Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy: 2010 Progress Report


Note to Reader:

The Okanagn Sustainable Water Strategy was released in November 2008 by the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council (with approval by the Okanagan Basin Water Board) after almost three years of planning, discussion, consultation, and writing. The 2010 Progress Report provided a comprehensive update on what had transpired since 2008, and concluded that the Strategy was still very relevant two years later.

 The Strategy is a ‘Call to Action’

“The purpose of the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy was to identify the most-pressing issues facing water resources management in the region and to suggest how and where concrete action could be taken. It was intended to serve as a ‘call to action’ and to point us in the right direction without actually anticipating or prescribing how we might get there,” stated Dr. Bernie Bauer, Chair of the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council, when the 2010 Progress Report was released.

“There was always the realization that progress toward a more sustainable water future would depend critically on the engagement of all stakeholders, and it was anticipated that everyone would do what they were able, no matter how small the action.”

“The Strategy and this report are not just simple lists with action items that can be checked off once completed,” added Ted van der Gulik, Council Vice Chair. “Rather, they are core components of a process of engagement, one that gives us all a sense of common purpose and has us working toward the same goals. In this context, it is no accident that the Okanagan is widely known as a very progressive region in terms of collaborative water resources management and that people elsewhere look to us for answers and a general sense of possibility.”

Implementing the Strategy

“The Strategy brough together technical information about the Okanagan Basin and highlighted the most important water management issues and how they connect to one another. It included forty-five recommended actions designed to protect water at its source, share water in times of shortages, manage water demand, and identify the best structure for valleywide governancem” explains Nelson Jatel, Water Stewardship Director with the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

“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.”


To download a copy of Sustainable Water Strategy: 2010 Progress Report, click here.