Kelowna city councillor and Okanagan Basin Water Board chairwoman Tracy Gray and West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater joined municipal politicians from several other valley communities Thursday to get hands-on instruction about planting drought-resistant plants during the Make Water Work campaign kick-off. —Alistair Waters/Capital News

Pledging to Make Water Work

Annual Okanagan Valley water conservation campaign kicks off

The Okanagan Basin Water Board kicked off its annual region-wide Make Water Work campaign stressing the need to plan for the possibility of drought this year, despite the current talk of flooding.

“It can be hard to focus on being water-wise and on water conservation when there’s flooding, but it’s a priority for all communities to use water wisely,” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper during the kick-off event with other municipal dignitaries from throughout the valley in Kelowna Thursday.

“Look at last year. Flooding was quickly followed by fire and drought. Water is a valuable resource and can’t take it for granted. We have to respect it.”

Pieper was joined by Kelowna councillor and OBWB chairwoman Tracy Gray, West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater, deputy Lake Country mayor Blair Ireland, deputy mayor Janet Peake of Summerland, Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund, Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin and Osoyoos deputy mayor Mike Campol. They all pledged to make water work more efficiently in their communities and challenged each other to see which municipality could gather the most names of residents agreeing to take the same pledge.

Armstrong, winner of the challenge in 2015 and 2017, even threw down the gauntlet—albeit lightheartedly—to Peachland, which unseated it in 2016, raising the ante by making a bet with home-grown product having to be provided to the winner by from the losing community.

“We’re having fun, but there’s a serious message,” OBWB communications director Corinne Jackson said. “We are currently on track to have the same type of summer this year as we did last year—flooding followed by drought. As with last year’s flooding, water treatment plants in the valley are being overwhelmed. Conserving water can help alleviate the pressure on our infrastructure.

Gray said it’s important to start planning for water conservation now, by choosing plants that do not need a lot of water and are drought resistant, making sure irrigation systems work properly and are watering plants and grass, not sidewalks and driveways and proper water-use habits are instilled in everyone.

The pledge valley residents are being urged to take includes vowing to water lawns only between dusk and dawn (and following local municipal lawn-watering restrictions), watering plants not pavement, letting grass grow at least two to three inches high, leaving grass clipping on lawns to act as mulch, aerating lawns and using compost and planting low-water use plant varieties.

Following the comments by the politicians Thursday at Kelowna’s UnH2O Garden—a garden that demonstrates the use of xeriscaping and drought-resistant plants—they received a hands-on demonstration of what to pant and how to plant lead by local xeriscaping expert and Capital News gardening columnist Gwen Steele.

This year makes the eighth year of Make Water Work campaign and promotes tips and tools to help residents do their part to conserve water.

More information is available at MakeWaterWork.ca.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton man apprehended with stolen vehicle after ramming police vehicles

He is charged with dangerous driving, possessing stolen property, assaulting police with a weapon

Summerland driver facing charges of operating a motor vehicle while prohibited

The driver was involved in a two-vehicle collision on Hwy. 97 on Jan. 22

Summerland cancels Wednesday garbage collection

Crews are digging out after yesterday’s heavy snowfall

Summerland council to revisit carriage house bylaw

Public hearing on Jan. 28 will consider amendments to regulations.

Team Kripps finishes in fourth place

Canadian bobsleigh team misses podium in Igls, Austria

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

UPDATE: Police watchdog heads to Kelowna for officer involved shooting

RCMP are surrounding the CIBC at the mall in Kelowna

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

B.C. company fights court order to allow public access to Nicola Valley lakes

Legal battle between fish and game club, cattle firms takes another twist

Most Read