Dear CVRD Board of Directors:
Current early-drought conditions across Cowichan are a likely harbinger for our annual climate change-fueled river and water crises.
Our long-promised new and higher-volume Cowichan Lake weir is still basically talk and planning but not reality.
We needed that weir years ago to manage Cowichan River flows. Mother Nature has thankfully saved our precious heritage river, its priceless salmon habitat, its rare ecosystem and its enviable tourism values.
The Chemainus and Koksilah rivers sadly share the same dire fate as the Cowichan.
Will this be the year our rivers die? Hopefully not.
I implore CVRD directors to start building the weir this year; apply for and assume the Cowichan River’s two provincial water permits as soon as legally possible; ban environment-degrading tubing on the Cowichan; study, enact, and enforce regulations preventing septic and farm run-off into our rivers; and work with the valley’s local governments to install and enforce (with stiff fines) year-round water restrictions including residential, commercial and agricultural uses.
Indeed, we need local crisis management befitting our tragic eco-crises.
Yours in ecology,
Peter W. Rusland,