Aridity map shows valley as top concern

August 8, 2022

The Daily Courier – August 8, 2022

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An international team of scientists has released a new world map on aridity, confirming the Okanagan Valley as one of the areas of concern.

The aridity database, recently published in the Nature journal – Scientific Data for the period 1970-2000 can be used as a baseline for future projections.

“We’re in that arid or semi-arid environment—the Okanagan’s been arid for a very long time—and that always means that we’re going to need to conserve water. That’s why we have all these water conservation campaigns and work with municipalities on drought planning,”said Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, on Friday.

“We’ve been working with the communities on the twin faces of climate change for quite a number of years. There’s still an intense amount of work being done on flood planning, flood mapping, and trying to support municipalities as they slowly work that information into their bylaws. You need to have changes in zoning, things like that,”she said. “We’re also working with the water utilities side of the municipalities and (water) improvement districts to do more drought planning and update their water restrictions.”