Cash grants for Okanagan water protection projects

Blaine Gaffney/Global News

Kelowna – The Okanagan Basin Water Board has loosened the funding tap for projects designed to help protect the valley’s water resources.

Eighteen projects will share $300,000 in grant money in 2016.

“This year we had more applications with collaborative partnerships than ever before,” says OBWB’s Operations and Grants Manager James Littley in a news release. “Multiple organizations, across jurisdictions, partnered and came to the table with funding and in-kind contributions to match the grants they were seeking.”

In the north Okanagan, the Deep Creek Improvement District received funding to do Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping to help in habitat restoration decisions in an area impacted by agricultural operations.

The Oceola Fish and Game Club’s project, in partnership with UBCO, is the development of a mobile app whereby users can document and report watershed damage.

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The City of Kelowna has been awarded $30,000 to help restore wetland habitat and breeding grounds for the American Avocet in the area of the Glenmore Landfill.

The City of Penticton, the Town of Oliver and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen are getting grants to develop drought plans.

“This combination of new drought plans in the south Okanagan will fill a significant gap in our collective ability to manage drought in the valley,” says Littley. “As each utility and area manages local drought, there will be more water left in reservoirs for human use and more water flowing in the streams for fish and other species.”

Over the past 10 years, the water board has awarded $3.5 million to 215 projects throughout the Okanagan.

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