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August 1, 2019, 3:57 pm

Kelowna Water Conservation Partnership More Than Just a Drop in the Bucket

City of Kelowna
KELOWNA - Thanks in part to the support of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), Kelowna’s city parks and sports fields will be able to save more than 38 million litres of irrigation water annually – that’s more than 80 times the amount of water in the Parkinson Recreation Centre’s 25-metre pool.

“This project aligns with Council Priorities for 2019-2022 as we work to protect our valuable natural resources,” said Ted Sophonow, Parks, Beaches & Sports Fields Supervisor. “Water conservation is a priority for Kelowna Park Services and the Okanagan Valley. A collaborative approach is required to reach this common goal and with support from OBWB we’ve been able to step up to the plate to develop new irrigation guidelines and invest in new technology through findings in each phase.”

In Phase 1, staff came up with innovative technological adjustments and new installation guidelines for park and sports field central control irrigation systems.

Phase 2 produced new operational flow sensing recommendations, a new central control system to replace one that was outdated and upgraded water flow sensing cable on many sites to better detect leaks.

“The Okanagan Basin Water Board is pleased to provide funding to the City of Kelowna as they demonstrate leadership in water conservation,” said James Littley, Operations and Grants Manager. “Parks and recreation spaces in Okanagan communities are important green spaces and gathering spots in our valley. Their efforts show that these places can be managed in a way that conserves our precious water, while providing world-class facilities for residents and visitors.”

Next steps will see Phase 3 of the project which targets sports field irrigation practices. Over the three phases, the City anticipates a reduction in annual water use equivalent to 38 million litres and efficiencies in labour operations of 1,320 hours annually.

The City maintains over 200 parks and green spaces which need appropriate amounts of water to keep them healthy and safe. While the park irrigation program has been designed to use water as efficiently as possible, the OBWB partnership is helping to improve efficiencies and provide additional savings.

“Our Park Services Department thanks its team and Waterkind Consulting for the continued success of the project, with special thanks to OBWB’s Water Conservation and Quality Improvement Grant Program (WCQI) for its support,” said Sophonow.

For more information on the WCQI grant program, visit: www.obwb.ca/wcqi.


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