North Okanagan takes two wins in water challenge

North Okanagan takes two wins in water challenge

Okanagan Basin Water Board campaign encourages communities to conserve water outdoors during summer

Residents of Armstrong have once again proven their water wisdom.

The results of the 2020 Okanagan WaterWise program are in, and the city has recaptured the Make Water Work Community Champion title following wins in 2018, 2017 and 2015.

The annual Okanagan Basin Water Board campaign launched in May, encouraging communities to engage in a friendly competition to pledge water conservation outdoors throughout the summer months.

The Township of Spallumcheen took second place in what was a tight race throughout the summer, as the neighbouring communities tried to beat each other.

“We had real buy-in from staff and council,” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper. “We went to our various clubs – Lions, curling, etc. – and sent members emails and went hard.

“Half the people we were harassing were from Spallumcheen, so it increased both of our numbers,” he laughed.

Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser said staff and council also sent emails and had flyers with Make Water Work (MWW) information at the front counter when people came in to pay their taxes. But their best weapon was Coun. Gerry Popoff.

“Coun. Popoff is like the godfather of our community and any time someone called him he told them to go to MakeWaterWork.ca, learn about water conservation and take the pledge – and they did!” Fraser said.

READ MORE: Activists to march in Vernon for changes to B.C. forestry legislation

READ MORE: Invasive clams discovered in Salmon Arm of Shuswap Lake

For Pieper more important than the win over their regional rivals was the fact that the program led to water awareness and savings.

“We definitely see people turning to more drought-tolerant landscapes, especially in new subdivisions,” Pieper said. “It helps to have garden centres like Blue Mountain Nursery and Shepherd’s Home Hardware carry appropriate plant material, including the Make Water Work Plant Collection. And, I think people talk about it a lot more than they used to. There seems to be a greater recognition of water’s importance.”

In all, 677 people pledged to conserve – a 28 per cent increase over last year, according to Water Board Communications Director Corinne Jackson, who manages the Okanagan WaterWise program and its MWW campaign.

The MWW website had almost 12,000 visits in the last few months with more than 8,700 first-time visitors, Jackson said.

Jackson said it’s been a strange year for the program with no face-to-face outreach due to COVID-19. Instead, the campaign relied on social media and other advertising to get the message out.

“It seemed to work,” she said “We’ve had excellent engagement.”

Okanagan residents are encouraged to continue to be WaterWise and follow the MWW pledges. If you water:

  • Water lawn between dusk and dawn
  • Water plants, not pavement
  • Never mow low. Let it grow
  • Choose plants suitable to our dry climate
  • Tune up your irrigation
  • Aerate the lawn and top dress with compost

@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Water

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Mountain Resort opens for the season tomorrow, Nov. 27, 2020. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Know before you go: Revelstoke Mountain Resort opens tomorrow

Masks are mandatory, lineup opens at 6:30 a.m.

COVID-19 signage outside the Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: 22 COVID cases in 14 days in Revelstoke

Interior Health is calling the increasing number of cases a community cluster

Revelstoke City Council has appointed a chief election officer, requiring an election within 80 days. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
City appoints chief election officer, has 80 days to host election

The suggested date to host the byelection is Feb. 13, 2021

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

Revelstoke City Councillors approved increases to water and sewer fees for 2021. (Review file photo)
City increases sewer and water fees for 2021

Revelstoke City Council approved the increases at their Nov. 24 meeting

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

The Rutland IGA is located in Willow Park Shopping Centre at 590 BC-33. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Customer asked to mask up, throws hot coffee at Kelowna IGA employee

The woman grabbed cat food on her way out when she refused to wear a mask

City of Armstrong Public Works Yard. (Google Maps)
Armstrong city staffer threatened in snow removal complaint

Community services manager says ‘veiled threat’ is believed to have been flippant, but is being taken seriously

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The Okanagan Quality Life Society which usually gives tours of Okanagan Lake to seniors and shut-ins on its boat Heaven Can Wait has created a virtual tour video in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down the tours in 2020. (Morning Star - file photo)
Okanagan Lake virtual boat tours launched

Okanagan Quality Life Society normally gives tours on Okanagan Lake on its boat Heaven Can Wait

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read