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Convening for Action in the Okanagan Basin

WETLANDS – KIDNEYS OF THE EARTH: “Past land developers did not realize the importance of wetlands, so over 85% of Okanagan wetlands have been filled in or drained. This loss has reduced our ability to manage seasonal floods,”stated Alison Peatt, co-author of Building Climate Resilience in the Okanagan


The guide summarizes climate challenges, and introduces solutions to support Okanagan homeowners in their efforts to protect and enhance their real estate investment from the ongoing challenges of climate change. “The task for the multiple guide authors was how to synthesise all these complex issues into key messages that would help the homeowner connect the dots. Hence the resource guide helps the reader link concepts such as the loss of wetlands to increased flood risk,” stated Alison Peatt. Interwoven throughout the booklet are Syilx Okanagan Peoples perspectives.

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2007 Beyond the Guidebook Seminar: Move from awareness to action and implement ‘green solutions’ that actually protect stream health, urged Green Infrastructure Partnership when federal and provincial agencies framed expectations in launching the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative


“The Stormwater Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in BC being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Minister of Environment Barry Penner in 2007. “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to move beyond rainwater management to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management.”

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Water is a Form-Maker: Three bold ideas for building water-resilient communities explored at FLOWnGROW Workshop


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.

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“Water OUT = Water IN”: New Paradigms to Achieve More Sustainable and Resilient Outcomes


“It is hard to imagine this work happened only 10 years ago. We know, however, both the waterbucket.ca website and the Convening for Action programs are successes – since the themes around water-centric planning and ‘design with nature’ have become part of the fabric of common understanding and basic foundation of how things need to get done in a region when talking about water,” stated Oliver Brandes.

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Okanagan Water Stewardship Council wins first-ever “Water Stewardship Award for British Columbia”


“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.

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Stewardship Award Recognizes Outstanding Achievement, Innovative Practice and Leadership in Implementing the “Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy”


“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.

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Okanagan Water Stewardship Council convenes for action


“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.

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Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy: Action Plan 1.0 (2008)


“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.

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