Make Water Work campaign encourages water conservation in Okanagan valley

The Okanagan is the most water-stressed region in Canada, according to the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

“We have less water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere in Canada,” Corinne Jackson of the Okanagan Basin Water Board said.

“But we use two times as much as the average Canadian.”

It’s a startling statistic from the launch of the annual ‘Make Water Work’ campaign at Glenmore Elementary school on Thursday morning.

“The idea of ‘Make Water Work’ was to try and encourage residents, to use water more wisely and to make water work more effectively and efficiently on their landscapes,” Jackson said.

The initiative, now its ninth year, provides tips and tools to become water wise.

A large part of the program is a challenge between local municipalities, in which residents make a pledge on line to conserve water.

“Make a pledge because it’s really important that we conserve our water today,” said West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom.

“Choose plants suitable to our dry climate,” said Lake Country Deputy Mayor, Penny Gambell.

When it comes to being water wise, the undisputed heavyweight champion is Armstrong, having won the title three times in the last five years

“Water plants an not pavement,” Colin Basran said.

While Kelowna mayor Colin Basran made his own personal pledge, the Mayor had a challenge of his own.

“My challenge is to the residents of Kelowna to take this seriously because this is a big deal,” Basran said.

“The fact that there are huge environmental impacts to continually using water and not conserving, we really need to play our part,” Basran said.

It’s a message that many students at Glenmore Elementary like young Connor Brasnet have taken to heart.

“We need to save all of the water that we can.” said 11 year-old Brasnet.

And to those who would abuse and over use the resource, Brasnet has some advise.

“Stop wasting water, because for the future generations, we want water too,” Brasnet said.



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