Water conservation funds flow

The Okanagan Basin Water Board is now accepting applications for its 2017 water conservation program

The Okanagan Basin Water Board is providing grants for water conservation projects.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board is providing grants for water conservation projects.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board is now accepting applications for its 2017 water conservation and quality improvement grant program.

This is the 12th year of the program, with $300,000 available for Okanagan projects. Grants are distributed according to the percentage of tax each region pays into the program. The allocation will see $55,800 for projects in the north, $182,760 in the central, and $62,520 in the southern part of the Okanagan basin.

This year, the board is putting a special focus on projects that address drought and flood preparedness, water flow monitoring, groundwater studies, restoration and water quality projects.

“With global changes in climate, and the variability of weather here at home, we have seen flooding and droughts – sometimes in the same year – and science tells us to expect more of these extremes,” said James Littley, operations and grants manager.

“That’s why there is the added emphasis this year on understanding what water we have available and projects that will build resiliency in Okanagan communities, preparing for both extremes.”

Although certain project categories are being prioritized, OBWB encourages applications in all categories, including education, conservation, irrigation, mapping, metering, system improvement, source water protection, water treatment study, water management planning, and xeriscape.

Eligible grant recipients include non-profit community groups, local governments (regional districts or municipalities), and irrigation or improvement districts. Successful applicants can receive up to $30,000 for their project.

The application deadline is 4 p.m. Feb. 17. The complete program guide and application forms can be found at www.obwb.ca/wcqi