Editorial: Water restrictions not crazy, even now

It really shouldn’t be any skin of anybody’s nose at this point to restrict their watering

Are you still reaching for your gloves and scarf when you head outdoors?

Maybe you’ve even donned a tuque because, while yes, we’ve just finished April, it’s felt more like February.

Many people were rather taken aback when the Citizen posted on our Facebook page that we have now moved into Stage 1 water restrictions. We’ve certainly had more liquid sunshine than, well, actual sunshine last month, or so it seems at least.

But no matter what our frozen fingers are telling us, we are moving through spring (the beautiful pink cherry tree blossoms that line a section of Canada Avenue come and gone, believe it or not). According to Environment Canada we’re looking at a hotter summer than normal, too.

So while only the very bravest (or is that foolhardy) of us have pulled the shorts, dresses and sandals from the closet in 2017, we can’t ignore that fact that after the daffodils and tulips finish blooming for another year, we could well be facing down the drought conditions that have plagued the Cowichan Valley in the last few years.

It really shouldn’t be any skin of anybody’s nose at this point to restrict their watering to the designated days and morning and evening hours. Let’s face it, nobody’s watering anything anyway as nature is providing that service without all the hassle at least every other day. Even if we wish it wouldn’t. Everything’s soggy right now, not parched.

But the water restrictions are a good reminder that’s very likely to change in the very near future.

With possibly dire consequences.

In Friday’s Citizen we reported on how, in an attempt to save water in Cowichan Lake to feed a parched Cowichan River in September, water flow into the river was restricted (at the Cowichan weir) early. This had the unintended consequence of killing off a significant portion of the fish smolts in the river, something we will feel the effects of for years to come.

For the first time ever pumps were installed last summer to flow water over the weir at Cowichan Lake when lake levels dropped too far to surmount the barrier on their own.

Water conservation is by far the least invasive, expensive and destructive thing we can do to help preserve not just the Cowichan River, but all of our important fresh water sources.