Kelowna, B.C. – With the heat of summer upon us, and looking at the stats for water use in the Okanagan, this valley’s mayors and councillors are asking residents to “Take the Pledge to MAKE WATER WORK” this season.
Make Water Work (www.MakeWaterWork.ca) is an effort by the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Okanagan WaterWise program, and local government and water utility partners throughout the valley, to encourage outdoor water conservation during our hot Okanagan summers, when most water is used. Several valley mayors and councillors gathered this morning to take the pledge, invite residents to learn more about the water of the region and take the pledge too.
After making their pitch to citizens, mayors and council members – from Armstrong to Osoyoos – lined up to take the pledge at www.MakeWaterWork.ca. To sweeten the deal, residents who take the pledge are entered for a chance to win $5000 in WaterWise yard upgrades. This year’s contest partners are KelownaGardens.com, Bylands and ProSource Irrigation – all known for their commitment to quality and water conservation.
The electeds are also hoping that the more pledges their community gets, the better their hometown’s chances at winning the “MAKE WATER WORK Champion” title.
“We’re having fun with this contest but the message behind it is serious,” noted OBWB Chair and West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater, noting some of the stats behind water use in the Okanagan.
- – The average Canadian uses 329 litres of water each day. In the Okanagan, the average is a whopping 675 litres when averaged out over the year. The summer average in the Okanagan climbs to almost 1000 litres.
- – 24% of all Okanagan water is used by residents outside – mostly on lawns and gardens.
- – There is less water available per person in the valley than anywhere else in Canada.
“Some residents use less water, especially if they’re on a meter, but we still are using more than what is sustainable. It’s for this reason we launched Make Water Work – to show that there are simple ways to save water and make it work more effectively and efficiently,” added Findlater.
Make Water Work provides residents with tips to get the most from their water, such as watering between dusk and dawn to prevent evaporation, and putting where it’s needed – on plants, not pavement. Many are simple tips that can make a huge difference, saving water for the things that matter to us most as residents of this valley – water for crops, for fish, and even firefighting.
The news conference was held this week at H2O Adventure & Fitness Centre in Kelowna – the site of the Okanagan Xeriscape Association’s UnH2O demonstration garden and City of Kelowna’s drought-tolerant turf project – both funded in part by the OBWB, showing water conservation at work.