Water crisis discussion helps kick off Meadowlark Festival

The global water crisis will be the keynote topic at the upcoming Meadowlark Festival.

The global water crisis will be the keynote topic at the upcoming Meadowlark Festival.

Organizers announced a local panel of experts will be involved in discussions on the global water crisis and the coming battle for the right to water on Thursday.

“The world is running out of available freshwater as demand outstrips supply, threatening billions of humans and other species,” said Maude Barlow from the Council of Canadians. “Further, our collective pollution, abuse and displacement of water is a major factor in climate change.”

During the presentation Barlow will share the scope and causes of the crisis and pose a three-part solution toward a water-secure world. Barlow has worked extensively in the international arena on issues of water conservation and use. She is the recipient of 10 honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the Alternative Nobel).

Anna Warwick-Sears, the executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, Tom Siddon, the recipient of the Okanagan Water Leadership Award, and Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells will also be addressing the audience and involved in the question and answer period.

“Water is such a critical issue in the Okanagan Similkameen. We are really thrilled to have such experts on both Canadian and international water resources kick off the festival,” said Sally Kilburg, chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance. “This presentation promises to spark some real discussion about how we manage our water resources in the Okanagan and energize efforts to keep our freshwaters for generations to come.”

Limited tickets for the presentation are available for $10 with all proceeds going to the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance. The Meadowlark Festival runs from May 19 to 23 and is an annual event that gives nature lovers a chance to explore the diverse habitats and unique species found in the South Okanagan and Similkameen region. Events range from ecological canoe trips, art workshops, hikes, birding tours, snowshoe tours and more. For more information visit www.meadowlarkfestival.bc.ca.