Reflections on Okanagan water

An insider’s view of water management

Water is everywhere in the news.  Globally, there are stories about aquifer depletion in China, Africa, and the Middle East.  Water pollution in the Mississippi Basin is creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Avocado trees are being pulled up in Southern California to reduce water use, while cities are looking seriously at “toilet to tap” water sources.

British Columbia, a land of lakes and rivers, is not immune, and there is intense interest in collaborative approaches to water quality and supply problems.  These reflections are about my unfolding experience running a watershed organization in the Okanagan, a sunny, arid valley in the southern interior of BC.

The title, “Building Bridges,” encapsulates the central theme of collaborative watershed governance and management.  Everyone is a stakeholder. Everyone’s needs must be addressed, including the needs of the environment. Our work is to build bridges between communities and user groups, between the present and the future.