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.

Cowichan Valley Regional District vote allows raising weir

Andrea Rondeau, Cowichan Valley Citizen, September 12 2014

Water levels in the Cowichan River are criticalAs water levels continue to drop in the Cowichan River with no significant rainfall in sight, the Cowichan Valley Regional District board voted Wednesday to take action to try to prevent such a crisis in the future.

Seven years after it was completed, directors finally voted to endorse the Cowichan Basin Water Management Plan's last recommendation to store and/or access more water in Cowichan Lake during the winter and spring for use during the dry summer and fall months.

CVRD Taking Action to Resolve Long-Term Cowichan River Flow Problem

News Release, CVRD, 12 Sep 2014

Duncan, BC - The Cowichan Valley Regional District Board voted Wednesday night to endorse the  Cowichan  Basin  Water  Management  Plan's  recommendation  to  store  and/or  access sufficient  spring  runoff  in  Cowichan  Lake  to  sustain  river  flows  during  summer  and  fall. 

Completed  in  2007,  the  Cowichan  Basin  Water  Management  Plan  consists  of  89 recommendations  designed  to  help  ensure  a  reliable  water  supply  for  human  use,  thriving ecosystems, and a healthy economy.

Costumed hero urges Cowichan to become water conservation Avengers

John McKinley, Cowichan News Leader, July 16 2014

A caped crusader has emerged to save Cowichan from the clutches of this summer's drought.

The kickoff to the Cowichan Water Challenge Saturday was interrupted by the arrival of a hero clad in blue tights.

No, Phil Kent wasn't doing his Clark Kent imitation, it was Water Woman with a message for all citizens of Cowichan.

"Since I left the valley many years ago I have travelled the world. I was in Australia when I heard a biologist mention the wonderful work the Cowichan Watershed Board was doing and the grave situation our great river is facing this year. When I heard that, I knew I had to come home," she said, striding purposefully out the doors of Duncan city hall.

Low water in Cowichan River threatening fish, mill and summer fun

Sandra McCullough, Times Colonist, July 15 2014

The Cowichan River is getting so low there’s talk of pumping water over the weir at Cowichan Lake just to keep enough water downstream for spawning salmon, industry and a myriad of water users.

The water flow in the river over the last few weeks has dropped to five cubic metres per second from seven.


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