Cowichan Lake currently has a lot more water that it had one year ago.
Brian Houle, environmental manager for Catalyst Crofton which operates the weir at the lake, said the very wet and snowy weather recently has had the expected impact on the lake.
“The lake level is for the second time in January approaching the annual high lake level and that is very helpful for the watershed,” he said.
“The snow pack in the local mountains has also accumulated in recent weeks. The Cowichan watershed snowpack measured at Heather Mountain snow pillow now shows more snow than last year on this day. 2020 will not be as challenging as 2019, but it is still much too early to judge what the coming dry season will be like.”
Catalyst had to resort to pumping water into the Cowichan River over its weir at Cowichan Lake from Aug. 29 to mid September to maintain water flows in the river after the dry summer, one of the driest on record.
It was the first time the company, which depends on water from the Cowichan River to run its pulp and paper mill operations in Crofton, has had to take such action since the weir was first constructed in the 1950s.