Kelowna city parks and sports fields will save more than 38 million litres of irrigation water each year due, in large part, to a partnership between the City of Kelowna and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB).
The water saved is more than 80 times the amount of water in the 25-metre pool at Parkinson Recreation Centre.
“This project aligns with Council Priorities for 2019-22 as we work to protect our valuable natural resources,” parks, beaches and sports fields supervisor Ted Sophonow said.
Water conservation is a priority for park services and the Okanagan Valley, he said. And collaboration is key to achieving the city’s goals.
“With support from OBWB, we’ve been able to step up to the plate to develop new irrigation guidelines and invest in new technology through findings in each phase,” he said.
Technical adjustments and new installation guidelines for irrigation systems in sports fields and parks were planned by staff in Phase 1 and Phase 2 produced new operational recommendations and upgrades to the water flow sensing cables and systems to better detect leaks.
Phase 3 targets sports field irrigation practices.
Over the three phases, the city not only predicts it will reduce annual water use equivalent to 38 million litres, but it also expects labour operations to run more efficiently—saving around 1,320 hours a year.
“The OBWB is pleased to provide funding to the City of Kelowna as they demonstrate leadership in water conservation,” operations and grants manager James Littley said.
“Parks and recreation spaces in Okanagan communities are important green spaces and gathering spots in our valley,” he said.
Kelowna’s work to conserve water, he said, illustrates that it’s possible to conserve water without interfering with the city’s ability to provide world-class facilities to residents and tourists.