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July 25, 2017, 8:03 am

Okanagan-Similkameen Wins Canada-wide Water's Next Award

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

PENTICTON – Water Canada, Water’s Next is the only nation-wide, peer nominated award program of its kind. And, it appears the RDOS for its innovative programming, water conservation outreach, and customer service caught the award committee’s attention in the ‘Government – People’ category. The RDOS was pleased to be informed that Zoe Kirk, RDOS Public Works Projects Coordinator was one of 60 nominations, with winners announced at the Canada Water Summit in Toronto late June.

The RDOS conducts a variety of water stewardship projects and workshops, many times with partnerships and grants from funders such as the RBC Blue Water Project Grant and the Okanagan Basin Water Board. But, it was an in-house program that might have tipped the scales for this prestigious award.

“The West Bench Homeowner Leak Detection Program, identifying and assisting homeowners to fix leaks on their side of the water meter before volume based pricing was implemented, is very innovative” according to Water’s Next.

“I am humbled, and quite frankly, didn’t really believe it at first” says Kirk, “I am honored to be the one named on the award, but these programs and outreach initiatives would not be possible without the support of the RDOS Board, funders and dedicated fellow workers in the Public Works and Engineering Department.”

Recent floods and now drought conditions means that Kirk will not be idle anytime soon. Drought and flood workshops and debriefings, acting as liaison with the BC Climate Adaptation for Agriculture and the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Make Water Work Campaign, continuing and broadening the leak detection program and a riparian ‘cottonwood’ restoration collaboration project with local First Nations are just a few items on the ‘to do’ list for the remainder of 2017. For more details and videos on water conservation and information visit:

For further information on this topic, please contact, Zoe Kirk at (250) or

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