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

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Three candidates drop out of Central Okanagan municipal election

Two running for Peachland/OK West trustee and OK East rural director candidate step aside

West Kelowna water warning downgraded

City lowers boil water notice for Lakeview water system to a water quality advisory

Ancestral remains uncovered at Fintry to be reburied

Remains found along Shorts Creek in Fintry Provincial Park during flood remediation measures

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read