The workshop program was structured as four modules and was cascading – from high-level visioning to ground-level applications. Adaptation to a changing climate was a unifying theme. Both the urban and agricultural perspectives were represented. “Our climate is changing. Demand for water will only increase as summers get longer, hotter and drier. And irrigation is the elephant in the room," stated Ted van der Gulik, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“Building on previous senior and local government investments to develop the Water Use Reporting Centre in the Okanagan, we are in a unique situation to develop a new model that supports sustainable water management, economic development and provides a world-class system for British Columbia,” stated Chair Doug Findlater.
"While the B.C. government continues to act on ‘Living Water Smart’ – which is our vision and plan for keeping our water healthy and secure for the future – what the Province does is only part of the solution. Local and regional groups like the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council are stepping up and demonstrating leadership throughout the province," stated Environment Minister Terry Lake.
"It is humbling to reflect on the dedication and passion of the individuals and organizations who demonstrate commitment, leadership and build trust as we tackle some of the complex contemporary challenges that are involved in providing clean, safe drinking water; protecting the aquatic ecosystem; and reducing conflict between those who depend on water," stated Nelson Jatel.
“The most fundamental contribution of the Water Stewardship Council to water resources management in the Okanagan is that it provides a consistent forum for effective, transparent, and reliable communication among the many levels of stakeholder regarding recent developments and urgent water issues,” states Dr. Bernie Bauer.
"The Okanagan Basin Water Board is the hub for people to convene around when the topic is water. Its mandate is to communicate and coordinate. In the process, it is tapping into a huge reservoir of volunteers. This is what creates the energy, the will and the momentum to do business differently in the valley," states Anna Warwick Sears.
"The Strategy brought together extensive technical information and highlighted the most important water management issues and how they connect to one another. The Strategy included recommended actions designed to protect water at its source, share water in times of shortages, manage water demand, and identify the best structure for valley-wide governance," stated Ted van der Gulik.
"The 2010 Progress Report outlined the progress made on the Strategy’s 45 action items over the first two years. It highlighted successes to date, identified areas where more work needed to be done, discussed barriers to implementation, and suggested next steps," stated Nelson Jatel.
"Creating a lasting legacy requires sustained commitment to make things happen. The Penticton Forum was not the be-all and end-all; rather, it was an important milestone in advancing a regional team approach that aligns local actions with provincial goals for the common good," recalls Kim Stephens.
“With expected population growth and as our climate becomes more variable – with more frequent, heavier storms and longer, hotter drought, wise rainwater management becomes even more important. A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times,” states Anna Warwick Sears.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More