total $86 million project included extending the City water utility to three areas of the City:

  • In Southeast Kelowna, more than 2,000 households were provided safe drinking water through a separated agricultural and domestic water systems.
  • In the South Okanagan Mission, the Province required a secure agricultural water supply.
  • Finally the City of Kelowna upgraded much needed supply, storage and disinfection infrastructure to provide more resiliency in the South end.

The project was made possible by an unprecedented Federal and Provincial grant of $43.9 million announced in 2017. Remaining project costs will be shared between the benefitting customers (through establishment of a Local Area Service), collected project fees in reserve from SEKID (South East Kelowna Irrigation District – the former water provider), grant funds and City utility reserves.

About the Local Area Service (LAS)

A Local Area Service (LAS) project is a neighbourhood improvement project paid for by the owners of the benefitting properties through a parcel tax. A municipality has the authority to provide services such as water and sewer or business improvement to specific areas within its community.

In southeast Kelowna creation of the LAS was a condition of receiving the Provincial/Federal grant. The City, the Province, and South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID) board agreed that the grant would apply to any new project upgrades within the area defined by the Letters Patent of SEKID and the relevant portion of upgrades outside the boundary to provide drinking water. City Council adopted a bylaw which then formally defined the limits.  

With construction now complete, a parcel tax bylaw will come into effect for benefitting properties to recover project construction costs.  To see which properties have LAS status, view the LAS map and list of included properties. 

Local Area Service (LAS) parcel tax

In Southeast Kelowna, the total project cost was just over $58.6M.  The amount of grant applied to Southeast Kelowna work was $35,761,749, or just over 60% of project costs. The amount to be paid through parcel tax is $12,890,682 plus interest. This figure was reached after applying the funds remaining in reserves, including the remaining SEKID reserve that customers paid for capital fees,  approximately three years of capital fees charged up to December 31, 2021, and any interest accrued.

Southeast Kelowna benefiting properties are only paying for the southeast Kelowna portion of the larger project. A separate parcel tax will be in effect for SOMID (South Okanagan Mission Irrigation District).

The project was completed on budget, with final funding sources attributed as expected when estimated in 2018. Details below.

All properties with access to the potable water system must contribute to the LAS, whether they use the new system or not. The water Project Fee appeared on customers bi-monthly utility bills until Dec. 31 2021. The parcel tax will appear on annual property tax bills. Details with payment options and parcel review options were mailed directly to property owners.

Project Benefits

In addition to providing year-round potable water service that meets Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines, project benefits include:

  • Reservoir storage for maximum daily flows and fire flow
  • Backup water supply and power protection
  • Protection against backflow protection from the non-potable agricultural system
  • Continued access to the non-potable system for irrigation (for eligible properties)
  • New pressure reduction, pipe supply and Dall Road Reservoir to improve supply and fire flow to Hall Road area
  • Water system improvements, leak detection and water measurement
  • Some property owners will have improved fire protection and should inform their home insurance provider
  • Well trained operations and maintenance staff

The City separated out the agricultural (non-potable) supply from McCulloch Lake and built a completely separate and protected potable water supply from Okanagan Lake.  A massive amount of underground pipe and infrastructure was installed throughout the SEK including:


  • New reservoirs on Jean Road (4.5ML) and Dall Road (1ML)
  • Repurposed Field Road reservoir to potable use only

Pump stations:

  • New automated pumping at Jean, Lower Crawford, Dall Road, Field Road reservoirs
  • New and backup pumps for the O’Reilly well in the Hall Road Area
  • Pump and treatment upgrades at City facilities off Okanagan Lake
  • Electrical power supply additions, upgrades and added automated backup power generation
  • Flow measurement and control systems

 A Potable Water supply and distribution system:

  • Added over 82,000 metres of new buried mainline
  • 12 new pressure reducing stations
  • 819 new water services
  • Installation of new meter pits at property line in eligible areas
  • 2,050 new water meters equipped with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
  • Supply and installation of testable backflow devices to protect the drinking water supply
  • New transmission mainline upgrades and interconnection in areas outside southeast Kelowna boundary to improve hydraulic conditions and add supply resiliency
Information for Southeast Kelowna residents

What's changing

Starting January 2022, the monthly $40 project fee is no longer on bi-monthly utility bills and will be replaced by a parcel tax charge on annual property taxes. Because the final project costs were close to the amount forecasted, the cost of the parcel tax is comparable to the project fee it is replacing.

Payment Options

You should have received a letter explaining that at this time, property owners are asked to choose a payment method:

  •  An annual parcel tax per benefitting property to be applied over an 18-year period payable along with your annual municipal taxes.
  • A one-time cash commutation option is available to those property owners wishing to avoid long term financial charges. Payment due April 21, 2022. If a property owner decides for either the one-time charge and/or Provincial property tax deferral opportunities, then a completed declaration form MUST be sent to the City by mail and posted before 4pm on April 21, 2022.
    • Update: the deadline has been extended until December 31, 2022 to provide more time for owners.  If you choose to take the extension for the commutation payment option, you must submit your amended declaration and payment on or before December 31, 2022. Please note that by taking the extension you will pay $492.86 this year on your 2022 property tax and the remaining commutation balance of $6103.85* will be due at year-end.
      *Includes interest to December 31, 2022.

The payment is the same cost for all benefitting properties within the LAS. By choosing either option, you may also qualify for a municipal property tax deferral through the Province. To learn more about the Provincial property tax deferment program, including eligibility and how to apply, please go to or contact the province by email to

Parcel Tax Review Process

A parcel tax roll review panel is held after property owners in a local area service have had the opportunity to review the assessment roll. The panel reviews any written complaints that are based on one or more of the following grounds:

  • there is an error or omission respecting a name or address on the parcel tax roll
  • there is an error or omission respecting the inclusion of a parcel
  • there is an error or omission respecting the taxable area or the taxable frontage of a parcel
  • an exemption has been improperly allowed or disallowed.

The rules regarding inclusion or exemption from a local area service are prescribed by the Province and the Community Charter.

History of irrigation districts

Kelowna has changed significantly since the historical creation of irrigation districts in the early 1900s. Perhaps the largest change happened in 1973 when the City of Kelowna’s boundaries were extended to include Okanagan Mission, South Pandosy, South and East Kelowna, Rutland, Black Mountain, a portion of Ellison, Jim Bailey Road area and Glenmore Valley. The large increase in municipal boundaries also brought the irrigation districts within the City’s boundaries. Today there are four major water providers within City boundaries: The City Water Utility, Glenmore Ellison Improvement District (GEID), Black Mountain Irrigation District (BMID) and Rutland Water Works (RWW). There are also an additional 25 small water system (<300 connections) providers within the City’s boundaries.

Not sure if your property has LAS status?

View the LAS map and/or property list to find out.

Have any additional questions about the LAS?

Call the Revenue Office at 250-469-8757 for assistance.