HomeServicesUtilitiesGreater Vernon Water → Agricultural Customers

Agricultural Customers

Under Stage 1, we ask all customers to voluntarily reduce consumption by 10% and plan ahead for potential higher restrictions that may be necessary if high temperatures continue. Enforcement activity has increased and reservoir operations have been adjusted to hold as much water as we can through the season, as per the Water Shortage Management Plan.

High volume Duteau customers are encouraged to call the RDNO to let us know when water will be used so we can call down just the amount needed from the Duteau reservoirs. Sudden water turn ons can also result in pressure losses – please turn on services gradually. Call 250-550-3684 if you have questions and/or to advise the RDNO of your watering schedule.

If the extreme heat and record low precipitation continues, water supplies may be limited in the late season. Please plan ahead to adapt your operations. Minimize evaporation during irrigation by taking wind and temperature conditions into account. Mulching or reduced tilling can help to keep moisture in soils longer. Learn more at

The Regional District of North Okanagan-Greater Vernon Water (RDNO-GVW) supports farming and is committed to providing agricultural water rates that are competitive within the region.

Spring Turn-On and Fall Turn-Off

*NEW* Applications for a late turn-off must be submitted and paid for by September 10 annually to avoid paying the additional $200 late fee that starts September 11.

Agricultural water services are turned on for the season mid-April and water is available until mid-September, unless an application for Extended Irrigation Season is made (formerly known as Early Turn-On and / or Late Turn-Off).  Turn-On / Turn-Off dates are determined annually and depend on factors such as weather and/or drought.

  • Please note that it takes approximately two (2) weeks for operations staff to reach all customer services during the turn on / off periods.

To apply for Extended Irrigation Season, please complete the following form and return to our office with a $95.00 (per property) application fee.

Extended Irrigation Season Application Form

  • After scheduled turn-off has begun an additional $200.00 Extended Irrigation Season late application fee will apply to applications received.
  • Self-Serve customers who do not apply for an Extended Irrigation Season late turn-off will be charged the Off-Season Rate ($0.91/cubic meter in 2021) for all water usage after the regular turn off date.

Customers are advised that outside water services (standpipes) will not be turned on until they install a water meter prior to Spring turn-on.  Customers must also ensure they have the required Backflow Prevention Device installed.  Visit the Cross Connection Control page for more details.

Click here for information on winterizing your service.

  • DO NOT blow high pressure air through the meter or backflow preventer as this could damage the assembly.
  • Customers with a new ERT (device in grey plastic case attached by wire to meter) should take care when removing the meter to protect the wires.
  • The cost of repairs due to damage from frost or neglect will be charged to the property owner.

Water usage for non-agricultural purposes does not qualify for the agricultural water rate.  Customers with a water service metered under the agricultural rate cannot use that water for non-agricultural purposes such as:

  • inside the home
  • lawns, personal gardens, and landscaping
  • workshops
  • outbuildings

Agricultural Water Rates (Farm Classification)

Agricultural water customers receive a water allocation based on several factors - the size of their property, the maximum flow volume the water distribution was designed to provide, and the average water requirements for crops grown in this region.

Customers classified as a Farm with BC Assessment are automatically billed for their agricultural service at the agricultural water rate if their property has Allocation.

Any customers without “BC Assessment Farm Classification” but engaged in bona fide farming activity may apply to get agricultural water rates if they meet the following requirements:

  • Complete an application for RDNO Farm Classification, which includes an application fee of $65.00 (an additional late fee of $200.00 will apply if applications are received after February 15 of the applicable year).
  • For water allocations less than or equal to 0.82 hectares [2 acres], provide proof of agricultural income above $1000
  • For water allocations greater than 0.82 hectares [2 acres] agricultural incomes must be above $2500

NOTE:  Verification of above agricultural income (e.g. receipts) is required and must be included with every application.

Applications and fees for the RDNO Farm Classification must be submitted to the RDNO before February 15 of the applicable year.  Forms may be obtained at the offices of the RDNO, District of Coldstream, and the City of Vernon, or download the Application for RDNO Farm Classification here.

Customers are charged a flat fee for their water allocation – any water use over that volume is charged additional fees.

Prior to 2016, some agricultural customers may have received a 0.4 ha Allocation Fee Credit that reduced their allocation fees.  This credit has been removed to reflect that Agricultural customers may use the full extent of their property’s Allocation, even with a dwelling unit on that property.  If a customer wishes to reduce their allocation they may apply to do so but should keep in mind that they would have to re-purchase their allocation if they wished to increase the amount to meet the irrigation demands of a different crop. 

Agricultural Over Consumption Rate as per Bylaw No. 2864, 2020 (effective January 1, 2021), Schedule “A”      

(for water use over the property’s allocation):

Tier  Amount Over Allocation  Volumetric Rate 
A 0-20% over allocation $0.46 per cubic meter per year
B over 20-50% over allocation  $0.91 per cubic meter per year
C over 50% over allocation  $1.82 per cubic meter per year

Off-Season Water Use Fee Factsheet

Over Allocation Fee Factsheet

Purchasing Allocation
Customers may apply to purchase Allocation to increase the volume of water they can use in a season.  More information on the application process is available here.

Domestic Irrigation (Garden Service)

Some customers may have Domestic Irrigation (Garden Service) which is an irrigation service separate from the domestic service but the property does not have Farm Classification from either BC Assessment or the RDNO.  In this case, there is a Garden Service Form that has to be completed (only once) to turn on and off the irrigation service annually. 

Please direct enquiries to:
Phone:  250-550-3700
Fax:      250-550-3701
E-mail:  [email protected]