Okanagan Basin Waterscape: Water – the myth of abundance



Overview of the Poster Process

Almost a decade ago, a “waterscape” poster for the Okanagan Basin was developed by the Vancouver office of Natural Resources Canada in collaboration with federal, provincial, municipal and non-government partners. The poster is large in format and rich in content, consisting of individual panels that describe the water cycle and physical processes at various scales, sources of water contamination, the effects of climate change, best practices for water source protection, water conservation methods, and other related topics.

Poster development was initiated in October 2005 with a kickoff workshop that was hosted by the Pacific Agricultural Research Centre in Summerland. The content was finalized at a workshop hosted by UBC-Okanagan University in May 2006. The project was co-led by Bob Turner (Natural Resources Canada) and Bill Taylor (Environment Canada).

Water – The Myth of Abundance

“The Okanagan Basin is a very special place. It has been home to First Nations peoples Ted van der Gulik (120p) - 2005 photofor thousands of years, and to many others over the last century and a half. Water has always been the basin’s most valuable resource for both humans and nature. Today, the regional economy, agriculture, home use, and recreation continue to share these waters with nature,” states Ted van der Gulik. Formerly with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, he was a key participant in the focus group process and made a key contribution to poster development.

Okanagan_population graph“We live in a dry landscape. The large lakes make water look abundant, but nature’s yearly resupply is small. As our population is growing rapidly, so is our demand for water. Climate is changing and future water supplies are uncertain. Will there be enough water for our children and grandchildren? To meet the needs of humans and nature, we will have to rethink our water use, and value it more highly.”


To download a PDF copy, click on Okanagan Waterscape Poster (38 MB).

Bob Turner (Natural Resources Canada) at 2006 focus group session

Bob Turner (Natural Resources Canada) at 2006 focus group session