Many people are surprised to learn that Peachland doesn’t get its water from Okanagan Lake like many other towns in the Okanagan do. Did you know that Peachland gets it water mostly from snow-melt that collects in creeks and lakes behind Peachland?
Peachland Lake, a recreational hot spot, has been dammed to form a reservoir for our drinking water. The network of forests and wetlands, and creeks and lakes that drain into Peachland Creek is known as the Peachland Watershed. It’s one of two watersheds that provide the District of Peachland with its water. Did you know the District of Peachland has no legal jurisdiction to enact any rules, or regulations in the watershed? READ MORE
The District of Peachland does not have any enforcement jurisdiction in the watershed. However, Council can call on the Provincial Government for a “pause” in clear cut logging and speak against mining exploration in our Watershed. Council has done so, but unfortunately, the Province says logging and mining exploration can continue. In addition, Council has posted signage in the watershed and on the District website, to remind people how to behave when up in the hills – to be good stewards of the source of our water.
Our observations are that this effort has had little effect on ensuring the negative impacts are minimized. With a hike or drive through the watershed it becomes evident that the guidelines are not consistently being respected.
Here’s how you can help:
Please let our Watershed Watch Committee know if you see infractions, garbage, dumping or any other evidence of “bad stewardship behaviour”. Send us photos of activities you see that are not complying with the District’s Guidelines below.
email@example.com, attn Watershed Watch.
Here is the list of “guidelines” from the District website, and some PWPA member photos of these simple rules are not being followed. Be watershed wise and follow the guide!
Guidelines when in the Watershed
- Everyone Lives Downstream: Recognize that you are in a watershed and that domestic water is supplied to residents downstream
- Minimize Soil Disturbances: Stay on designated roads and trails to avoid damage to soft soils.
- Avoid Wetlands and Marshy Areas: Tracks and ruts made will not repair themselves. Make a point of knowing where these areas are, since some are only visibly wet in spring. Long term sediment damage can occur if such areas are driven on even when they are dry.
- Garbage Disposal: Pack out what you pack in. Don’t leave garbage behind.
- Washrooms: Where washrooms are provided, please use them. If facilities are not available, make sure you are far away from streams, wetlands and lakes. Bury solid waste and pack out any toilet paper.
- Reservoirs and Dams: Keep all motorized vehicles off dam structures and approaches. A simple rut can cause damage to a dam structure and create an emergency situation.
- Fishing and Boating: Use electric motors only rather than gasoline for fishing and boating on a reservoir.
- Camping: No camping or campfires on the dam structures and approaches. Respect signage and gates.