The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is currently accepting applications to its Water Conservation and Quality Improvement (WCQI) grant program. The board recently approved an increase in funding, bringing the total amount available to $350,000 for 2020. The application deadline is February 28, 2020.

“We’re very happy to enhance funding for this program,” said Sue McKortoff, OBWB chair and Mayor of Osoyoos. “Anything we can do to support the quality and quantity of water in our valley will be key as our population continues to grow, and as we see the impacts of climate change in what is already a water-stressed region. Ensuring we are taking care of our water for the future is critical.”

Successful applicants can receive between $3,000 and $30,000 if they meet the program criteria. Since 2006, WCQI program has provided more than $4.4 million to more than 265 projects in British Columbia.

“This year our main focus is on encouraging collaborative projects that provide water benefits in large areas throughout the valley,” added James Littley, operations and grants manager for OBWB. “Projects that are partnerships between different organizations and span multiple jurisdictions are more likely to receive funding.”

Eligible applicants include local governments, First Nations, irrigation districts and non-profit organizations with projects located within the Okanagan Basin. Project areas that will be considered include: drought and flood preparedness, education, irrigation, groundwater studies, mapping, metering, source water protection, system improvement, water treatment studies, water management planning, water quality assessments, WaterWise landscaping, water flow monitoring, and restoration.

The complete program guide and application forms can be found here.

Featured image courtesy of OBWB:  Facieux Creek is an important waterway that drains into Okanagan Lake. Thanks to the Fascieux Creek daylighting project at École KLO, funded through the OBWB’s Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grant program, this creek now serves as habitat to several aquatic species, as well as an student outdoor learning space.

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