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Letter: New weir going up to store water in lake

A new 167 cm high weir is now fully designed
letters

New weir going up to store water in lake

Re: “Run water line straight from lake, May 30.”

It's great to see people thinking about solutions to the low water levels in the Cowichan River! While we don’t support the suggestion of a pipe from Lake Cowichan (better to keep that water flowing in the river where it provides critical ecosystem needs), the call for raising lake levels to improve river flows is on the right track. Indeed, a strong public consensus arose from the 2018 water use planning process — we need to store more of the lake's naturally high water levels in the spring to offset the longer drier summers and lower snowpack typical for our region now. The current Cowichan Lake weir — a 97 cm high cement structure spanning the lake, visible from Saywell Park in Lake Cowichan — has done this for nearly 70 years, but it is no longer sufficient. The good news is that a new 167 cm high weir is now fully designed (shovel ready) and funded by federal and provincial dollars.

We encourage everyone to learn more about this important project for our region by marking your calendars to come for a free guided walk up on the weir’s spill gates, July 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Saywell Park. The tours are part of the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society’s 2024 Celebrating Water Festival. Find event details on Facebook by searching “Celebrating Water Festival 2024” and learn more about the weir replacement project anytime at www.cowichanlakeweir.ca.

Danni Paydli, executive director
Cowichan Watershed Board