In response to the current drought in the Okanagan, and the increasing stress on fish, agriculture and other water needs, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) gathered together a broad section of user groups Thursday to review the current situation and coordinate a plan of action.
“Water is one of our most valuable resources and we all need to work together to conserve it,” said Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations (FLNRO), who delivered opening remarks at the Okanagan Drought Response Workshop, held at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna.
“With drought at its worst level in the southern interior since the province created the Drought Response Plan in 2010, it is more important than ever for people to curtail their water use now, so more will be available later in summer and fall.”
Renee Clark, Regional District of North Okanagan water quality manager, and Lee Hesketh, program coordinator for the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, were among 10 other guest speakers.
“Our water is all connected – upstream and downstream,” said OBWB Executive Director Anna Warwick Sears, noting the significance of having all the players in the room.
“Okanagan utilities may have different sources but in a real way we’re mutually dependent on each other. We truly are all part of ‘One valley. One water.’”
Make Water Work is an outdoor water conservation initiative of the Water Board’s Okanagan WaterWise program and local governments and utilities throughout the Okanagan.
Residents can go to MakeWaterWork.ca and find tips to conserve, plus restrictions specific to their neighbourhood.