Letter: Twin Lakes development needs a big picture

Letter: Twin Lakes development needs a big picture

The Twin Lakes area water issue is about how much water is in the whole system

The Twin Lakes area water issue is not about how much water is under the Twin Lakes Golf Course, but about how much water is in the whole system.

If water is over-allotted downstream, then water will be drawn from upstream. Lower Twin Lake and Horn Creek are the canaries in the coal mine for the aquifer supply. They are the main water source for the aquifer. The Twin Lake Golf Resort draws water from its wells in the middle of Twin Lake Aquifer #261. Sustainable water in the Twin Lakes Area is a bigger, more confusing picture than just the available water in a golf course well. When the glacier receded and met the base of Parker Mountain, it left above ground and under the ground water in two directions of the Twin Lakes waterway. Over the years, man has changed the waterway to suit himself — loggers and early ranchers with gravity feed irrigation and then the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen approved developments.

This already “over-allocated” waterway joins the upland part of Park Rill. Thus, in one direction affects Willowbrook to Sportsman Bowl and in the other direction to Marron Lake. The precious alluvial aquifer which provides stored water is under Horn/Upper Twin Lake, Lower Twin Lake, the Twin Lake Golf Course, Trout Lake and the Marama Creek Valley.

This waterway connects and provides water for all including the ecosystem. This sensitive waterway has been out of balance with floods and droughts — most recently the floods of 2017 and 2018. An additional contributing factor, to what man has changed, is the snowpack on Orofino Mt. (200 per cent of normal in 2017/18). Is the excess snow pack affected by climate change? The main source of water is the ephemeral Horn Creek.

For four years Horn Creek has had a large washout, giving massive amounts of erosion to the Horn Lake wetland.

This washout, the result of an undersized logging road culvert, cannot be repaired until an archeological study is done because First Nations artifacts were found.

Adding zoning to encourage a large development with a Twin Lake village will not improve the Twin Lakes waterway or create sustainable water.

Coral Brown

Twin Lakes