The City of Kelowna has built Irrigation Specifications and Detail Drawings that are to be used by irrigation contractors within the city limits to ensure the installation of quality, water efficient irrigation systems. These specifications and drawings are an integral part of the City's Irrigation Efficiency Program which also includes irrigation inspections, irrigation site assessments, irrigation site improvements and irrigation training. In 2012, the existing irrigation specifications became part of a City of Kelowna bylaw for the first time and are now Section 32 94 01S of Schedule 5 of Bylaw 7900.
The contractor information sessions are being offered for two key reasons - i) There is a significant volume of irrigation information for irrigation contractors to understand and apply. The existing irrigation specifications are 38 pages in length with an additional 27 pages of detail drawings. The proposed new specifications and detail drawings are slightly shorter and will likely take effect in 2014 meaning that irrigation contractors will be expected to be familiar with these as well. Irrigation contractors will have their projects inspected in accordance with the applied specifications and details to ensure compliance. ii) The City of Kelowna intends to implement a pre-qualification process for irrigation contractors in future and the information sessions will be the first step in that process.
The City of Kelowna recognizes that quality installed irrigation systems are in the best interest of not only the end-user and the contractor, but also of the overall quality and quantity of the water supply within the basin. The application of the irrigation specifications and details will result in the installation of higher quality irrigation systems but to achieve this, it may also require some contractors to revise their approach and therefore their behaviour. The contractor information sessions will be the first key step in facilitating this positive change.