Start managing our water better right now

We’re squandering both water and energy and changes in water policy must be made by governing bodies immediately.

We’re squandering both water and energy at spectacular rates and changes in water policy must be made by governing bodies immediately, according to Bob Sandford, lead policy author of the Adaptation and Climate Change Team.

Sandford was speaking Thursday to members of the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council, a technical advisory committee to the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

That body, he said, is being noticed across the country for its strategic position in water management, and for its collaborative model.

Even senior government staff in B.C. are expecting this board to have influence in the current Water Act Modernization process the province has underway, he told the council.

“Your perspectives are being noticed,” he advised, adding the board should advance water reform policy through the WAM process.

In the next two years, he said the OBWB and its stewardship council is positioned to influence water policy in this province.

Water users in Canada are “egregious water wasters,” he says, and climate change impacts on water are real and substantial.

The Okanagan Valley’s limited water provides a good example of the importance of careful management of water.

But, he pointed to the prairies, where flooding cost millions of dollars in damage this year, plus a billion dollars in lost agricultural production this year alone.

Re-current flooding events will become the pattern in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, he said, due to climate change.

And, in the Arctic, the landscape is melting under their feet, he added.

One way to manage the affects of climate change is to manage water carefully.

However, he said infrastructure causes waste, for instance, in our reliance on lawns.

That waste is not only costly in water, but also in such energy costs as treatment of that wasted water and transportation of it.

That could all be halted by policy changes to save water at the government level.

Streamlining is needed to reduce the institutional fragmentation when it comes to managing water, he noted.

Council chair Bernie Bauer said it was really good to head an external perspective on what the council is doing, and to have the council’s efforts reinforced.

 

 

 

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

Just Posted

Kelowna firefights camp out under the stars for youth recovery house

The firefighters will be on the top of the Yacht Club until tomorrow night

Sheryl Crow hits West Kelowna for Mission Hill Winery concert

Songstress seems struck by the natural beauty of the Okanagan

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

Evacuation order downgraded near Mount Eneas wildfire

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Wildfire near Keremeos still burning at 255 hectares

The Placer Mountain wildfire is still active

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

VIDEO: B.C. rancher demands change on how gov’t handles emergencies after 2017 wildfires

Essential service designation, tax deferrals should be on the table for ranchers

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

Victoria couple said dog toy had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

Most Read