Information Session in Relation to Application for a
WATER LICENSE – WATER SUSTAINABILITY ACT (Section 12)
Catalyst Paper Corporation, of #200 – 3600 Lysander Lane, Richmond, BC, V7B 1C3, has
applied for a ten year water license approval to divert water out of Lake Cowichan which
discharges into the Cowichan River which flows east into Cowichan Bay, and hereby gives
notice of an information session in relation to the application to all persons who may be affected.
In April 2017, Catalyst applied for a ten year license to pump water out of Lake Cowichan into
the Cowichan River for the years 2018 to 2027 in the event that the river might start to run dry.
Climate change impacts have left the river exposed to drought conditions as Lake Cowichan
water storage is no longer adequate to meet reduced spring and summer precipitation.
Catalyst is applying for a ten year water license to replace its current short term (two year)
water use approval which expires at the end of 2017. The application seeks approval to pump
water from the upstream side of the Lake Cowichan boat lock and weir (located near 300 North
Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan) to the downstream side of the structure which will maintain up to
5 cubic meters per second of flow in the Cowichan River. Approximately 30% of this water will
be used by Catalyst under its existing water licence, which authorizes water for the pulp and
paper facility in Crofton and for domestic use by the Village of Crofton, while 70% will be used
for conservation purposes to support fish populations in the Cowichan River.
Over the duration of the proposed license, we intend to begin pumping if the lake level nears
the bottom of the weir gates. Pumping will remain in place no longer than 49 days until rains
recharge the lake so that it can naturally maintain at least 5 cms of flow into the Cowichan River.
The maximum quantity of water to be diverted would result in a draw down on Lake Cowichan
from 161.40 m GSC to 160.80 m GSC (23 inches maximum draw down) if the operation lasts
for the entire 49 day approval window. For reference, the water level on Sunday October 9, 2017
was 161.48 m GSC.
An independent, qualified environmental professional will monitor lake levels, any observed
impacts and provide a bi-weekly report to regulators over the duration of any pumping operations
for the proposed ten year period. Further, a government approved environmental management
plan will be in place before any pumping operations begin to ensure the process runs smoothly
without any unforeseen impacts.
Catalyst Paper is open to hearing your comments and questions about this application. We are
hosting an information session at the Lake Cowichan Centennial Hall at 309 South Shore Rd,
Lake Cowichan on November 15, 2017 from 6pm to 8pm including a question and answer
session which is scheduled for 7pm to 8pm. You may provide written feedback at
firstname.lastname@example.org or to Catalyst Paper, Box 70, Crofton, BC, V0R 1R0.
Click here to download the news release.