RDOS receives grant for protecting drinking water sources

Mission of protecting water

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has $25,000 in new grant funding that will be spent on improving source water protection in the region.

The funding comes from the Okanagan Basin Water Board through its Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grant program.

Source water protection is aimed at delivering clean, safe and reliable drinking water. Since protecting water drinking water is difficult when information about locations and sources is not readily available, and knowledge about potential contaminants is spotty, programs like this are designed to fill those knowledge gaps.

The RDOS is working with Associated Environmental, Interior Health, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to develop a geographic information system-capable file that will identify each supply well or surface water intake and their delineated Drinking Water Protection Area.

The layers of data will be stored on the RDOS GIS system and provincial databases.

“This grant is an opportunity to improve knowledge needed for the successful implementation of water conservation and water quality programs,” says RDOS board chair Karla Kozakevich.

“Providing easier access to information about where the areas are for protecting drinking water sources are beneficial when considering new builds or agricultural discharge applications.”

Once finalized, data will be available to help:

  • Drinking water providers complete more source protection planning and better handle emergency responses;
  • Homeowners, business owners, municipalities that are applying or registering for waste discharges better understand where drinking water sources are located relative to their plans;
  • Regulators such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and Ministry of Agriculture to review discharge applications or respond to complaints; and
  • Planners developing various watershed-scale plans for flood and drought.

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