Sandra McCullough, Times Colonist, 31 Aug 2014
If there’s no significant rainfall in six weeks, the Cowichan River and those who depend on it will be in deep trouble.
Salmon waiting at the Cowichan Bay estuary will have to be captured and trucked upstream — if there’s any water up there to spawn in — leaving other viable stock stuck at the river mouth as prey for hungry seals. The Catalyst pulp mill at Crofton, which is North Cowichan’s biggest source of taxes and employs 578 people, could shut down indefinitely.
The river, flowing at less than two cubic metres a second, is a source of water and fish, and a symbol of life for Cowichan Tribes.
The City of Duncan gets its water untreated from pristine aquifers that are linked to the river. If the drought continues, the aquifers might also be adversely affected. Nobody knows, but there are fears that things might get worse before they get better.