About the Watershed

News about the Cowichan Watershed and the Cowichan Watershed Board

Dry Koksilah River threatens fish in Cowichan Valley

Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, 05 Sep 2017

The Koksilah River is in trouble, with low flows threatening fish populations.

The provincial government has announced a level 3 drought rating and is calling for voluntary 30 per cent water-use reductions for residents of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands as temperatures continue to soar.

Of particular concern is the hot weather negatively affecting stream and river flows and water supplies.

Islanders urged to conserve water

Information Bulletin, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, 01 Sep 2017

With weather conditions expected to remain warm and dry in the coming week, dropping water levels have prompted the Province to announce a Level 3 drought rating for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Level 3 drought conditions call for voluntary water-use reductions of 30% from all surface water and groundwater users, including residents, industry, farmers and municipalities.

Wetter winters and drier summers in Cowichan as climate change intensifies, report concludes

Climate change projections for CVRDRobert Barron, Lake Cowican Gazette, 21 Aug 2017

CVRD releases first phase of climate change report

The Cowichan Valley can expect warming temperatures year round as climate change takes hold, according to Kate Miller

Miller, manager of environmental services with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, said climate change will also likely lead to wetter winters and dryer summers in the region.

Groundwater licensing just makes sense

David Slade, Cowichan Valley Citizen, 05 Jan 2017

Some facts on groundwater licensing:

There has been considerable alarm and a lot of confusion related to the new laws around the licensing of groundwater. The fact that well owners are uncertain about how the regulations and fees will affect them is not surprising, since from my own experience the government agencies are still trying to sort it out themselves.

For those who are affected and/or interested, I will try to provide some info and perhaps some rationale.

Pumps to feed dangerously low Cowichan River installed

James Goldie, Cowichan Valley Citizen, Sep 30, 2016

Workers use a large crane to move equipment as pumps are installed.Which leaves one big question: will it be necessary to turn them on?

Last week, crews were hard at work installing the equipment that will ensure water flow over the weir in the event that lake levels drop below 161 metres, which is when the weir reaches “zero storage.” The pumps are located on the north side of the weir near the boat lock.

Climate change threatens survival of Cowichan River

David Anderson, Vancouver Sun, September 23, 2106

During my time as federal Environment and Fisheries Minister I experienced firsthand how climate change was affecting Canada’s environment.  It is by far the most critical challenge that governments of the world are facing. It is not a problem for those living far away or a problem for far in the future. Climate change impacts are showing up right here and they are showing up now.

Eyes on salmon and weather as Cowichan Lake pumps installed

Susan Down, Local News Eye Cowichan, September 20, 2016

Pumps during installationLast week I watched a harbour seal cruise to the mouth of the Cowichan River and then capture and eat a hefty salmon, its tail still flapping until the end. The predatory seals are in position because they know that Cowichan Bay is teeming with fish waiting to begin the arduous journey up the river to spawn. With water levels extremely low this year, the annual salmon spectacle will be even more perilous.

Humans are doing what they can to assist. The river’s north arm has become completely plugged since last year. This week, excavation has begun to remove about 15,000 cubic metres of gravel from river bed.

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