EDITORIAL: End of times?

To paraphrase Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz … water and power and fire, oh my!

To paraphrase Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz … water and power and fire, oh my!

Unlike Dorothy’s fears of walking through the unknown — and creepy — forest, the fear of forest fires, of power outages and water shortages are only too real this summer for citizens of the South Okanagan.

Hot dry weather, arriving about two weeks earlier than usual, has the District of Summerland raising a flag on water usage, B.C. Hydro expressing concern about power usage across the province and the Kamloops Fire Centre declaring a region-wide ban on campfires, a move that was echoed by Penticton.

Taken together, it all sounds a little bit apocalyptic. But we haven’t reached the end of times just yet — these are necessary precautions being taken by those in positions of authority.

Human-caused fires eat up resources that could be used fighting naturally-caused fires and air conditioners and fans add to the load on an already stressed electrical grid.

As for the water supply, well, Summerland is no stranger to water shortages. Remember 2003, when drought brought the community resevoir down to a bare minimum?

Right now, the South Okanagan isn’t in a shortage situation -— we’ve just reached the limits of the pumps — but estimates predict that in three decades, about one-third of the world’s population will suffer from chronic water shortages. Each year global water consumption rises by two to three per cent, while the total supply of fresh water remains relatively constant.

So perhaps it is time to take notice of these times, when our systems are being pressed to the limit and wonder what it might be like in years to come, when severe restrictions are placed on power and water as a daily measure.

Sure, conserving a few drops of water here and there might not seem like a lot, but those drops add up fast. And developing a conservationist attitude now, both as individuals and as a community, is the path to ensuring there will be resources available for our grandchildren.

 

Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read