Basin water board hands out funding

There are more water-related projects looking for help than there is cash

There are more water-related projects looking for help than there is cash.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has approved $300,000 in water conservation and water quality improvement grants although applications totalled $495,523.

“We were able to provide funds for a significant number of the grants received,” said James Littley, operations and grants manager, at Tuesday’s OBWB meeting in Coldstream.

There were five applications worth $114,000 from the Regional District of North Okanagan and three at $56,820 were approved.

They include $26,000 for Deep Creek habitat mapping, $20,000 for a Coldstream Creek water quality and land use assessment and $15,000 for  a stream healthy study of Vernon and BX creeks.

For the Regional District of Central Okanagan, there were 13 applications for $254,211 and the green light was given to 10 projects valued at $180,660.

Among them is $30,000 for wetland restoration for American avocets, $25,749 for a community xeriscape and water conservation pilot project and $25,000 for regional flood plain management.

The University of B.C. will also receive $13,411 for the Social Life of Water in the Okanagan Valley, a multi-media art exhibit.

“It sounded a little airy-fairy to me,” said director Tracy Gray.

However, OBWB staff defended the grant.

“One of the challenges is to get the water message out to people and we felt this may get information out to people who don’t read science technical papers,” said Anna Warwick Sears, executive director.

For the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, there were nine applications received worth $127,312.

A total of five projects were approved for $62,520.

They include $20,000 for drought and flood risk management, $10,010 for demonstrating xeriscape practices and $17,320 for the Shuttleworth Creek diversion removal and well implementation.