Severe drought conditions strikes parts of Canada
Current drought conditions in the province (Photo Credit: BC River Forecast Centre)
The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) has issued a response to the current drought conditions in the Okanagan and the current plan of action
“Water is one of our most valuable resources and we all need to work together to conserve it,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), who delivered opening remarks at the Okanagan Drought Response Workshop this week in Kelowna. “With drought at its worst level in the southern interior since the Province created the Drought Response Plan in 2010, it is more important than ever for people to curtail their water use now, so more will be available later in summer and fall.”
The current drought conditions are having a negative effect on fish in the region and an angling ban has been issued for several areas. The Okanagan Nation Alliance was expecting to welcome more than 100,000 sockeye back to their spawning grounds, plus an additional 50,000 to 100,000 for food, commercial, and recreational fishing.
“This was going to be the best it had ever been since 1938, since we’ve been recording,” said Richard Bussanich, ONA fisheries biologist. “We live in a fragile environment,” noted Bussanich. “My hope is that it plants a seed and we begin to see a change in the way we live in our valley, and we can say 30 years from now, on August 13th a change began to happen.”
Now that fishing has been banned along the main stem of the Okanagan River between Okanagan Lake and Osoyoos Lake the ONA is expected a return between 18,000 and 45,000 salmon. While the OBWB continues to work with various user groups to address the current drought, it is also encouraging residents to do what they can to conserve.
Courtesy of kelownanow.com