Peachland Mayor Speaks Out

At the recent AGM of the Okanagan Basin Waterboard, Peachland’s Mayor stood up to defend the community’s watershed. Ted Zimmerman, executive director of the provincial water protection and sustainability branch, was at the AGM looking for feedback on the new Watershed Security Strategy and Fund. After his presentation Mayor Fortin voiced her concern for the causes of poor water quality, and increasingly unpredictable flow.

With solid facts and a well spoken inquiry, the response she received from Zimmerman was pathetic and worrisome.

From Kelwona Capital News:

“The auditor general’s report in 2017 reported about the lack of oversight going on in our watersheds, how climate change is creating a faster snowmelt, how little seedlings replanted in the forests are now getting enough coverage from older trees left behind,” Fortin said.

She reminded Zimmerman that the district had to pay millions to build a new water treatment plant as dictated by drinking water standards established by the ministry of health, yet the management of the watershed ecosystem seems to offer little avenue for local input.

“Building buffers around the lake area isn’t good enough. You pull back a little from those buffers and behind all you see is clear-cut logging.

Zimmerman replied a water-centric view of land use is what the watershed security strategy must move beyond, to contemplate how social economic and economic development issues also are taken into account.”

For an organization whose mission is:

“Providing leadership to protect and enhance quality of life in the Okanagan Basin through sustainable water resource management.”” how can being  water-centric be a bad thing?

B.C. water sustainability plan pitched to Okanagan stakeholders

Okanagan Basin Water Board