Kitchen Creek out of bounds: Spuzak

As far as Peter Spuzak’s concerned, the Kitchen Creek Golf Club is the author of its own troubles.
One of the landowners adjacent to the golf course a short drive west of town, Spuzak said claims that people like himself are not being co-operative with the club’s efforts to improve its water supply situation are a subjective matter.
“The way they’ve treated people in the past is they take what they want, and say to hell with the rest of you guys,” Spuzak said in response to Kitchen Creek course superintendent Greg Ross’ remarks in the Dec. 10 edition of the Times about the hope for a co-operative effort between the club and nearby landowners.
“We just want to be dealt with fairly,” he added. “But in Canada, the laws don’t protect you. If this was the U.S., there would be some tremendous lawsuits—and you’d see some changes.”
Spuzak’s concerns stem from the golf course wanting to tap into the water supply that serves as the main source of irrigation to the neighbouring landowners for their fields and livestock.
“The golf course is the industry that uses the biggest amount of water,” he charged. “Farmers don’t even use as much water to grow their crops. The creek can’t sustain irrigation to the rate that they want to irrigate.”
Spuzak added the golf club’s executive is missing the big picture when it comes to the spin-off effect of excessive usage of the creek to try and maintain moisture levels on the course.
“When you drain a creek bed dry, it affects not only people, but other living things that depend on the water,” he said. “And I’m not just talking about cattle. You have to consider all the animals that live in the creek, too.
“The water is there for everyone to use—man, animal, nature, or whatever.”
The club’s decision to dig three separate wells in recent years near the property line didn’t sit well with Spuzak after he saw the outcome of the project.
“As soon as they dug those, they drained all our wells dry,” said Spuzak, referring to several of the adjacent property owners. “My one neighbour had to dig a brand new well to compensate.
“We rely on wells for potable water to drink and for our livestock,” he stressed. “Our use of the water is for life-sustaining purposes. Theirs is to grow grass.”
Spuzak is confused why Kitchen Creek even would need to borrow water from the supply on his property after previous overtures he says he received from the club.
“They came and talked to me at one point about this 10-million gallon reservoir that they were going to build,” he said. “They told me that they were going to have so much water stored up, they would even be able to give me some if I needed it.
“All they need to do is put their intakes for your irrigation system into this reservoir, and they could leave the creek entirely alone,” he added. “Nine inches of rain over two weeks would be enough to fill that reservoir for the season.”
In the Dec. 10 article, Ross talked about the club taking a look at constructing pond areas on the course that would be used as water storage units which could collect the spring runoff in the area.
But he added the $250,000-$300,000 price tag attached to the project would force a closer examination of the situation to see if it was financially feasible.
For his part, Spuzak likes the pond construction idea—and adds he’s not posing these issues just to be bothersome.
“I’m not here to cause trouble, but I’ve been in agriculture all my life and I know what soils are all about and I know what irrigation is all about,” he remarked.
“These people don’t live here day in, day out to see what the effects are here.”