Crews are preparing to pump water from Lake Cowichan into the Cowichan River as the waterway continues to experience a severe drought.
Paper Excellence, the company that owns Catalyst Crofton, has been authorized by the province to open the Cowichan Lake Weir starting as early as Sept. 11, depending on rainfall.
Water will pump from the weir at a rate of approximately 4.5 cubic metres per second, which is roughly the current flow conditions of the Cowichan River.
Paper Excellence says water is being moved from the lake to preserve the river’s habitat.
“Catalyst Crofton has been collaboratively managing Cowichan River since 2002 with First Nations, local government and other key stakeholders,” said Bruce Eby, Catalyst Crofton general manager, in a release Wednesday.
“While curtailed, the mill’s water requirements are significantly reduced. However, we continue to work with our partners on our shared priorities of habitat protection of the Cowichan River and the water supply for the town of Crofton,” he said.
Water will be pumped from the lake until the fall, when water levels are expected to return to normal amid natural rainfall.