Okanagan celebrates Water Week with several activities

There’s something for everyone as the Okanagan Basin Water Board and its outreach program, Okanagan WaterWise, prepares to celebrate UN World Water Day and Canada Water Week, March 17 to 23.

“It’s going to be a great week,” noted OBWB chair Doug Findlater, the mayor of West Kelowna.

“We have much to celebrate. We have amazing champions in our region, working to protect and conserve our water.

“We also have challenges, and learning about these and gathering more champions will serve us well.”

To kick things off, the OBWB’s OkWaterWise has teamed up with REEL Change SustainAbility Film Fest to present Watermark, named  Best Canadian Film of 2013 by the Toronto Film Critics Association and based on the phenomenal photography of Edward Burtynsky.

There will be one screening only, on Monday, March 17, 7 to 9 p.m. at Famous Players Orchard Plaza 5 cinemas in Kelowna.

The documentary, illustrates our complicated relationship with water—how it influences us, and how we have influenced it.

Tickets must be purchased in advance through EventBrite and will not be available at the door. For more details see

Also kicking off on Monday is the launch of the 4th annual Okanagan WaterWise Challenge, in which school classes and individuals throughout the Okanagan, from kindergarten to Grade 12, are invited to ‘Map their Tap’ and submit multi-media entries, telling us where their water comes from, and why it’s important to conserve and keep it clean.

Contest prizes include a two-hour boat cruise on Okanagan Lake for a private class lesson on Okanagan water, presented by the Okanagan Science Centre, as well as pizza parties and pool passes.  For contest details visit

The contest ends April 25.

And on Thursday, March 20, 1150 morning show host  Phil Johnson will moderate the OBWB/Okanagan WaterWise’s annual public forum, this year entitled WAVES of Change—emPOWERing Okanagan Residents for a Sustainable Future.

It is based on the U.N. World Water Day theme of “water and energy.”

The forum will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Laurel Packinghouse.

Participating panelists will include Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB executive director;  Keith Veerman, FortisBC’s manager of PowerSense programs;  Kiel Wilkie, engineering technician with the District of Lake Country; Deren Sentesy, co-chair of Cascadia Green Building Council (Thompson Okanagan branch) and owner of En Circle Design Build; and Brian Guy, an Okanagan homeowner who recently built a water/energy efficient home.

The panel event is free but seating is limited so pre-registration is required.

Visit for more information.

The OBWB will also partner with UBC Okanagan as the Kelowna campus plans to hold events to celebrate UN World Water Day.

Those events will be a presentation March 19 by Dr. Jeannette Armstrong called A Syilx Perspective on Water and Energy in the Columbia Basin, and on March 20 a special World Water Day ceremony at the university and a fun “Splashdown” water research event.

For more details see


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