The Water Supply Association of B.C. was established in 1923. The original name of the organization was the Association of B.C. Irrigation Districts. The ABCID’s primary reason for organizing was and is to represent the interests of its members to government.
Early successes to this end included:
- The elimination of Federal Tax on irrigation supplies (1930).
- The establishment and continuation of the provincial Conservation Fund (1918), the purpose of which was to provide loans to districts for the construction and repair of irrigation and domestic systems.
- The establishment in the Okanagan of the position of Superintendent of Irrigation to oversee the expenditure of Conservation Fund loans, which were formally under the auspices of the Water Board in Victoria (1930).
In 1994 the association went through an extensive review and strategic planning process. The Articles of Association and Constitution were amended in March of 1995 to reflect the changes arising from this review.
- The name of the association was changed to the “Water Supply Association of B.C.”
- The association’s mission statement was articulated:
“To represent the interests of British Columbia’s public, domestic and irrigation water suppliers and their customers”
The objectives of the association were also defined. These are:
- “To foster the interests and promote the welfare of its members in the irrigation and domestic water supply industry.”
- “To act as a centre for accumulating and dispatching information to and for its members.”
- “To work for and promote the development, conservation and proper utilization of the water resources in British Columbia.”
- “To promote the adoption of Federal, Provincial or municipal legislation that advances the objects of the association and to oppose legislation that is detrimental to the objects of the association.”
- “To keep members up to date with changes in the industry and to provide, training opportunities for management and staff of all members.”
WATER SUPPLIER REPRESENTATION
The association will help smaller districts in dealing with organizations that administer policies affecting those districts (e.g. B.C. Hydro, Fortis (formerly Aquila, Utilicorp and West Kootenay Power), and B.C.’s Ministries of Health and Community Services)
AFFILIATIONS WITH WATER-RELATED ASSOCIATIONS
To promote cooperation and industry-wide understanding, the association will maintain alliances with organizations such as the Co-Operative Committee of Water Associations, American Water Works Association, the B.C. Water and Waste Association, the Groundwater Association of BC, the Small Water Users Association of BC, the Kelowna Joint Water Committee and the Coastal Water Suppliers Association.
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN WATER SUPPLY ISSUES
The association will continue to take part in issues such as protecting source water supplies, the safety of drinking water, promoting appropriate water treatment technology and competent allocation and management of our water resources. The association has participated in B.C. Utility Commission hearings, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority’s Water Management Committee, the Fraser River Board’s Water Management Committee, the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) for Okanagan College’s Water Engineering Technology (WET) program, the Okanagan College Fresh Water Institute and the Okanagan Water Basin Board Visionary Workshops.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH MEMBERS
The association web site and other publications will keep members informed of association activities, issues and accomplishments.
Irrigation and domestic suppliers interested in the association’s expanded mandate, and water suppliers that have amalgamated with municipalities or regional districts;
Consultants, individuals and companies that provide goods or services to the water supply industry.