Become a RDCK Water Service

Many rural water systems are experiencing difficulties with sustainable and compliant operations. Reasons typically include:

  • Inadequate cost recovery
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Depleted financial reserves
  • Inadequate system maintenance
  • Loss of interest by volunteers in continued operations
  • Inaccessibility of grant funding opportunities
  • Inadequate treatment
  • Volunteer retirement

For these reasons, owners of small water systems, and the residents that are served by them, may be interested in transferring ownership and operation of their system to the Regional District.

The Regional District has listed several resource documents on best practices for the operations and management of small water systems:

Regional District Water Management Plan

In 2009, the Regional District developed a Regional Water Management Plan  with the intent to help guide future decisions related to water system assessment, conversion and operation, better prepare the District to respond to climate change impacts, and support proactive actions when considering the current and future water needs. This diagram summarizes the application process for utilities interested in becoming a Regional District service.  

Along with the completion of the Plan, the RDCK board lifted a 7-year moratorium on the acceptance of additional water systems.  At the time, the RDCK was servicing 10 independent water utilities.  Since the lifting of the moratorium, an additional 9 water systems have joined.


In October 2012, the Board of the RDCK reinstated the moratorium on incorporating additional systems, and is currently not accepting new applications. The reason was to give the Regional District more time to ensure that important water quality improvements and operational practices were established in the new systems that have recently joined.

The Board has since commissioned a service review to look at best practices for regional government in servicing small water systems and governance changes are being implemented starting in 2022, including establishment of an overall Water Service Committee to represent all water systems and convert some Water Commissions of Management to a Water Service Community Advisory Committee.

The Regional District hopes to lift the moratorium on the intake of acquisition applications from water and wastewater systems in the next couple of years.  Lifting the moratorium requires planning including consideration of staffing levels, how many systems can be acquired each year, and what criteria needs are required to be met in order for systems to become a Regional District service.

The content on this page was last updated March 17 2023 at 6:55 AM