Okanagan mayors gather & encourage water conservation in face of weather extremes

Kelowna, B.C. – As flooding issues remain top of mind in the Okanagan, we are reminded of the extreme weather events seen in our valley and the need for all of us to do our part and prepare. Okanagan mayors came together today to speak with one voice, encouraging residents to prepare their yards for wet and dry years. The gathering comes as the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB)’s Okanagan WaterWise program, and Okanagan municipalities and water utilities, prepare for the launch of their annual residential outdoor water campaign “Make Water Work.”

The gathering was held at the UnH20 Demonstration Garden in Kelowna, a great example of what’s possible in the Okanagan with little additional water than what nature provides. The event included Okanagan mayors challenging each other – and the residents – to “Take the Make Water Work Challenge” this summer and make a pledge at www.MakeWaterWork.ca.

“Even with this year’s historic flooding, communities throughout the Okanagan have watering restrictions now in place, albeit for different reasons than we’ve seen in recent years,” explained OBWB Chair Tracy Gray, also representing the City of Kelowna. “Just as too little precipitation can cause problems, so can too much. Too much water, as we’re seeing now, can overwhelm water treatment plants. By conserving, we can help alleviate the pressure on our infrastructure.

“But also, as the summer goes on, and as the temperatures go up and people want to irrigate, we can have issues meeting peak daily demand for water,” Gray added. “By following the watering restrictions in your community, you are helping ensure there is enough for everyone – for residents and for farmers.”

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