Partnerships help OBWB innovate

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has to be innovative to solve the problems of living in such a dry valley.

Anna Warwick Sears

Because the Okanagan is such a dry valley it is forced to innovate when it comes to water use, commented Anna Warwick Sears, executive-director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

She was speaking at the board’s annual general meeting in Kelowna Friday, and noted that sustainability is a choice but one that the Okanagan is working toward by working together; forming partnerships between civic government and non-government organizations; senior governments and local governments.

Such partnerships have allowed the OBWB to achieve much in the past few years, and there’s more on the agenda for the coming years, she said.

A focus will be to work with the province in the coming year to get a new Water Sustainability Act on the books, she said.

Within the valley, universal water metering and valley-wide water planning are on the agenda, along with floodplain mapping.

Irrigation proficiency remains a concern with limited supplies of water and the percentage of it that is used on maintaining green lawns.

Source protection to maintain water quality, and communication and education to inform the public is also a top priority, she said.

The Okanagan faces increasing challenges to its water supply with aging infrastructure and heavier rainstorms, a growing population, so increasing demand for water; as well as more uncertainty because of climate change.

Drought and the potential for invasive species, such as the threatening zebra and quagga mussels, are also issues which make it essential that the valley make good use of partnerships to overcome, she said.

She pointed to last year’s award from Canada’s premiers for the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council, a technical advisory committee to the OBWB, as an example of the regard with which the board’s ‘partnerships’ are viewed.

It is made up of 26 agencies concerned with water, ranging from ranchers and farmers to First Nations and academics.

“Partnerships are key in everything we do,” she said.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Rain barrels, compost bins popular on Earth Day in Kelowna

Regional District’s annual sale sees all rain barrels sell in 90 minutes

Boil water notice in effect for Peachland

Interior Health recommends all customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

Tax increase proposed to meet Lake Country facility maintenance gap

A draft of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan proposes tax increases

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Ballet Kelowna drives classic hit through Okanagan

A Streetcar Named Desire is at the Kelowna Community Theatre May 1-2, Vernon May 4

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

KWIC swimmers compete in Montreal, Victoria

Kelowna-West Kelowna swimmers take to the pool at nationals and westerns.

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Most Read