$300K for water quality

The Okanagan Basin Water Board will dole out $300,000 for projects to conserve and improve water quality across the Okanagan Valley.

More than half of the grants ($185,442) will go towards 10 projects in the Central Okanagan, $60,439 will be spent on four projects through the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and $54,119 will fund four projects through the North Okanagan Regional District.

The water board says the projects were funded from public outreach for water quality protection, to water conserving irrigation improvements in public parks.

Projects in the Central Okanagan include $25,000 to the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative to ensure flood protection and wildlife habitat restoration objectives are met.

In the South Okanagan, $29,000 went to the En’owkin Centre for a floodplain re-engagement project. The project involves reconnecting the Penticton portion of the Okanagan River Channel to 4.83 hectares of the river’s adjacent historic floodplain, allowing for natural backwatering as water levels in the main river channel rise and fall.

And, in the North Okanagan, funded projects include $14,730 to the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program to build out an Okanagan-based school curriculum on water and work with the Okanagan (syilx) community to include traditional ecological knowledge.

“This program has such value,” said OBWB chair Tracy Gray, noting that the grants are made available to local governments, but also to schools, stewardship groups and others, encouraging broader engagement on valley-wide water issues. 

“Solutions are not always government driven. This is a tremendous way to engage others, recognizing that we’re all part of ‘One valley. One water.’”

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