Water board proves resourceful

A total of $675,000 was received from senior governments in the past year for local water projects, one indication of how successful the unique model of the Okanagan Basin Water Board is at getting things done.

A total of $675,000 was received from senior governments in the past year for local water projects, one indication of how successful the unique model of the Okanagan Basin Water Board is at getting things done.

Executive director Anna Warwick Sears was reporting at the annual general meeting of the OBWB Friday, reviewing programs from the past year and looking forward.

“We’re well-structured to pool money from local government and to draw funding from senior government,” she commented.

The board is made up of representatives from the three regional districts in the basin, the  Okanagan Nation Alliance, Water Supply Association of B.C. and Water Stewardship Council, a technical advisory committee to the board.

Instituted in 1968, the board provides leadership in a time of change, Warwick Sears told those attending the AGM; collaborative governance, which is ideal during change.

“The Okanagan is recognized as a unique ecosystem in Canada which could face serious water shortages,” explained Warwick Sears.

Services are provided through its water management program, which includes an annual grant program to encourage improved quality and water conservation, the sewage facilities assistance grant program and Eurasian Watermilfoil control program.

In collaboration with Natural Resources Canada and the provincial environment ministry, the board is working on a major hydrologic connectivity study to help evaluate how water use by one community affects downstream water availability.

Groundwater monitoring wells throughout the valley are also being constructed to fill gaps in data about the ‘hidden’ water stored beneath the ground.

It’s a partnership involving four senior government ministries and local governments as well.

Stormwater management has been a focus for the board this past year, with a two-day workshop called From Rain to Resource which showcased speakers describing innovative new ways to manage stormwater more sustainably.

A homeowner’s guide to best management of stormwater is also being put together by the board.

The water board is very involved in World Water Week activities every year and this year held an online contest to involve kids in learning more about Okanagan water.

In addition to the five regular office staff, the board brought in a student this summer who put together a number of videos on the board’s work, which can now be viewed on the website.

In the coming year, Warwick Sears said the OBWB is working with Environment Canada on a lake evaporation study to determine how much water is lost from the lake’s surface each year, as well as expanding streamflow monitoring.

Drought plans throughout the basin are also being put together, in order to reduce the chance of conflicts when water is in short supply.

The next big event is the Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum Sept. 18 to 20, where scientists from both sides of the border will discuss with the public studies which will become part of the decision made in the next couple of years by the International Joint Commission on control of the basin’s water at the border.

That’s being co-sponsored with the IJC, governments on both side of the border and the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation.

For details, go to the website: www.obwb.ca





Just Posted

UPDATE: Serwa second fastest in ski cross seeding

Kelowna ski cross racer has solid run in the seeding round of the women’s ski cross event

Kelowna council approves large temporary farm worker housing plan

One of the area’s largest cherry growers will house 140 temporary farm workers on Shanks Road farm

RCMP investigate weapons complaint

Kelowna police looking for suspect who apparently pulled a handgun Tuesday night

Major accident Highway 33 in Kelowna

The jaws of life were used to help one person out of the vehicle

Kelowna pensioners call for changes to pension laws

Group meets with Kelowna-Lake Country MP and asks for his support

Salvation Army thanks community for fundraising

Local group helped many families over Christmas and the funds will keep going

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Most Read