Council outlines ‘drastic’ water situation

Council discusses ways to educate public on water restriction and management

Lake Cowichan council will attempt to educate the public as much as possible in the weeks ahead, as the drastic situation of the local watershed continues to occupy heavy discussions.

That theme continued at July’s Public Works Committee meeting at the town hall after recent news of alarmingly low water levels and flow in the Cowichan River, which has prompted fears of the life cycle of salmon come the fall.

As a result, the Town of Lake Cowichan is calling for more detailed and caring effort on water consumption from everyone going forward.

“If we keep going the way we are going, we will be pumping water from the lake into the river,” said Coun. Bob Day. “It’s very scary and drastic measures are important. If it means brown lawns, then so be it.”

Coun. Frank Hornbrook who chaired the meeting suggested less frequent watering of places around town, but did not wish to criticize the work of superintendent Nagi Rizk and the public works team.

“The roundabout at King George last week was watered on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Why can’t it just be watered once a week? That would keep things moist still. The town has to start setting an example,” said Hornbrook.

Coun. Jayne Ingram agreed.

“We are having a problem due to the hot weather we are getting and going to be getting. As leaders we have to take the initiative,” she said. “We have to set an example, our lawns should not be the priority right now. I invested in water barrels.

“Also, we have planted flowers that need watering right now when we should have been putting down rocks or something instead.”

Mayor Ross Forrest agrees the town has to do something and take the bull by the horns.

“I agree we should be doing something,” said the mayor. “We can be reducing. Cutting off 100 per cent is not the answer. I don’t water my lawn at all. We need to constantly be sending the message out there. We’ve got to continue to talk about the problem and educate the public. Everybody wants to conserve, but nobody wants everything to die. The voluntarily approach I think is a good idea. We are metering, so if people overuse they are paying for that. That’s probably helping already.”