Community

Irrigation allocation studied for Kelowna parks

The City of Kelowna will receive a $20,000 grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board to develop a web-based system to analyze historical and current irrigation data to improve the city’s irrigation practices in parks.

“The City is an important consumer of water within the community,” says Ted Sophonow, City of Kelowna parks, beaches and sports fields supervisor. “Water is essential to maintain the quality of our sports fields and parks so residents and visitors can enjoy recreational activities. If we can find more efficient and sustainable ways to save our natural resources, we wouldn’t hesitate to do so.”

UBC Okanagan has been asked to consult on this project and will be engaging their students from the computer science department to build the required software.

“This is a great project for our students to be involved in,” says Ramon Lawrence, associate professor at UBCO. “This software used to gather and study park irrigation data will be the first of its kind in Canada. It will assist park managers in making appropriate decisions on the whole irrigation system for city parks. It will also be designed and available for other cities, organizations and businesses to use.”

Students and city crews are currently collecting historical and real-time data on our parks’ water usage. The objective is to have the necessary information available and the software complete by the end of the summer. Then the city’s park services branch will be in a better position to understand the parks’ irrigation system and decide on more sustainable practices.

For more information about City parks, visit kelowna.ca/parks.

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