The Okanagan Basin Water Board


Okanagan water stewardship council

About the Council

In the spring of 2006, three Okanagan regional districts took a major step toward coordinated regional water management by empowering the Okanagan Basin Water Board (Water Board) to convene the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council (The Council).

The Council provides balanced and considered advice to the Water Board on basin-wide water issues and works on solutions that reflect the best available science, innovative policy, and consensus approaches.

The Council has considerable collective knowledge and expertise, being comprised of more than two dozen members from senior and local government, non-profit and professional organizations, First Nations, UBC Okanagan, and industry.



The Vision of the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council is that the Okanagan Basin will have:

  • clean and healthy water in sufficient abundance to support natural ecosystems, agricultural lands and high quality of life for perpetuity;
  • accurate, up-to-date water information and scientific knowledge will support community and regional planning;
  • water will be managed in a spirit of cooperation; and
  • a valley-wide ethic of conservation will create a lasting legacy of sustainable water resources for future generations. 

For almost three years, the Council focused on learning about different perspectives on water, researching water science and policy, defining water issues, determining which issues are the most critical to resolve, and discussing how best to proceed on those issues.


Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy

At the request of the Water Board, the Council used the results of this engagement to create the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy, a comprehensive guide to water management practices to help us adapt to changing climate and rising water demand, and work toward water sustainability.

The Strategy sets out a long range vision and guiding principles to manage water for decades to come. It brings together an extensive amount of technical information about the Basin and highlights the most important issues facing sustainable water management.

The Strategy includes actions designed to protect water at its source, allocate water in times of shortages, manage water demand, ensure sufficient water storage, and identify the best structure for water governance in the Basin. 

The Okanagan Water Stewardship Council has proved to be a valuable and worthy endeavor of the Water Board. The Sustainable Water Strategy and other Council initiatives have provided the Board with a road map and a strong foundation for their discussions and decisions about water in the Basin.

The Water Board and their Council will continue to work together to protect and enhance quality of life in the Okanagan Basin through sustainable water resource management.

For more information about the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council and the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy, please visit 



Reproduced from the Your Stories section of the Living Water Smart website.

Posted January 2010