The Okanagan is known for its pristine lakes and rivers. Tourists visit the region for the scenery, vineyards, and abundant recreation opportunities that these waters provide. Residents rely on this water every day. But how clean is it, really? Wastewater, as well as chemical runoff from industry and agriculture, poses a threat to our freshwater supplies. How can we neutralize these threats without sacrificing our economic well-being? What steps can we take to ensure our most valuable resource remains clean and abundant for years to come.


Chris Walker – Host, CBC’s Daybreak South


Bruce Mathieson – Associate Professor, Biology, UBC’s Okanagan campus

Ivor Norlin – Manager of Infrastructure Programs, Interior Health, Health Protection

Anna Warwick Sears – Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board

The OECD announced today that three separate studies support that conclusion that “putting the right price on water will encourage people to waste less, pollute less, and invest more in water infrastructure.”  In the view of the OECD, the “right price” is one that reflects the true cost of the water they consume  – both drinking water, water for agricultural uses,  and any other water uses that ultimately require treatment and/or disposal.

You can find the free OECD summary of its studies here:,3343,en_2649_37465_36146415_1_1_1_1,00.html

The studies themselves are “for fee” publications to the general public.  These are, however, freely  available to current UBC students, faculty and staff members and patrons working at UBC Library workstations via the subscription database SourceOECD.  You will find our link to SourceOECD here. Note, the OECD does provide free access to a wide range of its smaller reports, including water pricing details “for Australia, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Turkey and the United States.”

The studies are:

1) Pricing Water Resources and Water and Sanitation Services

2) Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Agriculture

3) Innovative Financing Mechanisms for the Water Sector

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