The Okanagan Water Stewardship Council was established in 2006 to provide technical advice to OBWB.
The 28 member Council is a diverse group of water stakeholders who meet monthly to provide independent advice and policy recommendations for sustainable water management.
The Council’s vision is that the Okanagan will have clean and healthy water in sufficient abundance to support its natural ecosystems, agricultural lands and high quality of life in perpetuity.
Population growth and climate change require new thinking to solve new and complex problems. In 2008, at the request of the OBWB, the Council developed the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy, a guide for sustainable water management practices that can support decision-making in a changing world.
The Council supports collaborative approaches, mindful of the basin’s water budget, the importance of using good science, best management practices, the need for appropriate legislation, and clear communication.
Some of the Council’s emerging issues include preventing new invasive aquatic species, improving habitat for sockeye salmon, adapting to climate change and the increased variability in water supply, cooperative management strategies, and improved groundwater monitoring.
Okanagan Water Stewardship Council wins national award of excellence
On March 22, 2013, the council was awarded the first-ever Council of the Federation “Excellence in Water Stewardship Award” for B.C.
The Council of the Federation – a collaboration of Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers – established the award to recognize outstanding achievement, innovative practice and leadership in the area of water stewardship.
In announcing the award, B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake noted “Fresh water is one of the most precious natural resources we have. While the B.C. government continues to act on ‘Living Water Smart’ – which is our vision and plan for keeping our water healthy and secure for the future – what the Province does is only part of the solution. Local and regional groups like the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council are stepping up and demonstrating leadership throughout the province.”