LUMBY – Each spring the potential for flooding has Lumby residents on edge.
Now the Village of Lumby is hoping the regional district can take action to prevent those floods.
However, that may mean weighing flood protection against the need to store enough water to last Vernon-area water customers through the summer.
On Wednesday, water was flowing out of the reservoirs on the Aberdeen Plateau which have reached capacity.
Water pouring out of the reservoirs is used by Vernon-area residents but the flow can also continue on down Duteau Creek to Lumby, where flooding is an annual worry for the village.
In 2013 Duteau Creeks was one of two Lumby waterways that breached their banks.
Read More: Lumby hit hard by flooding
“We had some businesses that were very close to being flooded out,” recalled Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton.
That’s why the village has sent a letter to the Regional District of North Okanagan asking for help. It wants water released from the reservoirs earlier in the year, as a form of flood prevention.
“What we are looking for is sort of an educated guess where they can say, ‘OK, we’ve got this much snow pack, we know the reservoirs can take this much water, so let’s let some of the water off while it is still cool and we are not getting the flash floods with the rain and everything else,’” said Acton.
“[That way] there is room in the reservoirs to compensate for any major quick melt or big rain.”
Read More: Lumby prepares for flooding
However, the regional district says it needs to ensure the reservoirs are as full as possible so there’s enough water for the greater Vernon area to last through the summer.
“This option would be of questionable benefit to Lumby and would increase the risk of water shortages for [Greater Vernon Water],” wrote Greater Vernon Water manager Zee Marcolin, in a 2013 report to the regional district board.
“Costs would range from $20,000 to $50,000 for each year that water restrictions are required, depending on resources needed and severity of the drought.”
However, Lumby’s mayor said they don’t want to impact Vernon water users.
“We don’t want to create a drought for the Vernon residents, that is not what we are looking for. We are looking to have a better understanding of what the snowpack is and how much they can retain before it becomes an issue for flooding,” said Acton.
The regional district board was expected to address the issue at their meeting Wednesday evening.