Mill and sewage dilution are the water hogs

Water restrictions are to save the river? Nope. Water restrictions are to keep the storage tanks in the valley full.

It’s always fun to look through the letters to the editor here. I’m always surprised to see another comment about the subject of burning something. You would think at some point people would think it’s time to move on. Reading and writing about malls seem to be the latest.

Usually written at the top of the letter pages are wise words from the editor. The latest comment about showering more quickly and avoiding water wastefully flowing from the faucet in the morning caused me to add my two cents to the paper.

While yes, it’s a noble goal to save valuable water resources, I think it’s maybe a bit of a stretch to believe I’m going to save water for the fish in the Cowichan River if I and everyone else using water from the systems of North Cowichan and Duncan, shower less. Simply the fact is, it’s not true.

The truth is, if the mill at Crofton stopped removing water and the sewage treatment facilities discharging into the river were stopped, there would be lots of water for the fish and humans to shower with. Water restrictions are to save the river? Nope. Water restrictions are to keep the storage tanks in the valley full. So we can have lots of water available to put out all those fires people write about. If we all decided to water our lawns all day long, we would be overloading the delivery system. More, larger reservoirs and piping, or fewer people, would eliminate the need for restrictions. We have lots of water for humans and fish, not enough for paper mills and sewage dilution.

The solutions are pretty straightforward; stop dumping lightly treated sewage into the river and raise the weir at Lake Cowichan. Even with those solutions implemented, there will still be watering restrictions every summer.

But maybe there would be no editorials suggesting we shower quicker.

I have to go cut down a tree now. It might be a cold winter and I want to be ready.

 

Ron Irwin

Duncan