Water Board celebrates 45 years of water protection & looks ahead at future challenges

Kelowna, B.C. – The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) holds its Annual Meeting on Friday, Sept. 4 and while the agency is celebrating 45 years of water protection in the valley, it is already looking at the challenges ahead and ways to meet them.

This free event includes: a special keynote address from Julia Lew with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) regarding her agency’s efforts to fight back invasive quagga mussels; a drought update from the Province; the release of this year’s OBWB Annual Report “It starts with water” and, of course, birthday cake. The meeting, to be held at Rotary Centre for the Arts, begins at 8:30 a.m. with a sign-in and continues to 12 noon. The agenda can be found at www.obwb.ca/?p=8863.

“It really does all start with water,” notes Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director for the OBWB. “It’s central to everything – our health, our tourism, our food security, and our economy. We’ve seen incredible improvements to water quality over the last 45 years, and even conservation improvements, but the threats to our water supply are still there and multiplying.

“This year alone, we’ve had so much coming at us, invasive milfoil growth like we’ve never seen, a Level 4 drought which is forecast to be an issue next summer as well, and of course the threat of invasive mussels continues to be a concern. But the strength of the Water Board, and its success in addressing water issues, is in its consistent approach to building partnerships,” added Sears.

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