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

Caravan Farm Theatre fundraiser embraces outlaw spirit

The third annual Hands Up! Live Auction Fundraisder is June 2

Killiney boil water notice issued

The notice was issued for all Killiney Beach water system customers Sunday

Kelowna cedar hedge catches fire

The Kelowna Fire Department responded to the scene of a hedge fire Saturday

Grass fire reported near Traders Cove

West Kelowna - Emergency crews are responding to reports of a grass fire today

Lake Country residents to meet with district to discuss public beaches

Carr’s Landing residents are invited to provide feedback to the district

Falkland: Cowboy country

100th annual Falkland Stampede underway this weekend

UPDATED: Almost 1,200 people allowed to return home in Kootenay-Boundary as floods dry up

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

The Okanagan shines in foodie finalist list

Western Living has released their 2018 list of finalists

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

In Photos: Trooper attracts a crowd on Shuswap Lake

Hundreds of boats turn up to watch the Canadian rockers play atop a 94 foot houseboat

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Most Read