Drought planning workshop to be hosted by regional water board

“If we knew with certainty that the Okanagan will face an Australian-like drought in the next five years, what management tools would we need to develop to best handle the crisis?”

—Anna Warwick Sears

A workshop on drought planning for the Okanagan water basin will take plac in Kelowna on Thursday, July 23.

Organized by the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the guest speakers will include:

  • Wenda Mason, manager, major projects, water stewardship division, B.C. Ministry of Environment
  • Brian Symonds, regional director, water stewardship division, B.C. Ministry of Environment
  • Ted van der Gulik, senior engineer, sustainable agriculture management, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
  • Anna Warwick Sears, executive director, Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Drought conditions (including low streamflows, reduced precipitation, and warmer temperatures) will impact Okanagan communities in many different ways.

In the Okanagan, like many places in the world, during water limited years often the issue can be managing water resources, more so than water scarcity.

The drought planning workshop’s interactive agenda is designed for politicians and water professionals.

Participants will have an opportunity to explore tools, policies and management techniques applicable to Okanagan water utilities.

Furthermore, the day long workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss and identify collaborative projects that may be implemented on an Okanagan basin level.

Water is one of the most precious and important natural assets in the Okanagan Basin.

Climate change models indicate that future precipitation levels in the Okanagan will be more variable—with an increased probability for more frequent water limited years.

The most important contribution the OBWB can make in the next decade is to help local governments prepare for the impacts of population growth, development and climate change impacts on water supplies.

Anticipated workshop outcomes: Improved drought awareness by local government. Improved coordinated approach to managing water resources during water limited years in the Okanagan.

In order to keep this workshop free to attend, participants are encouraged to look after their own lunch.

Space is limited so respond to [email protected] by July 21, to assure a seat is reserved in you name.