Drying Up the Okanagan


In the third in his series of five articles published by The Tyee, an online newspaper, science journalist Chris Wood explains why many believe the Okanagan faces some hard choices in the near future. He describes the Okanagan as a microcosm of British Columbia: “lovely, productive, a magnet to immigrants, hedonistic -and heedless of the climate threat hanging over its lifestyle.”

Titled Drying Up the Okanagan, the article draws on the perspectives of a range of individuals, including Deanna Machin of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

Okanagan Nation Alliance:
Deana Machin is fisheries program manager for Alliance, which represents seven First Nations bands whose traditional territories stretch from north of Vernon, south to the US border and west into Similkameen Valley. In The Tyee article, Wood quotes Deana as being very concerned about how rapidly development is happening: “”People aren't thinking very far ahead. Water is one of the big issues: water for food, water for people, water for fish, and fish seem to be on the losing end.”

South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy:
 Kim Stephens represents the BC Water & Waste Association, (BCWWA), Through a partnership with the Province, the BCWWA is providing the leadership, facilitation and organizational services  for delivery of the Water Sustainability Action Plan implementation program. The Action Plan provides a partnership umbrella for an array of on-the-ground initiatives that promote a ‘water-centric' approach to community planning. The Action Plan is collaborating with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to build regional capacity and understanding of what Water OUT = Water IN means in the context of the South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy and its goals.

For more on the series, including links to each story by Chris Wood, please click here. A full-time writer for over twenty-five years, Chris Wood was formerly National Editor, Business Editor, U.S. and later Pacific-rim correspondent for Maclean's magazine.


The Tyee is an independent publication that went online in November 2003. According to David Beers, Editor, “We're dedicated to publishing lively, informative news and views, not dumbed down fluff. We, like the tyee salmon for which we are named, roam free and go where we wish.” Over the past three years, The Tyee has attracted some of the best journalists in B.C. who have broken many important stories.


Posted August 2006