The Okanagan Indian Band is urging all jurisdictions to come together and ensure sufficient water for the future.
Chief Byron Louis recently discussed the valley’s water resource with senior government officials.
“We are dealing with a finite resource and we need to look at management,” he said.
As a first step, he believes one-size-fits-all policies for the entire province must be scrapped.
“We live in individual ecosystems,” he said, adding the Okanagan has more in common with adjacent regions and even parts of the U.S. than it does with some areas in B.C.
Louis would also like to see increased action to restrict some activities that could threaten the integrity of watersheds, such as the sale of lots along upland lakes.
“Why is Vancouver the only jurisdiction that has adequate protection of watersheds?” he said.
Louis is hopeful the message of water protection is being embraced by senior government.
“Without water, property values are nil. It seems to be resonating,” he said.