Okanagan Basin Water Board says cooperation and global thinking key to solving water issues

OBWB hold Annual General Meeting in Kelowna and says water problems are closely related, across the region, the US and the world

  • Sep. 9, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Okanagan Basin Water Board executive director Dr. Anna Warwick-Sears (left) as well as keynote speaker Dr. Amber Manfree spoke about water issues in the Okanagan and in California at the OBWB AGM Friday.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has called for a spirit of cooperation and global thinking as communities around the Okanagan move forward with issues relating to water.

The OBWB held its Annual General Meeting on Friday morning at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna, urging residents and municipalities to think beyond its borders and realize water issues are all related.

“Even though a watershed is a geographic boundary useful for managing our waters, we are increasingly finding ourselves affected by things happening outside of our watershed, including invasive species, changing weather patterns due to global warming and population growth,” said Dr. Anna Warwick-Sears, executive director for the OBWB. “We can’t ignore what’s happening around us, and at the same time we have to be good citizens and recognize that our actions do affect surrounding watersheds in Canada, the U.S. and the world.”

The OBWB heard from keynote speaker Dr. Amber Manfree a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California. She went over the issues California has struggled with during a five year drought. Manfree said the Okanagan is in a good position to get out in front of upcoming water issues that the area will be dealing with.

“I think you’re in a good position because you’re not over-developed, you still have room to manage and leave room for natural processes to occur,” she said. “California is so huge and complex that it can be really hard to problem solve. Here it seems like there are open lines of communication and it’s not too adversarial. People are already talking to each other and it’s a very high level conversation.”

When it comes to the Okanagan, last summer’s drought put a severe test on the communities water conservation practices and just how to handle a drought. Warwick-Sears related the drought to new parents, who believed they were ready for the birth of a child, but when it actually happened, they realized they weren’t ready.

“We thought we were ready (for a drought) but when it came last year we realized we weren’t ready,” said Warwick-Sears. “We realized there is a lot more organization and planning that needs to happen around droughts.”

Warwick-Sears agreed with Manfree about the state of the problem in the Okanagan as compared to what is happening in California.

“What we are doing in the Okanagan is we’re trying to get ahead of the problems,” she said. “Use them as an example of what can happen if you don’t plan properly. We’re trying to build relationships with stakeholders and different levels of government so when a crisis does happen we are a well-oiled machine.”

As part of the OBWB AGM, Peachland was named the Make Water Work Champion as the community which collects dthe most pledge per capita to conserve water this summer.

Just Posted

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Update: RDOS to hear update at noon about Keremeos rock slide

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

BREAKING: Highway 3 near Keremeos closed due to rockslide

Highway 3 just west of Keremeos is closed as of 8:44 p.m.… Continue reading

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: goodbye sun, hello rain

Environement Canada forcasts clouds and rain for the weekend and beyond

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training for

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Kelowna youngsters grab tournament win in U.S.

The Kelowna Storm won the under-8 Shamrock Showdown Hockey Tournament in Spokane

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

Most Read