Tools aid water management

The tools are available; it’s now up to civic government to make use of them by managing irrigation differently

judie steeves

Black Press

The tools are available; it’s now up to civic government to make use of them by managing irrigation differently, according to Ted Van der Gulik, senior engineer in sustainable agriculture management with the provincial agriculture ministry.

For instance, now that there are certification programs for irrigation designers and technicians, local government should be encouraging the use of only those who are certified to install and maintain irrigation systems.

That would help to ensure systems are installed and set up to be efficient and conserve water.

There are also courses on irrigation scheduling and on auditing irrigation scheduling and there’s an online irrigation scheduling calculator available.

Van der Gulik is vice-chairperson of the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council, and was reporting to council members at their November meeting.

Above all, he pointed out that soil is the critical thing. For example, with adequate topsoil under lawns, in Vancouver there wouldn’t be any need all year to irrigate.

However, frequently only a couple of inches of topsoil are put down before lawn seed is spread or turf put down in a landscape.

In the Okanagan, 85 per cent of the water goes to irrigation, so it’s really important to manage it well, he said.

“How we develop the land determines how we use the land: how much water runs off it and how much water is used on it, for instance with turf,” he explained.

In the 1950s, 32 per cent of the land was hard surfaces, but today 49 per cent is, so we’re turning more soft land into hard surfaces, where water will run off instead of soaking in.

“That’s important in water management,” he noted.

There’s now an Okanagan Irrigation Management tool that allows farmers to go online to compare and analyze consumption and anticipate demand based on Environment Canada information.

Glenmore-Ellison, Greater Vernon and Summerland are using the new online tool.


Just Posted

Vernon Pizza Huts raise dough for diabetes research

Vernon Pizza Hut locations raised more than $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

COLUMN: Trudeau trips his way towards election campaign

Glenn Mitchell thinks the drama teacher in Canada’s Prime Minister is coming through

Vernon sewer hook-up smells fishy

Okanagan Landing resident questions City of Vernon timing on counter-petition plan

Vernon takes step towards cutting carbon footprint of its buildings

City council decided on Monday to adopt the BC Energy Step Code to improve its building efficiency

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Most Read