Conference focus placed on the value of water

Okanagan Lake has pretty much put this valley on the map, but its assets are being taken for granted, says a visiting water expert.

Okanagan Lake has pretty much put this valley on the map, but its assets are being taken for granted, says a visiting water expert.

“B.C. residents use more water per capita than anyone else,” said Daisy Foster, CEO of the 4,400 member B.C. Water and Waste Association in the city for a conference.

British Columbians soak up 490 litres of water a day, per person. While Kelowna residents use 460 litres a day.

That’s a significantly higher figure than the average Canadian’s use of 350 litres a day, and it doubles American’s consumption.

Strangely enough, however, the average Canadian thinks they’re pretty thrifty when it comes to doling out H20.

“(They) think they use 79 litres a day,” said Fostser, adding that 44 per cent admit to the fact they waste water while another 25 per cent have no idea where water comes from, or goes to.

Those simple shortcomings in B.C. residents’ knowledge base have prompted the organization to launch a public awareness campaign to teach B.C. residents “the value of water, what a positive resource it is and what they can do to protect it.”

It’s a cause close to Kelowna officials’ hearts, so they joined B.C. Water & Waste Association, other municipalities and the province to officially proclaim Drinking Water Week May 1 to 7.

“The most important thing we want B.C. residents to know is that there is too much water being wasted and there are many things each individual can to do to save water,” she said.

“Our aim is to educate the public so they do know where their water comes from, where it goes when they’re finished and what an impact they personally can make.”

Wednesday is the last day of the conference at the Delta Grand Okanagan.

The public is invited to check out the Drinking Water Week booth at the Trade Show and pick up an “I Heart BC Water” button, and learn more about what we can all do to protect our water supply in BC.

Peachland will also host a water week event, from May 4 to 5. At the  Deep Creek Intake, the district is inviting   residents to attend this free open house and gain a better understanding of the water treatment process, and how their water gets to their taps.

For more information about drinking water week and all the things to do to conserve water visit:www.drinkingwaterweek.org.