The city has seen a significant reduction in water usage in the city, despite a growing population and the addition of water users in places such as Campbell Creek.
Kamloops’ total water production declined by seven per cent in 2018, compared to 2017 figures, and is down 25 per cent in the past decade.
Peak daily use dropped similarly.
“Which, as you can well imagine, has allowed us to put off a number of significantly expensive capital projects,” civic operations director Jen Fretz said.
“It’s not just a matter of, ‘That’s great, we’re using less water.’ But in a community like Kamloops, where we’re really pushing water up a significant distance and out a significant distance, the more water we can save, the better off we are in many different accounts.”
The city’s water system — which pumps water up to residents living in the hills and across a spread-out distance — is complex, with Fretz noting 46 reservoirs serve the city, compared to 26 in all of Metro Vancouver.
Fretz attributed the decrease in water usage to water meters installed in the city, though she noted usage also fluctuates based on seasonal temperatures.
“One of the big goals of water meters was water reduction, to reduce the capital expenses that we were going to have to take,” she said.
“Things like, we were going to need another pipe under the Thompson to supply water to Brock, Batch, Westsyde, etc. We don’t need that anymore. We will, at some point, but we don’t now based on production.”
Fretz estimated costs for that project would be “huge”, in the multi-million-dollar range.