West Kelowna  

Peachland believes 'full pool' designation based on outdated model

Is full pool too high?

Are the measurement models used by the province to determine 'full pool' in Okanagan Lake based on outdated information?

That's the question the District of Peachland is asking in the wake of flooding events across the region over the past number of years.

The municipality brought that question to the regional board table Monday night after sitting through a presentation earlier this month from Penticton dam manager Shaun Reimer.

Board director and Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin told the board questioning whether full pool is too high in this day and age is something the municipality has been thinking about for a while.

She says it came to the forefront during Reimer's presentation on how the lake is managed and the metrics that are used.

The model used to govern lake management is 45 years old, she says.

The municipality believes the current full pool designation of 342.48 metres above sea level does not factor in climate change, population growth or problems related to using an outdated flow management model.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker stated he was not sure whether it would be a good idea to lower the full pool designation.

"What we need," he says, "is more storage. We've had an application in for more than 10 years to try to raise storage in the uplands.

"It's the only place we can really control flooding...if it doesn't get into Okanagan Lake and bring it to full pool too soon."

The issue is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

The regional board will get more information from that discussion before determining a course of action.

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