Kelowna resident Make Water Work champ

After a crazy year weather wise, the Okanagan Basin Water Board recognizes waterwise residents

Kelowna’s Laurie Weisgarber couldn’t quite believe the news she was hearing.

But on Thursday she was phoned by the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) as the winner of a $6,000 WaterWise yard upgrade, helping to conserve water.

“No way – you’re kidding! I think I’m going to cry,” was her initial reaction.

“When I heard about Make Water Work, I initially checked out the website to learn more and looked at the check list to make sure I was doing everything I could do. And then when I saw there was a prize I thought ‘Wouldn’t that be nice to have some work done.’ I don’t normally enter contests,” Weisgarber explained, adding she was very aware of the flooding followed by drought this summer and the need to do her part to conserve.

As part of the annual campaign, Okanagan residents are encouraged to visit the Make Water Work website (www.MakeWaterWork.ca), review a list of water-saving tips and pledge to conserve.

As summer draws to a close, the and its Okanagan WaterWise program begin to wrap up their valley-wide residential water conservation campaign Make Water Work.

“It was a crazy summer,” said OBWB’s communications director Corinne Jackson, who manages the Okanagan WaterWise program and its Make Water Work campaign. “We’ve normally started talking about water conservation in May, as people start turning on the taps, but of course in May this year we were dealing with historic flooding.”

And while it may have seemed strange, added Jackson, Make Water Work partners, both local governments and utilities in the valley, were encouraging conservation during the flooding because their water treatment facilities were overburdened.

Then right away, the fire season started.

“By the end of the summer, we have had streams drying out, there are concerns about having enough water for fish, the Okanagan broke lowest precipitation and highest temperature records, and B.C. has battled the worst fire season on record.”

This year, when we saw the two extremes of climate change on display in our valley – both flooding and drought – the reasons for preparing our landscapes to be more WaterWise and adopt Make Water Work principles could not have been clearer, Jackson said.

Weisgarber noted she has already done some work in her yard, including removal of several cedars.

“They were using huge amounts of water, they’re messy, and attract wasps.” Next, she looks forward to replacing some water-thirsty lawn with beautiful low-water plantings and making fixes to her old irrigation system.

Thanks to contest partners, Weisgarber will receive $4,000 in service from KelownaGardens.com who will provide a landscape audit, plus landscape and irrigation improvements. Another $2,000 in materials is being provided through Bylands Nursery, ProSource Irrigation and Eco Turf Farms. All prizing has been kindly donated.

“My family is very environmentally conscious,” she added. “My mom comes from a family of farmers. My uncle still farms here in Kelowna and talks about the importance of water.

“I think we all have to do things to make sure the future is secure for generations to come. Plus, anything that I can do to save me time, with less yard maintenance, and money on my water bill, is great. This is very exciting! I can’t wait to phone my mom!”

In addition to awarding a Grand Prize winner, the community with the most pledges per capita is named Make Water Work Community Champions. This year, the City of Armstrong emerged as the winner. This is Armstrong’s second win, after taking the title in 2015. Past winners include the District of Peachland (2016) and Town of Oliver (2014).

 

Just Posted

Lightning strikes West Kelowna condo

Fire crews were called to a building on Carrington Road Tuesday night

UPDATE: Smoke rising from Okanagan Mountain Park hills

Lightning may have sparked a fire in the hills across from Peachland

Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Residents are being asked to go inside until last rumble of thunder

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Crews battle wildfire near Big White Road

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department and provincial crews.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

St. Albert knocks down Canadians

Finals of Valley of the Champions

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read