Groundwater subject of forum

The public is invited to attend the afternoon session of a workshop on groundwater in the Okanagan.

It will include the unveiling of the Okanagan Basin Waterscape poster at 2:45 p.m., an educational tool to help people understand the cycle of water in the valley.

As well there’ll be a discussion of mainstreaming groundwater resource management and sustainable land use planning by Murray Journeay of the Geological Survey of Canada.

A panel discussion on groundwater in the Okanagan Basin will begin at 3:30 p.m.

The public session of the symposium begins at 2:45 p.m., Jan. 23 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort in Penticton.

The symposium will bring researchers from around the province together to discuss the state of groundwater in the Okanagan.

It will be hosted by the Canadian Water Network in partnership with the provincial and federal governments and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Anna Warwick Sears, of the OBWB, says as surface water sources become fully allocated, many new developments are turning to underground water stores.

Currently, extraction of groundwater is not regulated in B.C., so groundwater depletion and contamination are serious concerns for the future of valley water supplies, she explained.

But there has never been a comprehensive evaluation of how much water exists in Okanagan aquifers, their capacity for replenishment or their vulnerability to pollution.

There is currently an assessment of this basin’s groundwater underway to answer some of the questions.

For more information, visit the OBWB web site at: www.obwb.ca.

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