New Oliver irrigation system to flow for orchards, wineries, farms
OLIVER – Work is underway to ensure Oliver-area orchards, wineries and farms have a stable irrigation system to help the region’s agriculture community continue to support B.C.’s economy and food security.
A $5-million contribution from the B.C. government will help reroute the town’s agricultural irrigation system around Gallagher Lake to serve as a dependable source of year-round irrigation water for growers for years to come.
“The new pipes will deliver more than water to the farms, orchards and vineyards in the area,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “They will also bring the peace of mind a reliable irrigation system provides growers and their families. Our ongoing partnership with the Town of the Oliver represents the commitment, support and appreciation both governments have for the excellent fruit growers and winemakers in the region, and the impact they have on the community and province.”
The new system, expected to be complete in April 2022, will replace temporary piping that was established following a rockslide in 2016. The slide damaged infrastructure that carried irrigation water to the Town of Oliver, the Osoyoos Indian Band and farms, wineries and orchards in the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS). The temporary piping has delivered irrigation water since the slide, but at reduced capacity, and with vulnerabilities during hotter years with lower precipitation.
The provincial contribution completes the funding for the $11-million partnership with the Town of Oliver and was contingent on the town raising the remaining project funds, consulting with stakeholders and completing an environmental impact assessment and archeological review.
The new irrigation system brings stability to crop production in the area and reduces the risk of crop and financial uncertainty for growers, their employees and the larger community.
Updates on the project are available here: https://oliver.ca/gallagher-