Letters: Water over-allocation the problem, not development

Reader clarifies Twin Lakes group's response to proposed water regulations

Over-allocation is problem, not development

(re: Water crusader wants tougher laws, Western News, Nov. 29)

The article on the water crusader presented some misconceptions/wrong impressions. The Lower Nipit Improvement District (LNID) and the Trustees of the LNID including the secretary have never been against development, we are against losing the ground and surface water (the wells and lakes) in this area. Because we are groundwater limited, with no where else to divert or collect water from,  any increased water allotment or use must be carefully assessed so that water will be sustainable.

The 2010 Summit Twin Lakes Aquifer Capacity Study did state water may be already over-allotted in the Twin Lakes area and in 2011 Golder Associates stated that past assessments, “indicate that the water resources of the Twin Lakes Area are probably already overtaxed.”

Golder is now in the process of doing their own Twin Lakes Area Water Study for the Twin Lakes Golf Resort.

We, the LNID, realize water must be allotted in dry years not wet years. In 2010 when Robert Sandford, world water authority, last spoke in Penticton he was asked by OBWB director Anna Warwick Sears, “What is the most important water principle for water sustainability?” Sandford simply stated, “Do not over allocate.”

The future of the Twin Lakes Area depends on water management by: monitoring and reporting commercial water use, not over allocating the water and being certain about the water-in (estimated annual recharge) and the water-out.

If water in a semi-confined, unconsolidated sand and gravel aquifer, as is the Twin Lakes aquifer, is taken too low then it is unlikely to ever recover. Recall it took thousands of years to create the water and storage in the aquifers.

The summary of the new Water Sustainability Act does address some ground water licensing which will include monitoring and reporting, but only for very large water users 250 cubic meters per day. This amount of water applies to only a few water users in B.C.

A large water user should be relative to the water source in order to have water sustainability.

Coral Brown

Secretary for the LNID


Hydro hike unfair

We are going to be getting another increase for hydro, but wait did Christy Clark say she would never let that happen if she was re-elected?

We just had to pay California $750 million in a lawsuit, are we still supplying them with more electricity so they can sue us again?

Our premier’s yearly salary is $193,532, plus medical coverage, dental. eye care and all the other perks. MLAs earn $101,859 and the same perks. Do you think they have a worry when hydro goes up? Not at all.

Senior citizens earn $549.32 per month and $500 GIS if you qualify and some CCP if you worked to qualify and most women do not get anything. Most seniors have to pay there own medical, dental and eye care.

I now hear that most are having cold suppers as they have to make a choice between heat to keep them warm or a hot meal.

Do the math and look at the difference in wages. Do you really think Christy Clark cares?

I think not.

Doris DeGrood



If they can, so can we

(re: Questions for Energy Minister, Letters, Western News, Nov. 29)

I find Mr. Kidd’s comments insulting and annoying as he has not done any research before making his comments.

B.C., Saskatchewan, and Manitoba all have taxpayer-owned hydro and car insurance corporations. Mr. Kidd asked, “How does the government justify having previously taken $500 million each from BC Hydro and ICBC client receivables?”

Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments  both transfer hydro and car insurance funds to general revenues. Why is it OK for those governments to do the same as the B.C. government does, but not okay in B.C.?

I suggest Mr. Kidd stick to the facts and not more propaganda.

Joe Sawchuk



Black Friday can leave you in red

Black days, red days, blue days.

How about some bright days, rainbows and the joy of being debt-free, or not being any further in debt?

Last week, I read and listened to so much hype about Black Friday and how we can save with big discounts. Imagine my relief when I heard a CBC interview analyzing what really happens around Black Friday.

According to the research, businesses, particularly the big box stores, slowly increase the prices of their goods a few months before Black Friday, so that, all too often, by the time Black Friday rolls around, consumers are inundated with big sale and giant savings notices.

As anybody promoting budgeting and spending within your means would advise, separate needs from wants, go armed with your knowledge of what’s out there and don’t get hooked into the gimmicks that some businesses use to separate consumers from their hard-earned dollars, and leave the credit card at home.

Being one of those been-there, done-that, I greatly benefited from credit counselling from No More Debts (www.nomoredebts.org) and books such as the Wealthy Barber.  My best option is to shop local, knowing that I’m supporting my community’s local businesses, and my list of local businesses does not include big box stores.

So, consider doing the 10 per cent shift and spend at least 10 per cent of your shopping income locally.

Brigid Kemp



Speakers highlight cost of GMOs

On Thursday evening I attended a presentation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by Dr. Thierry Vrain and Dr. Shiv Chopra.

Dr. Vrain is a retired soil biologist and genetic scientist with Agriculture Canada, and Dr. Chopra was a microbiologist with Health Canada who was pressured to approve the Bovine Growth Hormone. When he refused he was fired in 2004.

I’m always surprised when I hear people confusing genetic engineering with hybridization and breeding.

We hybridize plants with each other to make a bigger flower, or a new colour, or resistance to disease. We breed animals together for certain traits.

This is done within the laws of nature.  But genetic manipulation is just that – taking the genes from one species and inserting it into another.

Spiders were not intended to breed with goats. Even human genes have been tried with rice, corn and tobacco. This is runaway technology with no holds barred.

Some information I picked up from the talks:

Genetically engineered crops are grown mainly to allow plants to accept the herbicide Roundup, to reduce the use of pesticides but it is a dismal failure. The use of pesticides increased by over 600 million pounds since 1996 and now the weeds have become resistant and more and more Roundup is necessary.

It was also touted that yields would increase.  Another failure – yields are higher where no GMO crops are grown.  We lost our flax and canola markets in Europe because of GMOs, yet we’re still toying with allowing it in our apples, alfalfa, and fish.

Since GMOs were introduced there is a spike in several health issues including celiac and Crohn’s disease, autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity, and infertility.

We are all eating GMO food in one form or another and it’s difficult to avoid if we eat products containing corn, soy, canola, sugar beets and grain (because of all the pesticides used).

If we could convince our governments to ban five things from our food, hormones, antibiotics, using slaughterhouse waste, GMOs and pesticides, all the food we eat would be organic. But we may as well stand in front of a train.

One statement sent a chill down my spine:  “We are destroying the whole ecological system from the inside.”

Oh by the way, another revelation – Stokes Seeds has been bought by Monsanto.

Donna Stocker



Penticton finances need a fix

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has done an extensive analysis showing there is still a lot of work to do by Penticton’s city council to control spending and bring Penticton into a truly competitive economic position.

While the data is from 2011 and there have been no property tax increases in Penticton since then, it is likely that not much has changed.

Just look at the following quick facts that show how much Penticton is spending per capita compared to other cities nearby: Grand Forks is the highest at  $2,176, Penticton is second at  $1,922, Summerland is third at  $1,855, with Kelowna at $1,461, Kamloops at $1,208, Oliver at $1,195 and Vernon at $935.

Being a city that spends the second most per capita in the Thompson Okanagan is not a good position to be in.

Penticton’s spending per capita is also 54 per cent higher than the regional average of $1,241 and emphasizes the need for continuing to hard work tightening financial strings and better managing municipal expenditures.

Other reports from the CFIB rank Penticton as being a business friendly, entrepreneurial city and making progress.

But, the CFIB reports that Penticton is among the highest spending per capita in British Columbia municipalities. That is a problem that needs to be fixed.

The entire report is available at the CFIB website www.cfib-fcei.ca.

Wayne Llewellyn



Senate reform corrections

(re: Senate debacle a reminder something needs to be done, Letters, Western News, Nov. 29)

Mr. Barillos’s letter is an interesting addition to the discussions on Senate reform. But it would be helpful if he got his facts straight. All U.S. senators are elected for a six-year term. It is when they are elected that varies: approximately one-third are elected at each election which ensures a slower change to the Upper Chamber than the House of Representatives, all of whom are elected for two-year terms.

The current proposal in Canada would see senators elected for nine-year term thus ensuring they too would be out of synch with the House of Commons and thus maintain some balance in voters’ desires.

Glenn Sinclair