Long Term Water Strategy

Township of Spallumcheen and City of Armstrong

Long Term Water Strategy

The Council’s of the Township of Spallumcheen (Township) and the City of Armstrong (City) are pleased to announce their collective intention to pursue a cooperative and collaborative approach to ensure that both communities are provided with a stable, long-term supply of potable water.

The first step, in moving toward this objective, has been achieved by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which broadly outlines the approach and principles which will guide the strategy and negotiations, and become the foundation for final arrangements and agreements.

The intent of the Memorandum of Understanding is to:

1. Confirm the willingness of the Township and City to work cooperatively and collaboratively for the mutual benefit of their respective residents,

2. Initially, build on existing relationships (agreements) for the long term supply and distribution of water,

3. Recognize the specific mutual benefits and opportunities to be achieved from cooperation and collaboration,

4. Outline a broad process and potential elements of long term agreement(s),

5. Confirm key principles to be embedded in final agreements such as long term water rate parity for all users, planning for growth, development and capital infrastructure replacement,

6. Identify Initial priorities for consideration in the implementation planning.

The MOU acknowledges the existing agreements, both between the Township and City, as well as direct agreements between several Water Districts and the City.  In addition, the MOU presents a proposed process and principles for consideration of long term governance, administration, operations arrangements to provide certainty of benefits for the residents of both Communities.

In terms of potential benefits to the Township:

  • This MOU is the first phase in the development of a strategic long term water policy intended to allow Council to comprehensively plan for and represent the interests of their residents with respect to water matters,

  • To secure, on behalf of residents, access to stable, sustainable source and supply of potable water for the community,

  • This process will provide Council with the opportunity to consider and act on outstanding requests from Township Water Districts for conversion (dissolution of Water Districts) and transfer of responsibilities to local government – conversions of Water Districts are intended to continue to be voluntary,

  • The opportunity, to not only access senior government infrastructure grants for water system improvements and upgrade, but through cooperation and collaboration with the City, to enhance likelihood of receiving such grants,

  • The potential to realize long term cost savings and cost avoidance opportunities for water system users through cooperation and through economies of scale,

  • Enhanced ability to plan for and manage growth and development in the Township,

  • Potential for long term water system improvements to support fire protection in the Township.

In terms of mutual benefits the City of Armstrong believes working more closely with our neighbours, can ensure stability for many reasons.  A number of residents in Spallumcheen already receive water from the City of Armstrong but manage the distribution themselves.  The MoU points out that opportunities exist in areas such as:

  • Receipt of senior level infrastructure grants through submission of joint applications,

  • Long term cost reductions or cost avoidance opportunities and economies of scale,

  • Improved and enhanced water supply – potential development of new wells or other sources of supply,

  • Improved planning for growth and development,

  • Increased opportunity for accumulation of capital for infrastructure,

  • Streamlined administration.

The Council’s for the City of Armstrong and the Township of Spallumcheen wish to plan together for the future of water in the two (2) communities in order to reach the best possible outcomes.  This is not a short term fix, but rather an opportunity to plan for a long term partnership.

A copy of the MOU is available by clicking here.

Questions should be directed to:

Greg Betts, CAO                                                                     Patti Ferguson, CAO
Township of Spallumcheen                                                    City of Armstrong
250-546-3013                                                                          250-546-3023

Tuesday, 8 October 2013