Young Kootenay artists win top prize in BCWWA water advocacy contest

Posted on: December 10, 2015

NELSON – The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has received a $2,500 prize for their entry in the BC Water & Waste Association’s (BCWWA) provincial “What’s Water Worth to You?” contest. The top prize winning entry is a four-piece mural at the RDCK head office painted by a group of Visual Arts students from L.V. Rogers Secondary School in Nelson and depicts the important role water systems play in our lives.

The “What’s Water Worth to You?” contest was held by the BCWWA to help raise awareness about the value of our water systems. The contest called on residents of British Columbia and the Yukon to illustrate what access to clean, safe water means to them through art, poetry, photography, or video. The contest was launched during Water Week in May and drew more than 75 high-quality entries before it closed in October.

“The passion and creativity that entrants put into the contest submissions was impressive,” says BCWWA CEO, Tanja McQueen. “Our panel of industry judges reviewed each entry for innovation, a strong regional focus, and a solid understanding of the importance of natural water resources and the pipes, pumps and people that deliver clean water to our homes and safely remove our wastewater. The students who created the RDCK mural did an excellent job capturing the vital role of water and why we should protect and invest in the systems that safeguard our health, environment and quality of life.”

“I hope that this project encourages people to examine the true value of water in our daily lives and affect change in our community as a result,” says Tanji Zumpano, Regional District of Central Kootenay Water Services Liaison. “With this acknowledgement from the BCWWA, I am thrilled for art teacher Catherine McIntosh and the team of students she led through this creative and learning process.”

The RDCK is directing the $2,500 cash prize towards future community initiatives advocating appreciation, protection and investment in water resources. Photos of the mural, as well as the contest runner up, are available on the BCWWA site,

The “What’s Water Worth to you?” contest was part of the BCWWA’s “Value of Water” initiative to build understanding about how water systems protect public health and the environment, as well as the need to re-invest in BC’s water infrastructure. According to a recent report from the BCWWA, BC municipalities will need at least $13 Billion of additional investment to upgrade and replace their water and wastewater systems. Aging infrastructure, population growth, strengthened regulations, and climate change are driving the need to invest in upgrades and renewal of these essential systems, during a time when communities are facing difficult choices about priorities for taxes and user fees.


About BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA):

The BCWWA is a not-for-profit organization that represents over 4,600 water professionals who are responsible for ensuring safe, sustainable and secure, water, sewer and stormwater systems in BC and the Yukon. Our members work every day to keep our water systems clean and safe – from source to tap to drain and back. They include water and wastewater facility operators, utility managers, engineers, consultants, government policy and regulatory staff, backflow assembly testers and cross connection control specialists, researchers, and suppliers. The BCWWA provides professional development, networking, certification, and advocacy on behalf of its members, to ensure that our water systems continue to protect public health and the environment.

For more information about the Value of Water, visit or follow us on Twitter (@ValueofWaterCA) and Facebook (ValueofWaterCA).

Media Contacts: 

Elisha McCallum

Tanji Zumpano
Regional District of Central Kootenay