The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is a unique form of local government, established under Provincial legislation with taxation powers to support its actions. The structure and purpose of the OBWB are outlined in our Governance Manual.
The Board was formed as a collaboration of the three Okanagan regional districts to provide leadership on water issues that span the entire valley: sustainable water supplies, clean water for drinking, and healthy lakes and streams.
The regional districts also designated the Board to act as the coordinating agency to implement the 1974 Okanagan Basin Study recommendations. The Board does not have regulatory power, but seeks to improve water management by providing a basin-wide perspective and improving communications between regions to reduce fragmentation in policy and planning.
The Board also works to improve links between local and senior governments, participating as a partner in Okanagan water research and infrastructure funding.
The 2020-2024 Strategic Plan (9MB PDF) is intended to guide the OBWB’s work for the next five years. The plan reflects our priorities, and our unique strengths, and the way we carry out our work. The plan is a framework for future projects, programs, partnerships and decisions. It will create clarity for our partners, and help us shape our work together.
This plan focuses on actions that can be undertaken by the OBWB, complementing the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy, and the planning initiatives of Okanagan communities. The plan describes key activities, and our role in supporting actions by diverse partners.
The 2018 Water Management Program Review lists the program’s activities and achievements since the last renewal in 2015. The program was established in 2006 as a means for the OBWB to fulfill its original mandate for water management.
The OBWB is the one body that looks at water issues through a valley-wide lens. Since 2006, the OBWB has assessed the status of water resources – identifying priorities for water management; forming partnerships with all levels of government and local stakeholders; and delivering important information to decision makers.
The OBWB’s Governance Manual was adopted by all three Okanagan regional districts in February 2010 and is the official terms of reference of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.