Dam solution for water woes

Duncan – More Canadians are becoming aware of the importance of fresh water. There is growing concern about the four years of continuing drought in California with fear of a megadrought developing. It is not only Californians who are concerned but also we who depend on fruits and vegetables grow in that state.

Canada is rich in fresh water. It has 20 per cent of the global fresh water resources. However, there is a growing demand to export our water and an accompanying fear of the long-term implications of this exporting. Once bulk water exports are authorized, it will be difficult to reduce this volume of water exports to meet increasing Canadian needs.

In the Cowichan Valley, managing the water in the Lake Cowichan watershed for the next 100 years is an increasingly important requirement. Consideration is now being given to raising the weir at Lake Cowichan by 29 cm to meet the minimum current summer requirements I suggest that this need to store more water in Lake Cowichan be used to study the local water system, including the Lake Cowichan watershed. This would involve a review of the range of water generating capacities of the watershed (dependent on the amount of snow and rain) and the costing of various height options for increasing the level of the weir at Lake Cowichan. Now is the time to go for the solution of a dam rather than tinkering with raising the level of the weir. It is time that a formal study be initiated to develop and manage the Lake Cowichan watershed for the long term.

Gerry Masuda