Cash crunch for water projects

OBWB has $58,000 available for water projects in the North Okanagan but $100,000 is being sought for 2016

There’s just not enough cash to go around.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has $58,000 available for water projects in the North Okanagan but local jurisdictions have applied for about $100,000 for 2016.

“It doesn’t take too long to use that,” said director Doug Dirk of the $58,000 cap.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board forwarded grant requests to OBWB Wednesday and applications are also coming from Vernon, Coldstream and Spallumcheen.

“If it’s over-subscribed, someone is not going to get a grant,” said Dirk.

Among the applications being forwarded by RDNO is one from the Deep Creek Improvement District for a sensitive habitat inventory mapping study. About $15,000 to $20,000 is being sought.

Also being forwarded on to OBWB is a grant request from the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program for environmental resource kits and outdoor learning spaces at schools.

However, there were some concerns form Dirk, who is one of three RDNO representatives to OBWB and will be involved in selecting successful applicants.

“There’s no financial information for this,” said Dirk of the OCCP application, including other potential revenue sources.

Director Mike Macnabb, though, didn’t want the regional district board to possibly block OCCP’s ability to seek funds.

“For us to self-select (whose application is forwarded) is wrong. We should send the application to that organization (OBWB), which will then decide,” he said.