EDITORIAL: Conservation key to future

WaterWise campaign relaunches with a key message that bears repeating

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has re-launched its Okanagan WaterWise campaign.

Bringing water issues to the forefront in the Okanagan Valley is a good thing on several fronts.

First, residents of the Okanagan consume 675 litres of water per day, in an average year, compared to the Canadian average of 329 litres.

Heat waves, such as the current spell residents of the valley are enduring, certainly don’t help matters.

On average then, Okanagan residents consume twice as much water as the average Canadian.

If the water supply in the Okanagan Valley was double that of the average Canadian water supply then water use in the Okanagan would be sustainable.

However, the Okanagan Valley has less water available per person than anywhere else in Canada, according to the OBWB.

Unless we begin to use water more wisely, both for domestic and non-domestic uses, the Okanagan Valley could face serious challenges.

With the advance of climate change, increased evaporation will reduce the amount of water available in part by reducing the amount of snowpack.  Increasing temperatures will also extend the low-flow period, putting ecosystems at risk and potentially lead to water shortages.

Municipalities across the Okanagan Valley, including Penticton, are also attracting new residents, which increases the burden on our limited water supply.

Conservation is key to avoiding water availability issues.

Let’s make every drop count.