Officials urge Okanagan residents to be ‘water wise’ this summer

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KELOWNA – Municipal leaders from around the Okanagan held a press conference Wednesday to urge their constituents to cut down on water use this summer.

Specifically, leaders are asking Okanagan residents to go to the Make Water Work website and pledge to take action to save water.

Options include pledging only to “only water [your] lawn between dusk and dawn” and pledging to swap out grass for “drought-tolerant turf and/or native and low-water variety pants.”

Armstrong’s mayor Chris Pieper said it is a way to remind people of how valuable a resource water is.

“People sometimes take [water] for granted,” Pieper said. “We all know that the Okanagan is a dry climate and if we get lots of rain, things take care of themselves. If we don’t, we have to conserve.”
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Last August, the Okanagan went to the highest drought level rating meaning conditions were extremely dry.

Pieper said last year officials “asked people to conserve all the water they could so they creeks and rivers could maintain a minimal flow for fish stocks.”

He doesn’t rule out that happening again this summer.

However, Pieper said Armstrong’s water storage reservoirs are currently full “right to the top” after the spring runoff.

– with files from Angela Jung