From the Watershed Board

Articles from the Cowichan Watershed Board

2016 Drought Update

Cowichan Watershed Board, May 28, 2016

(Duncan, BC) Due to a very warm dry spring, the Cowichan Watershed is experiencing the lowest water levels ever witnessed at this time. While we started the year with a healthier snowpack, the warm April weather melted it quickly.  We depend on the weir on Lake Cowichan to capture spring rains and run-off but it is not tall enough to hold adequate water to supply the river for the whole summer. The lake is now too low to sustain the recommended min. 7 cubic metres per second (cms) river flow rate through the summer unless significantly more rain falls through the season. As a result, permission has now been granted to reduce the river flow from the weir to 4.5 cms in an attempt to keep the river wetted throughout the summer. This has undesirable consequences for local ecology, recreation, and industry but overall it is believed to be preferable to letting the river run dry. Discussions and studies are in process to raise the weir on Cowichan Lake to help with this in future years and the Watershed Board is actively working to support this strategy.  

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).

CVRD approves Bylaw 3930 to create Cowichan River Watershed Management Service

Information Notice, Cowichan Watershed Board, September 10 2015

At its meeting on September 9, the Cowichan Valley Regional District Board of Directors approved "CVRD Bylaw No. 3930 – Cowichan River Watershed Management Service Establishment Bylaw, 2015," described as "A Bylaw to Establish and Operate a Service for Managing Water Quality and Quantity Within the Cowichan River Watershed."

BC Hydro donates $2000 to the Cowichan Water Conservation Challenge

Cowichan Watershed Board, August 24 2015

BC Hydro donates $2000 to the Cowichan Watershed BoardThank you to BC Hydro for helping to cover the material expenses for this summer's Cowichan Water Conservation Challenge, such as toilet leak test kits and outreach postcards.

Pictured here - Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro's Manager, Community Relations for Vancouver Island, presents a $2000 cheque to "Flo" and Cowichan Watershed Board member, Debra Toporowski.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - From the Watershed Board