Call on Summer Flows – 16 Jul 2014

Subject: Minutes from weekly call July 16 2014
Attendance: Joe Saysell, Jacob Ellis (CVRD), Ray Demarchi, Keith Lawrence, Tim Kulchyski, Larry George, Brian Houle
General update (Brian)- lake level has begun to decline but in previous weeks, the rate of decline is very gradual.
As seen in the trend, within about a month it is possible that lake level will achieve the conditions experienced in 2003 which is still a big problem.
The need to reduce flows to 4.5 cms continues as the reduced flow increases the likelihood that that flow could be sustained until end of dry season.
An email update from North Cowichan (Clay Reitsma) clarified that the extension of the outfall pipe is to progress and is expected to be complete by end of day tomorrow.
A delay in flow reduction until that project is complete is understood.
Tim Kulchyski clarified that a meeting with District of North Cowichan (Clay Reitsma) along with various public health professionals was conducted on Monday.
Extra water sampling above and below JUB effluent discharge point will continue while the river flow is as low as it is.
Health review ongoing and related to both water quality concerns for Cowichan Tribes and the general public.
Cowichan Tribes is still concerned about any further reductions to the river flow.
Tim observed yesterday that the river flow at the Duncan Water Survey of Canada gauge was reading 3.65 cms, lower than previous weeks.
Clay is expected to coordinate a manual river flow measurement at the location where JUB outfall enters the main stem of the river.
A quick mass balance shows that given the discharge from Lake Cowichan is 5 cms and Catalyst draw rate is 1.8 cms and river flow below Catalyst river pump station is 3.65 cms indicates the tributaries to the river equate to a flow of about 0.5 cms.
In the drought of 2012, this same flow balance showed 0.5 cms inflow into river. A few weeks ago the inflow was 1.7 cms indicating a large reduction in recent days.
Joe Saysell confirmed that he is observing creeks are drying up and that they never dry up this early in the dry season.
In conclusion, Catalyst will delay the river flow reduction (from 5 to 4.5 cms) until after more discussion regarding human health impacts related to this reduction are understood.
The next opportunity for this discussion is during Friday meeting with CVRD or during regular weekly call next Wednesday.
Minutes by Brian Houle
Subject: Weekly update - conference call tomorrow
Lake level is only now beginning to drop after almost a month of near steady lake level.
While we are closing the gap on the difficult year of 2003, the lake is still far from adequate if drought conditions continue.
Weather forecast shows possibility of rain in coming 2 weeks but mostly hot and sunny.
Key agenda item is decision to move river flow down to 4.5 cms to conserve water.
From previous discussion, key action prior to making this change is to both extend JUB outfall into main stem of river and resolve health concerns regarding dilution factors for JUB outfall.

Document Date: 16 Jul 2014
Author: Rodger Hunter
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Type : Minutes