Summerland’s mayor, Toni Boot was one of the many Okanagan mayors who pledged to use water responsibly and encouraged others to do the same in a quirky video presented by the Okanagan Basin Water Board. (YouTube/Okanagan WaterWise)

Video: Okanagan mayors encourage water conservation this summer

Water conservation this summer could be more important than ever, experts say

Mayors across the Okanagan partnered with the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) to release a video showcasing how they are conserving water this year while encouraging others to do the same.

The video marks the launch of the OBWB’s WaterWise, “Make Water Work” program.

Some mayors got quite innovative with their 30-second videos while still getting the outdoor water conservation message across.

Water conservation could be more important than ever this summer, explained Water Board communications director Corinne Jackson.

Check out the video below:

“Normally we would have been having a public launch, with the mayors pledging to conserve water outdoors this summer and encouraging their residents to do the same. But with the current COVID-19 pandemic and the need for physical distancing, we had to get creative,” said Jackson. “We thought this would be a fun way to get the message out and the mayors were wonderfully game.”

OBWB chair and Osoyoos mayor Sue McKortoff, said making the video was fun but it also reminds people of the importance of water conservation.

“For many years we’ve had high snow and rain in spring, and then a couple of months later we are dry and dealing with drought,” McKortoff said.

“As our valley grows and with increased use during the summer months, for orchards, vineyards, and people’s yards, it’s important that we create more resilient landscapes and use water wisely.

Jackson believes that water conservation maybe even more important than normal this summer.

“Environment Canada and others are forecasting that our summer is going to be hotter than normal,” Jackson said.

“With the coronavirus, more people are sticking closer to home and focusing on their yards. Now’s a great time to consider a yard makeover to be more water-efficient.”

The OBWB encourages Okanagan residents to take these six steps to conserve water:

  • Water lawn between dusk and dawn.
  • Water plants, not pavement.
  • Never mow low. Let it grow.
  • Choose plants suitable to our dry climate.
  • Tune up my irrigation
  • Aerate my lawn and top dress with compost.

Those who pledge to take one or more of the listed actions to help save water will receive a $2 coupon towards the purchase of a plant from the Make Water Work Plant Collection, available at participating garden centres.

Okanagan residents are encouraged to visit MakeWaterWork.ca to learn more about the OBWB’s Water Wise program.

READ MORE: Okanagan and Similkameen regions have lost 90% of wetlands since 1800: board

READ MORE: Long weekend launches mussel fight in Okanagan

@PentictonNews
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