Experts gather to discuss Okanagan water needs

Kelowna environmental water flows conference Oct. 17-18 has global reach

Water science experts from across the globe will descend on Kelowna for an international water conference on environmental flow needs this week.

The two-day conference takes place Oct. 17-18 at the Coast Capri Hotel, co-sponsored by the Okanagan Basin Water Board and B.C. branch of the Canadian Water Resources Association.

Corinne Jackson, communications director with the OBWB, says Environmental Flow Needs, the volume and timing of water required to ensure effective functioning of an aquatic ecosystem, remains an evolving science.

In areas like the Okanagan where significant competition and demand for water exists in an arid climate, scientists, policy-makers, planners and water regulators are focussed on developing methods to determine appropriate EFNs.

RELATED: Ground vegetation has impact on water flows

In February 2016, the province adopted the Water Sustainability Act, requires that EFNs be determined for water bodies potentially affected by any new proposed surface or groundwater licenses.

This requirement creates both opportunities and challenges for water management, but also the need for better EFN science methods to reconcile competing water interests.

“We need to know how much water is required to sustain the fish in our streams,” said Jackson.

“If we can’t do that, then all the other animals and people who depend on sustainable water will be in trouble as well.

“The connection between surface water and groundwater is something that is not yet well understood.”

Among the keynote speakers will be Claudia Pahl-Wostl, a resources management professor at the Institute of Environmental Systems Research in Osnabruck, Germany; Richard Bussanich, biologist with the Okanagan Nation Alliance salmon re-introduction program; Deborah Curran, associate professor with University of Victoria Faculty of Law and executive director of Environmental Law Centre; and Mark Lorang, former research professor at the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station and founder of the Freshwater Map aquatic river habitat mapping system.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CSRD approves grant application for electric vehicle

South Shuswap Transportation Society receives a lift from regional district

Kayaks, paddleboards stolen from tenants at Shuswap resort

Thefts reported to have occurred overnight on Wednesday, Aug. 14

In Photos: Sunday acts cap off Roots and Blues

Last day of the 2019 festival goes off under sunny skies

Update: Firetrucks off of Alexander Street, faulty air conditioning unit to blame

Occupants of downtown Salmon Arm building safe, back inside structure

Musicians wanted to play adventurous travellers along yellow brick road

Shuswap Theatre looking for artists to provide musical accompaniment for The Wizard of Oz

Knife-wielding man tries to break into Okanagan retirement home

Seniors and staff shaken by incident and upset with RCMP response

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan dog ‘Alice’ to get surgery thanks to BC SPCA crowdfunding

With the surgery, Alice’s prognosis is ‘excellent,’ stated the BC SPCA

Suspicious item forces 47 to evacuate plane at Kelowna airport

Kelowna RCMP continue investigation of suspicious item on airplane

Kelowna man nearly drowns on Okanagan Lake

The victim is in serious yet stable condition but his condition has worsened since going to hospital

Okanagan youth protest Tolko logging

Small group gathers outside Tolko head office

Kelowna International Airport threat deemed non-credible

Normal operations have resumed following note of a suspicious item on board a WestJet plane

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Most Read