About the Watershed

News about the Cowichan Watershed and the Cowichan Watershed Board

CVRD to apply for funds to raise weir

Andrea Rondeau, The Citizen, April 1 2015

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will be applying for federal funding to help pay for a possible raising of the weir at Lake Cowichan.

Directors voted last week in favour of getting the ball rolling on a process that is expected to take several years, by preparing an application for the Strategic Priorities Fund.

The deadline to submit an application for the grant money is April 15, which is what prompted the CVRD to take this step even though design and engineering work as well as community consultation has not yet taken place on the proposed project.

"Communication is going to be key," acknowledged Dir. Ian Morrison.

Unmasking Water Woman

Peter Rusland, Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, Mar 13 2015

Lahna Lampson as Water WomanPortraying Water Woman last summer perfectly matched undercurrents of acting and community activism running through Lahna Lampson’s life.

“It was a dream job plopped on my doorstep,” said the native Cowichanian who — decked as a blue-and-red caped crusader — trumpeted water conservation and river preservation at events bridging kids’ camps and SunFest, to the Islands Folk Festival.

“It was acting. I was able to design my costume and write a Water Woman script; things I loved doing, while involved with doing something for the valley.”

Cowichan water experts hope for cold weather

Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen, January 21, 2015

A lack of snow pack on the local mountains doesn't necessarily mean that the Valley is faced with another Cowichan River crisis again this year but the possibility is worrying to water watchers.

"It doesn't look good right now," said Rodger Hunter of the Cowichan Watershed Board.

"I'm just the opposite of everyone else. I hope we get some miserable cold weather now."

Water Temperatures

Parker Jefferson, One Cowichan, January 21, 2015

Spawning cohoI have had my feet in the river almost every day for the past few weeks, enjoying our great winter weather and river conditions while pursuing the elusive winter steelhead.  The river is very busy again this year with anglers travelling from all over the Island as well as the Lower Mainland and beyond to try to catch and release one of these magnificent creatures.  BC Outdoors magazine just named the Cowichan one of the top ten steelhead rivers in the province.

Watershed Governance in Action

POLIS Water Sustainability Project Fall 2014 Newsletter

Understanding the Cowichan Watershed Approach

On October 29th, 16 people from across the province gathered in the morning sunshine in Duncan, B.C. in preparation for a daylong tour of the Cowichan watershed on Vancouver Island. This governance-themed field trip was co-hosted by the WSP in partnership with the Cowichan Watershed Board (CWB) and the Canadian Freshwater Alliance.

Sewage outfall to be switched from river to ocean

Peter Rusland, Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, Sep 26, 2014

The sewage outfall for the greater Duncan area will likely move from the Cowichan River to a spot south of Salt Spring Island within the next 10 years.

Shifting the treated-sewage pipe — tentatively to Satellite Channel on a route still to be determined — is a commitment the North Cowichan/Duncan Joint Utilities Board made in its 49-year lease with Cowichan Tribes.

Estimated at $22 million, the project is expected to shield shellfish and Aboriginal bathing waters near the current outfall, North Cowichan officials say.

Two years of study needed before any move to raise Cowichan Lake weir

Peter Rusland, Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, Sept 17 2014

Rodger Hunter of the Cowichan Watershed Board tours the Cowichan Lake weirStoring more spring-runoff behind Cowichan Lake’s weir won’t win this summer’s battle against drought,  or probably next year’s either, officials indicate.

But last week’s Cowichan Valley Regional District decision to finally approve a seven-year-old recommendation that could lead to the raising of the weir may eventually help ensure reliable downstream water supplies for thirsty residents, Crofton mill owners, and fish habitat.

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