Dry weather means low water levels in the Cowichan River. (John Mowat Steven photo)

Climate change effects obvious on Cowichan River, wildfire season

The Cowichan River now is lower here than it was in August last year

Climate change effects obvious on Cowichan River, wildfire season

This view is from the Silver Bridge looking down the Cowichan River, on May 12, 2019. I cross the river here most days of the week, and I watch the river, especially for water levels.

The Cowichan River now is lower here than it was in August last year, after the long extreme heat and drought of that summer. There might not be enough water in the river for newly-hatched salmon to swim to the ocean. That could be disastrous for populations of salmon and for the great diversity of creatures that depend upon them.

The winter snowpack, in the mountains around the head of the Valley, that in former years has melted gradually and fed water into streams, rivers and aquifers, is now at a fraction of what used to be normal levels.

In many regards, no-one knows what ‘normal’ will be any more.

Readers might have noticed that the wildfire season has started early this year. We have about five months of warmer, drier weather to come, before winter rains hopefully begin again.

We have a problem, people.

If one has doubts about the reality of Climate Change and the seriousness of its consequences, its effects on what we think we need, then one is not reading from the right sources.

John Mowat Steven


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