The Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Canadian Water Resources Association, BC Branch are excited to host siwłkʷ (WATER) FOR ALL – OUR RESPONSIBILITY Environmental Flow Needs Conference 2018: Science, Policy & Practice, October 17-18, 2018, in Kelowna, B.C.

This conference will bring together representatives from national and international organizations engaged in water management or research, including fisheries and water managers, First Nations, regulators, policy-makers, academia, and NGOs. The conference will cover several main themes and focus on the current state of EFN-setting in B.C. and recent EFN-related work in the Okanagan and elsewhere in Canada and the United States.

Environmental Flow Needs Conference 2018: Science, Policy & Practice
        October 17-18, 2018
WHERE:      Coast Capri Hotel – 1171 Harvey Ave, Kelowna, B.C.


The Environmental (or in-stream) Flow Needs (EFNs) of a stream are defined as the volume and timing of water required for effective functioning of the aquatic ecosystem – for fish and other needs. In locations where significant demand or competition for water exists, such as the Okanagan, scientists, policy-makers, planners, and regulators are now focussed on developing methods to determine appropriate EFN flow regimes.

Find information for Sponsors & Exhibitors

Various approaches for maintaining EFNs have been tested in North America and worldwide, but to date no approach has provided the one-size-fits-all solution to managing this complex issue. In B.C., the introduction of the Water Sustainability Act in February 2016 requires that EFNs be determined for water bodies potentially affected by any new proposed licences for surface or groundwater extractions. This requirement creates opportunities and challenges for water management and the need for better EFN science and collaborative dialogue among all water users to reconcile their needs and interests.




Preliminary Program for EFN2018 Environmental Flow Needs Conference in Kelowna BC
Click to download
Conference Program

Tuesday, October 16:
Volunteer and Speakers Reception
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Wednesday, October 17:
Registration/Breakfast opens at 7 a.m.
Conference Day ends 5 p.m.
Gala Banquet Dinner 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Thursday, October 18:
Conference 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Download the Conference Program

Early Bird Registration – now open!



Environmental Flow Needs: Science, Policy and Practice
will take place in Okanagan Syilx territory, on the ancestral lands of a salmon nation and in the heart of Okanagan wine country, Kelowna, B.C.

We will be gathering to learn from each other’s experience and share new and innovative ideas for building a common water future.

About the Venue

Coast Capri Hotel – 1171 Harvey Ave., Kelowna, B.C.
Hotel website

About Kelowna

Kelowna International Airport – YLW

Tourism Kelowna

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

Poster Submission

We invite you to share innovative approaches to establish and protect Environmental Flow Needs (EFN) by presenting your poster at the EFN2018 Conference.

Please REGISTER below to submit your Poster Abstract for consideration.

– Methodologies for determining EFN values
– EFN science and applications
– EFN and fisheries
– Ecosystems services and EFNs
– EFN policies – opportunities and barriers
– Collaborative approaches to EFN management
– Drought response plans

Prizes for best student posters will be announced soon!

Submission Deadline:
The deadline for submission of poster abstracts is September 7th, 2018. We will notify authors of accepted poster abstracts by September 10, 2018.

Poster Guidelines:
All posters should include background or problem summary, discussion on approaches / methods used, and results and conclusions. Poster content should be informative and inclusive of an interdisciplinary group and broader audience. Suggested poster size: 36 inches (91 cm) x 48 inches (120 cm).

For more information, please contact Nargiz Rahimova at nargiz.rahimova@obwb.ca

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For more information, please contact:

Nelson Jatel – conference co-chair
Okanagan Basin Water Board, Water Stewardship Director

Dr. Brian Guy – conference co-chair
Canadian Water Resources Association – B.C. Branch, Past President


Organizing Partners