Water Supply and Demand in the Okanagan Basin

The Okanagan Basin

Okanagan Basin

There are many compelling reasons to study water supply and demand in the Okanagan Basin:

  • Everyone needs water
  • Our communities are connected by the lakes
  • Our economy is affected by shortages or pollution
  • We can only use what is replenished

About the Project
The Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Project is the most advanced water resource assessment ever conducted in Canada, using the latest models and computer technology to estimate Okanagan water availability, taking into account climate change and population growth.

The Project includes studies on groundwater, stream-flows, environmental water needs, and water use – balancing water supplies and water demands through a computer accounting model.

The Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Project is seeking answers to these questions:

  • Is our water over-allocated?
  • How do we protect groundwater?
  • How will we share during shortages?
  • How do we reduce risks to water quality?
  • How can we be more water efficient?
  • How much water do we have?
  • What does the future hold?
Okanagan Basin Water Cycle

Okanagan Basin Water Cycle (click to enlarge)

Why study the Okanagan Basin?
The Okanagan has the lowest per person water supply in Canada, with a growing population that is vulnerable to climate change.

Our economy, and in particular, major industries such as agriculture and tourism, depend on the health of our water resources.

The last comprehensive water assessment in the Okanagan was completed in 1974. Since then, population growth has outstripped all predictions and our water management technologies have greatly improved.

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