The Okanagan Basin Water Board has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Wood Lake Project.
Larratt Aquatic Consulting, in collaboration with the District of Lake Country, is set to embark on a vital environmental endeavor following the receipt of a generous $25,000 grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB).
The grant is part of OBWB's Water Conservation and Quality Improvement Grant program, which supports initiatives aimed at conserving and safeguarding water resources.
This financial infusion will be channeled into the "Wood Lake – What’s At Stake and What We Can Do About It?" project, with the final report expected to be unveiled in March 2024.
The Wood Lake project is geared towards comprehensively examining and addressing shifts in the water quality of Wood Lake.
These changes encompass rising temperatures, heightened nutrient levels, frequent algae blooms, and a decline in oxygen levels.
It is believed that various factors, including agricultural activities, urban development, and climate change, may be contributing to these environmental alterations.
To gain a historical perspective and draw comparisons with the present state of the lake, the project will conduct sediment core sampling from the lake's bed, collecting crucial historical data.
Once an accurate historical baseline is made, the initiative will focus on identifying the underlying factors behind these transformations.
An emphasis on fostering collaboration between local communities and integrating traditional knowledge from both Western and Syilx cultures is at the heart of this endeavor.
Importantly, this project aligns seamlessly with the District's enduring commitment to environmental stewardship.
Leslie Groulx, the Interim Chief Administrative Officer of the District of Lake Country, underscored the significance of the Wood Lake project.
"The project aligns with the District's goals within the Official Community Plan to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural environment. Source protection studies on Wood Lake also align with the objectives of the District's pending Liquid Waste Management Plan and Water Management Plan for the Middle Vernon Creek Watershed," said Groulx.
"The collaborative efforts of the District, Larratt Aquatic Consulting, and the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) highlight the importance of this project and its significance in the long-term preservation of our shared natural resources."
The receipt of this grant from OBWB marks a big step forward in the ongoing efforts to safeguard Wood Lake's ecological health.
The Wood Lake project promises to not only shed light on the challenges facing this vital water body, but to also provide a blueprint for collaborative, sustainable environmental management practices.
With an eye towards a more environmentally resilient future, Lake Country and its partners are poised to make a difference in the preservation of this natural resource.