Create Koksilah Lake to preserve water for summer
Re: Water in Koksilah River critically low.
In the Cowichan, we have experienced for many years now water shortages one way or the other. While the Cowichan River has the advantage of a large body of water, the Cowichan Lake at its head, the Koksilah River does not.
So, it seems to be the logical solution to create a large body of water at the beginning of the Koksilah River, the Koksilah Lake.
I have the advantage of being blissfully unaware of any geological and hydrological challenges this might entail. And of course there is the disturbance of the egg-laying grounds for salmon. Now this may seem a hair-brained idea, but given the fact that the climate keeps warming up and we get longer and drier summers, there will be a time when this is just the solution we are looking for.
Let’s look at doing nothing: water levels will be too low for fish to survive in summer, the trickle of water will warm up too much and become a sludge of algae, farmers in the area will get the order to not extract any water from the ever lowering aquifer and therefore cease to exist, if forest fires will break out we will have no water to fight them and of course there is no more river left to enjoy for recreational activities in summer.
A well designed large lake with a weir that can be lowered as needed would counteract all these issues and keep the river flowing even during the driest of summers. Yes, there is the flooding of some forest land and as I mentioned before there will be disturbance for the existing fish population, but planing ahead for the next 100 years, it’s the smaller one of the problems we are facing. Financing? Let’s use the proposed funds to reinstate the railroad and direct them to the creation of the Koksilah Lake.
So, how do we do it? I don’t know, but someone has to kick off the idea. Once enough citizens call for change, our governments, local and provincial will have to follow. This is going to be lots of fun for the politicians and leaders of the future.