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Everyone shares water responsibility: water board director

Dr. Anna Warwick Sears said water is the biggest issue of our time. She was giving a water conservation update at a recent Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board meeting.
April 10, 2013 - 4:14 PM

Climate change is changing all the rules including the rules and methods used to predict future water amounts.

Dr. Anna Warwick Sears said the old ways of predicting future water supplies are becoming out-of-date. The executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board told the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen directors there are new methods to figure out how much water will be in lakes, rivers and creeks above and below ground.

Sears was giving the district board a heads-up on the work she and her staff do at the Kelowna water basin office. Recently the water board completed installation of 15 underground water monitors. It also released $300,000 in grants to groups promoting water conservation. It also produces guides for municipalities and groups such the district board.

There is a need for everyone to participate. Sears said the motto is One Valley, One Water. Municipalities have areas they are responsible for but water knows no borders.

The water board's jurisdiction is defined by the Okanagan watershed, or basin. It is almost 200 kilometres long and 8,000 square kilometres in area. It also includes the six main lakes, the Okanagan, Kalamalka, Wood, Skaha, Vaseux and Osoyoos.

Sears has been keenly interested in water conservation and use. Before she came to the Okanagan Valley in 2006 she was working for a California watershed project. A population biologist she left academia for more practical pursuits.

"I want to serve the community," she said. "I think water is the biggest issue of our time."

For more information about water usage and how to conserve go to www.obwb.ca and www.okwaterwise.ca.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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