Okanagan Floodplain Mapping
Find valley-wide flood maps at Okanagan Flood Story, discover historical information on flooding in the Okanagan, learn how climate change is affecting flooding, and how residents and local governments can reduce the risk.
Source Water Protection Toolkit
The Source Water Protection Toolkit was developed in consultation with, and for, water utilities, local, provincial and First Nations government staff, conservation groups and water professionals. It is designed to simplify source protection planning and inspire a more holistic and collaborative approach to drinking water management. The OBWB hosted a webinar series in late 2021 to support the launch of the Toolkit.
Modernizing the Okanagan Lake Regulation System
The “Plan of Study for Modernizing the Okanagan Lake Regulation System” was developed in partnership between the OBWB and B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNR). Currently, FLNR staff manage the lake based on a 1976 operating plan, with minor updates since then. The plan recommends 17 studies (e.g. looking at hydrology, fish management, climate change), culminating in a final study to modernize the Okanagan Lake Regulation System. See Improving Lake Level Management in the Okanagan for more information.
Analysis of Flood Policy and Planning Tools in the Okanagan Valley
Given the recent floods and their adverse consequences across the Okanagan valley, there is a renewed understanding about the need to revisit and strengthen local government flood policies and plans. The OBWB is working on a project in partnership with UBC Okanagan to take stock of the plans and policies currently in place in the Okanagan; examine gaps, challenges, successes and opportunities; learn about what is used in other areas of Canada and beyond; and make recommendations on how to improve flood planning and policy in the Okanagan.
Okanagan Hydrologic Modelling Project
Based on the Raven Hydrological Modelling Framework, the Okanagan Hydrologic Modelling Environment is an open source hydrologic modelling framework for the Okanagan Basin that provides the basis for ongoing and future hydrologic assessments in support of regional water management and planning.
- Okanagan Hydrologic Models for Long-term Water Planning & Management (51Mb PDF)
- 2020 Raven Hydrology Model Workshop
Okanagan Hydrometric Information Network
Recently, the Board adopted Terms of Reference for an Okanagan Hydrometric Information Network Program to respond to the long-recognized deficit of hydrometric monitoring stations in the valley. The goal of this program is to increase the number of stations and improve data access from existing stations, in partnership with Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), senior governments and Okanagan water suppliers. Learn more about Hydrometric Monitoring.
Okanagan Wetlands Strategy
The Okanagan Wetlands Strategy is a three-phase effort to re-establish wetland ecosystems. Learn more about the Okanagan Wetlands Strategy.
Okanagan Climate Data Guide
Environmental Flow Needs Project
The environmental flow needs (EFN) of a stream are defined as the volume and timing of water flow required for proper functioning of the aquatic ecosystem. The OBWB is working collaboratively with the Okanagan Nation Alliance and BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations to determine EFNs of Okanagan streams. Learn more about the Environmental Flow Needs Project and the Environmental Flow Needs Conference 2018: Science, Policy & Practice.
Agricultural Water Supply Communications Project
The Agricultural Water Supply Communications Project is designed to help Okanagan water suppliers provide their agricultural customers with timely and accurate information about the state of local water supplies, and resources to reduce water use and manage irrigation during drought. This project is a joint effort with the BC Agriculture and Climate Action Initiative.
Okanagan Groundwater Monitoring Project
The Okanagan Groundwater Monitoring Project is an initiative to increase the monitoring of priority aquifers in the Okanagan region. The project is led by the OBWB and involves collaboration between local, provincial and federal levels of government. Learn more about the Okanagan Groundwater Monitoring Project.
Lake Evaporation Study
In collaboration with Environment Canada, three large yellow buoys and two land-based stations were launched on Okanagan Lake to monitor lake evaporation, initially estimated at about one metre of loss per year. Learn more about the Lake Evaporation Study.
- Attributes of Lake Okanagan evaporation and development of a mass transfer model for water management purposes – C. Spence and N. Hedstrom (PDF)
Hydrologic Connectivity Study
We all share the limited rain and snow that falls within the Okanagan watershed. This study considers how water utilities are connected hydrologically (how water flows through the valley) and legally (through water licencing). Learn more about the Hydrologic Connectivity Study.
Osoyoos Lake Operating Orders
Osoyoos Lake straddles the US-Canada border, and its management is governed through Orders – renewed in 2013 – by the International Joint Commission under the Boundary Waters Treaty. The OBWB has been closely involved with the renewal process. Learn more by visiting the 2022 Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum and previous Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum pages, the Osoyoos Lake Levels webpage, and Building Bridges.
UBCO Water Research
The OBWB frequently partners with faculty and students at UBC Okanagan on water-related research projects, including:
- Analysis of Flood Policy and Planning Tools in the Okanagan Valley by Dr. Kh Md Nahiduzzaman.
- Endocrine Disrupter study by Trisha Brett and Jeff Curtis.
- Water Governance research by Dr. Grace Fan, Dr. John Wagner, Dr. John Janmaat, and Nelson Jatel (Master’s research).
- Studies on groundwater/surface water interactions by Dr. Craig Nichol and Nicole Pyett.
- Watershed studies by Dr. Adam Wei.
- Research on Osoyoos Lake Operating Orders by Dr. Bernie Bauer.
- Water mapping projects by Dr. Jon Corbett.
Okanagan Water Supply and Demand
The Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Project is the most advanced water resource assessment ever conducted in Canada, using the latest models and computer technology to estimate Okanagan water availability, taking into account climate change and population growth. Visit the Project Website to find studies on groundwater, stream-flows, environmental water needs, and water use.
BC Water Use Reporting Centre (BC WURC)
The Okanagan has the lowest per person water availability in Canada but until now, we didn’t have a system to track how much water we use. BC Water Use Reporting Centre is a streamlined web-based system for water suppliers and other large water users to record how much water they use each month, evaluate changes from year to year, and look at how their water use compares to other areas. Water planners also use the system – to help manage drought and water shortages, and plan for increased demand from climate change and population growth. The system gives a picture of how water is used in the valley as a whole.
The BC WURC is a partnership with water suppliers, local government planners, and BC and Canada ministries. It brings together information from all large water users: licensed and unlicensed, public and private, surface and groundwater. Although it was developed to meet the needs of the Okanagan, this tool can be customized for specific regions or industries in other parts of British Columbia. Learn more about the BC Water Use Reporting Centre.
Economic Valuation of Sockeye Habitat in the Okanagan River
This study focuses on the only remaining unchannelized portion of the Okanagan River in BC (north of Oliver) and provides an economic valuation of the sockeye habitat and other ecosystem services supported by this natural section of river. Learn more about the value of sockeye habitat.