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September 15, 2011

Local scientist to discuss water issues in public speaker series

by Arnica Rowan

Dr. Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, will address many issues surrounding water in the Okanagan at a public presentation at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College).

It’s one of the Earth’s most precious resources – it covers more than 71 per cent of the planet’s surface yet water sustainability is an issue of much debate, especially in the Okanagan.

The Okanagan has become a center for water science and policy innovation in Canada. Many important questions need to be answered concerning water resources, including: How do we protect our aquatic environments? What activities should be allowed in the forested drainages around drinking water sources? How will we adapt to climate change? Who will go after the polluters? Who pays for what?

New models are evolving in British Columbia to regulate the use of water including such approaches as collaborative governance. As the government of British Columbia is in the process of revising its century-old water act, informed input, from all stakeholders, is crucial. In her presentation, Warwick Sears will be sharing the latest issues and approaches of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Warwick Sears received a Ph.D. in population biology at the University of California – Davis, where she studied the competition for resources in arid environments. Before coming to the Okanagan in 2006, she was the Research Director of an environmental non-profit in California, leading watershed restoration and planning initiatives. Warwick Sears is particularly interested in using science to solve real-world problems and to build bridges with community stakeholders.

Admission is $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Please contact the Okanagan Science Centre www.okscience.ca or call (250) 545-3644 for advanced purchase of tickets or for more information.

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