International Water Forum returns to Osoyoos – drought, mussels, climate top agenda

Kelowna, B.C. – With a drought still gripping parts of B.C. and Washington, concerns over the possibility of a costly mussel invasion, and more, community members and agencies on both sides of the border are coming together to talk.  The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), the Town of Osoyoos and the International Joint Commission (IJC) are organizing the Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum, Oct. 7-9, at the Sonora Centre in Osoyoos, B.C. This is the third such forum, with previous events held in 2007 and 2011.

“The drought, invasive species, making sure there is enough water for fish, are key issues we need to coordinate on with Washington State,” notes OBWB Executive Director Anna Warwick Sears. “These three issues alone represent millions of dollars for our economies.

“This is a really important gathering,” Sears added, saying that although the meeting is in Osoyoos, it relates to the entire Okanagan watershed from Armstrong to the Columbia River, since the waters are all connected. “We rarely have a chance to talk with our counterparts in the U.S. and this is an opportunity to meet with senior decision makers, and also hear from First Nations and grassroots – residents, farmers and business people – from both sides of the border.

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