General history

The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) was founded in 1991 by local residents in direct response to a report compiled by Okanagan University College, in which Osoyoos Lake was described as a ‘nutrient cocktail of nitrates and phosphates’.

OLWQS is a non-profit, charitable organisation with members in Canada and the U.S.A.

Extensive scientific tests in 1990 showed the lake contained elevated concentrations of nitrates and phosphates. In 1996, it was graded ‘poor’ out of 124 lakes tested in BC.  With an increase in population, development and lake usage,  great care must be taken to ensure this vulnerable body of water and its surrounding waters are protected.

Mission Statement

Re-establish and maintain the water quality throughout the Okanagan Valley lake system, especially in Osoyoos Lake and area, so that it is suitable for plant and animal life and for human use and consumption, through:

  • Monitoring and testing of water quality
  • Finding the causes of water pollution and advising the public and the appropriate government departments of our findings
  • Educating the public about related environmental issues
  • Carrying out lake and waterway "cleanup" projects
  • Helping various levels of government in carrying out programs to improve the quality of the environment in the Okanagan Valley lake system


The board of directors of the OLWQS meets regularly, and members are notified of special events, news and information items via e-mail, Facebook and advertisements and stories in local newspapers. Our Annual General Meeting is held each spring. Questions and feedback are always encouraged. Volunteers welcome.