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Kelowna releases draft water-use plan, calls for public education on water use

Click to play video: 'Okanagan lake levels lower than usual'
Okanagan lake levels lower than usual
Officials in the Okanagan are carefully monitoring lake levels as we enter into a second year of drought conditions. As our Taya Fast reports, with little rain in the forecast, water levels could remain low – Jun 4, 2024

Kelowna is developing its first plan to address the city’s water management and protection needs.

“We’re trying to measure how secure our water supply is, our responsibilities, what people expect from us, and what they should expect from themselves,” said Rod MacLean, manager of utilities planning for the City of Kelowna.

According to the city, the Okanagan has one of the highest rates of water use per person in Canada.

Notably, the city said that watering household lawns and gardens uses approximately 24 per cent of the water used in the Okanagan.

Click to play video: 'Name sought for new boat that harvests invasive milfoil plant in Okanagan Lake'
Name sought for new boat that harvests invasive milfoil plant in Okanagan Lake

To turn the tide on this situation, the city held an information session Thursday night to go over the aptly named Water Security and Responsibility Plan, which emphasizes educating local residents on water use and encourages them to provide their input.

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“(Residents) have time to make comments on our city website, and if they visit City Hall, they can review the draft document,” MacLean said.

“It’s in the review stage, and we aim to finalize it by September or October.”

The plan covers six key sectors: water supply, wastewater management, environmental flow needs, source water protection, natural assets, and stormwater management and flood protection.

It is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and aligns with the city’s Climate Action Plan.

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