There was large crowd on hand for the Notice of Proposed Change of the Operating Rules for Water Stored in Cowichan Lake meeting held in Centennial Hall on Saturday March 9.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District is proposing a new water management regime known as a rule band. The proposed rule band would allow Cowichan Lake water levels to be held 20 cm above the current June and July lake levels — the top of the weir — until July 9, the latest day to begin a draw-down of the lake.
A second option would see the water level managed within the current lake level regime, but could see the beginning of the draw-down delayed until as late as July 31.
Both options would improve the chances of achieving the water licence requirement for a minimum seven cubic centimeters per second base flow released into the Cowichan River during the July to November period.
The public information meeting objectives were to provide information regarding the proposal to change the operating guidelines for water stored in Cowichan Lake, to provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the proposal and describe the process to notify the deputy comptroller, Bryan Symonds, of any objections and concerns regarding the proposal.
Youbou resident Darcy Lubin suggested building dams in the cowichan valley, which would be excellent for storing water particularly with the low snow-pack we have seen in years. His theory is that everyone will get what they want — humans and fish alike — a steady supply of water.
The answer to his question was that dams are an option but they need to be discussed further as there are positives and negatives to be looked at.
Noni Baanstra, who has waterfront property on the lake, says she has lost 11 trees and a quarter of an acre of her property is under water when the lake is the height it is now.
Cathy Willows, another waterfront landowner, asked who she should send the bill to for storing water on her private property.
There were a number of waterfront property owners who had many questions to ask about the proposal. It did not appear that they all had a chance to ask the questions they had come with, or received the answer they were looking for.
Please see page four and five for more comments on this subject and the March 9 meeting.