Water intake an expensive insurance policy

Two & Out
By James Peters
October 21, 2016 - 10:34am Updated: October 21, 2016 - 5:37pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops council has agreed to pump nearly $10 million into a new water intake for the North Thompson River.

We already have a water intake on the South Thompson, of course, but this one will be in place in case we can't use that one.

You know, if a CP train carrying some horrible substance decides to take the scenic route.

Donovan Cavers says he'll eat his shorts if the emergency water intake will need to be used in his lifetime.

I'm still convinced this is his way of launching a new line of underwear made from corn.

Cavers might be right in his assessment - $10 million is a lot to spend on a failsafe, even if $6 million is covered by a federal grant.

Looking at a multi-million dollar chunk of infrastructure sit idle for the next few decades, doing nothing but degrade, just doesn't seem right.

So I can see Cavers' point, even if I don't agree with his culinary tastes.

But this expenditure can be seen as buying an insurance policy, not to recover financial losses, but to ensure life goes on for Kamloops residents in case of something unexpected.

You can be reckless and live without insurance, and you'll probably save a bunch of money.

And who knows, maybe Kamloops will never need this piece of infrastructure.

It will sit there and once in a while, someone will bring up how expensive it was, and what a waste, et cetera.

But the converse is far more frightening, and will result in all of the eggs from all of our urban hens ending up on the face of this council.

If a CP train full of some god-forsaken chemical decides to go for a swim, and the city's fire hydrants are suddenly dry, there will be far more hell to pay.

In this case, it's far wiser to take the 6 million from Ottawa, build the intake at a big discount to Kamloops ratepayers, and we can all rest easy, even if Councillor Cavers isn't forced to consume any undergarments.