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Western Drought and Salmon Top Agenda for 2015 Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum


Western Drought and Salmon Top Agenda for 2015 Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum By Anna Warwick Sears, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board
Kelowna, British Columbia


Water can be a great glue – joining people together to help keep it clean and plentiful. The matter comes down to building relationships and understanding, so that when the going gets tough – as with this year’s western drought – we can pull together.

With all that in mind, it’s a good feeling to hold an international water conference this year in the small, friendly community of Osoyoos, British Columbia, where the town motto is “Canada’s warmest welcome.” Osoyoos is famous for fruit orchards, excellent wine, and the big blue Osoyoos Lake, set in Canada’s only desert. Just to the south is the U.S. city of Oroville, Washington, situated on the lake’s southern basin.

Osoyoos and Oroville share citizenship of the Okanagan/Okanogan watershed – despite the Canadian/American difference in spelling. It’s because of the lake that we are gathering, for the third time in eight years, to hold the Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum from Oct. 7-9 – a joint Canada-U.S. event to discuss how to better preserve, protect and manage this beautiful water body and its environment.

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Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum
A Watershed Beyond Boundaries:
Stewardship of our Shared Waters
2015 Forum

Columbia River Treaty Workshop

The October 7, 2015 Columbia River Treaty Workshop was co-presented by the Canadian Water Resources Association (B.C. Branch) and ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team at SFU), and preceded the 2015 OLWSF.

2011 Forum

The 2011 Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum focused attention on the needs and challenges for sustaining the ecological health of the lake, and the related well-being of the basin’s residents and visitors.

Progress made since the last Forum in 2007 was reviewed, as well as science studies related to the renewal of the International Joint Commission’s operating orders for Zosel Dam.

2007 Forum

A microcosm of global concerns
Osoyoos Lake is a beautiful lake that spans the Canada-United States border in the Okanagan River basin, and has many environmental challenges.

Lake sustainability depends on the actions of all who work, live or visit the basin, and all those involved in governance.