BC’s 2016 endangered rivers list targets key waterways by region

News Release, Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, March 17, 2016

The list highlights the Seymour, Fraser, Cowichan, Thompson, Peace and Skeena Rivers and Shawnigan Creek

This year’s most endangered rivers list for British Columbia, compiled since 1993 by the 100,000 member Outdoor Recreation Council (ORC) and based on public input, details the province’s most imperiled rivers by region, including the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the interior and the north.

In the Lower Mainland, the Seymour River has been impacted by a 50,000 cubic meter rock slide that occurred in December, 2014 and now blocks the return of key early coho and summer steelhead stocks. In addition, this blockage has had broader ecosystem impacts in that wildlife, such as bears, mink, otters and eagles are being severely impacted due to diminishing fish stocks. Last fall, under the admirable direction of the Seymour Salmonid Society, it took 2500 volunteer hours to net and hand-carry fish above the slide, an option that is not sustainable.

Water Woman Lesson Plans for Teachers

UNIT INTRODUCTION

Hello and thank you for exploring ways that you might choose to engage your classroom(s) in discussions and/or activities to promote water conservation!

The Cowichan Valley has experienced severe droughts in many recent years, resulting in residents, industry, First Nations, local government, stewardship groups and others coming together to get serious about using our water more wisely. In July 2014, “Water Woman” magically appeared to help!

Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin - April 1st, 2016

Special Note for Cowichan Watershed Board readers:

This report from the River Forecast Centre is intended for folks from all regions of British Columbia. But it contains encouraging news for those of us who live on Vancouver Island and particularly, in the Cowichan Watershed: snowpack across Vancouver Island is at about 99% of normal. Compare to last year, when it was about 15% of normal at this time.

This is the first year for the new Heather Mountain Automated Snow Pillow, so there is no historical data which is useful for comparisons. However, the snow pack chart at the left, and the nearby Jump Creek chart shown below give a good sense of the state of Heather Mountain and the Cowichan Watershed Snowpack.

The two charts below, for data up to April 6, 2016, illustrate the situation. Visit our Snowpack page for more information.

Jump Creek and Heather Mtn snowpack comparison

With perfect timing, the Cowichan Watershed Board's Speakers Series for April 28 is with David Campbell, Head of the BC River Forecast Centre. He will be speaking about all of this, and much more, beginning at 7:00 pm, at Lecture Room 140 at the VIU Cowichan Campus. Find out more, at our Speakers Series page.

Cowichan Progress Marks World Water Day

Media Release, Cowichan Watershed Board, March 21, 2016

(Duncan) Cowichan Watershed Board is marking the UN’s World Water Day on March 22 by congratulating local residents and water suppliers for significant water-saving progress in the Cowichan Water Challenge in 2015. The Challenge engages most of the region’s major water suppliers in a collective race to reduce home water use by 20% over four years (2014-2018).

Date: 

12 Jan 2016

Author: 

J.D.C. Craig & T. Kulchyski

Publisher: 

BC Conservation Foundation & Cowichan Tribes

Study led by B.C. scientist first to map Earth's hidden groundwater

Laura Kane, Canadian Press, November 16 2015

VANCOUVER - Less than six per cent of groundwater in the upper two kilometres of the Earth is renewable within a human lifetime, a new study led by a British Columbia scientist reveals.

Tom Gleeson of the University of Victoria led an international group of hydrologists in producing the first data-driven estimate of the world's total supply of groundwater. The study, published in "Nature Geoscience," found the essential resource is being used up far too quickly.

Plenty of demand puts stress on critical Island waterway

Cowichan River is the lifeblood of this part of Vancouver Island, but it has been diminished by six dry summers in 12 years

Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun, September 21, 2015
 
Rodger Hunter leans on the rail of Greendale Trestle and points to the glossy green river spilling across a broad outflow from Cowichan Lake before funnelling into narrows just upstream from the old railway crossing repurposed as a pedestrian bridge.

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