Steeves/Trail Mix: wild weather brings on water

Celebrate World Water Day by considering what you can do to improve the Okanagan's water balance.

This is not just another nice Christmassy picture

This is not just another nice Christmassy picture

Curtains of white were swept by gusts of wind almost perpendicular to the ground in front of me and I could hear the little ice balls as they clattered against the windows.

It was some way to welcome in the beginning of spring this week, as wild storms, cold winds, snow and hail vied for attention with thunder and lightening such as is normally only experienced here in mid-summer.

Spring storms are not that unusual here, but the cold temperatures this week were below normal, just as last Friday’s high temperature was above normal. Then this cold swept in on a remarkable gusty storm.

I suppose it’s all part of the package of spring: wild weather.

And, the additional snow being stored at high elevations around the valley might come in very handy as summer’s sun dries out the hillsides and seasonal creeks, just when everyone in the valley wants more water.

It’s World Water Day today, so water should be top of mind, whether you’re repairing sprinkler pipes for this summer’s use, going fishing for the day or just having a glass of water from the tap.

This valley’s very lucky to have a group of dedicated people from all walks of life who are committed to water and ensuring there will be enough that is of high enough quality that your children will survive and thrive in this valley.

The Okanagan Water Stewardship Council has only been in existence for seven years, and I’ve covered as many meetings as possible right from the beginning, becoming more and more impressed as time went on.

At issue are not only the quantity of water that’s available, from a same-desert environment and increasing development, but also the quality, as the Okanagan’s watersheds are used by more and more-varied users, not all of whom are adequately respectful of the fact they are impacting their own domestic water supplies.

Such issues are all on the table at council meetings where scientific studies and field experience come from farmers, anglers, scientists and bureaucrats, and they all pool their resources and set aside their differences to solve problems and plan for the future.

Kudos to all of those who contribute and thanks from the rest of us.

Take a moment today and consider what you can do differently to improve the water situation in the Okanagan; then do it.

Now that spring is here, increased activity is the order of the day, so check out what’s happening in regional parks, at:

There’s also a Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) course getting underway Apr. 5 to 7 for anyone 10 or older interested in becoming a hunter. It’s being put on by the Peachland Sportsman’s Association. Contact Keith Brown at 317-5629 or Al Springer at 870-1976 for more info.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.





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