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those agricultural users. scientifically measure where it’s at. the date on irrigation licenses;
more than adequate, and for their house
For farmers, current water quality is
connections, he believes point-of-use
Stewardship Council, which reports to
The advisory Okanagan Water reviewing water licensing to
treatment of water is a much more
the OBWB, is a group of experts with a
drought condition conflicts prior to a
economical solution to the issue of
broad range of interests and areas of
drought year; implementing drought
water quality, but it’s a solution that the
expertise related to water, and which
management plans; installing water
Interior Health Authority won’t accept,
last year produced a Sustainable Water
meters; and providing off-stream
he says.
Strategy document for the Okanagan
cattle watering stations.
with an action plan for the future of
easily have added another pipe in the
In hindsight, Stirling says they could water in the valley.
OBWB website at:
More details are available on the
ditch when piping was put in, but at the
time it was an agricultural system, not
including establishment of an
That strategy detailed 45 action items, toward a more collaborative
There’s also a provincial move
domestic. Then, people’s expectations
Agriculture Water Reserve, to ensure
watershed governance model, but it’s
changed and the domestic side of it
that water is available in the long-term
at the beginning stages.
grew until today, higher quality has
for agriculture, and manage water to
become more important.
ensure there is affordable water for
will have its irrigation scheduling
In April, the agriculture ministry
calculator up and running on its
1_4_Kelowna copy.pdf 5/21/2008 12:10:06 PM
with $50 million to treat all water at the
Today, they’re looking at coming up Other action items include: extending
website. For details, see the following
level Interior Health now requires, with
to tackle the issue of water quality at its
Stirling believes it makes more sense
source: in the watersheds.
watersheds, it’s probably only a matter
“As long as we have multi-use
of time before there’s a health problem
with the water. We have cattle grazing
in the watershed. It would be a lot
“World’s Smallest Oil Company”
cheaper to deal with source protection
than water treatment, but there’s just
no political will,” he comments.
Top Quality
goes onto crops. “My trees don’t need
In SEKID, 85 per cent of the water
chlorine,” Stirling notes wryly.
the district, about 6,000 people, but
There are only 2,500 connections in
and Lubricants
Farm Fuels
there’s a lot of water that is used to grow
Okanagan Basin Water Board are
Valley-wide bodies such as the
investigating water quality and quantity
issues in the valley, and a water supply
and demand project is under way to
KELOWNA 275-4956
679 Willow Park Road
Kelowna BC V1X 5H9
Tel: 1-250-765-6988
Toll Free: 1-877-861-3444
From harvest to the shipping dock,
all you need is Great Little Box.
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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