Preparing topsoil as part of landscaping is key to conserving water. The Okanagan Basin Water Board is providing communities throughout the region with resources on topsoil.

Preparing topsoil as part of landscaping is key to conserving water. The Okanagan Basin Water Board is providing communities throughout the region with resources on topsoil.

Topsoil guides released

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has developed a topsoil bylaws toolkit

Residents and municipalities have another resource when it comes to conserving water.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has released a topsoil bylaws toolkit.

“Topsoil is not the first thing that comes to people’s minds when we talk about water conservation but it’s the soil that holds the water,” explained Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the OBWB.

“’We’ve all seen what happens when lawns are rolled out over bare gravel or clay. Residents end up using tremendous amounts of high-quality drinking water on their lawn to keep the grass green. Good soil increases water retention and is an effective tool to manage rainwater and reduce water pollution.”

The guide was a joint effort of the OBWB and the Water Sustainability Partnership. The partnership brought expertise in water, soil, and the experiences of local governments in the Lower Mainland. A legal expert developed the policy guidelines and examples.

“With expected population growth and as our climate becomes more variable – with more frequent, heavier storms and longer, hotter drought, wise rainwater management becomes even more important,” said Warwick Sears.

“A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times. Changes are needed. This toolkit can help communities get there.”

The topsoil bylaws toolkit can be found at www.obwb.ca.