Disposal of wastewater off the table as far as watershed management?

I cannot believe with $24 million in support — not one reference to the imminent pollution challenge.


Disposal of wastewater off the table as far as watershed management?

Thank you for publishing Robert Barron’s article “Feds pump $24.2 million into flood, drought mitigation in Cowichan watershed”, on the front and A13 pages of the Nov. 12, 2020 issue of the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

This announcement by the federal government comes a week after Clay Reitsma, North Cowichan’s senior manager of engineering, presented four options for a 13-kilometre wastewater disposal pipe into Satellite Channel.

The federal minister of infrastructure and communities supporting watershed plans this week makes no reference to the challenge facing the Cowichan region Joint Utilities Board. The announcement of generous federal support for flood and drought mitigation appears to be blind to a closely related issue — the disposal of liquid wastewater.

For these two initiatives, revealed in subsequent weeks in the Cowichan Valley Citizen, not referencing each other is difficult for me to understand. Why did Robert Barron not share cross references for these two obviously related issues?

The Cowichan Tribes are so very involved in both watershed issues and are contributing extensively to both. Should Cowichan Tribes and the rest of the Cowichan Valley citizenry be asking for more attention to the whole problem of water management in the Cowichan Valley? Who else sees the big picture for watershed management?

I cannot believe with $24 million in support and Cowichan Tribes partnering — not one reference to the imminent pollution challenge. It is as if water flow in the Cowichan River is more important than the slow death of the delta and the ocean waters in the vicinity. Just because the federal government is not prosecuting municipal sewage dumping into water courses until 2040 does not justify the Cowichan Valley continuing its obvious miscarriage of environmental justice.

The primary treatment lagoons on Cowichan Tribes lands at the mouth of the Cowichan and Koksilah rivers as the solution to a growing metropolitan wastewater treatment challenge is unacceptable!

Furthermore, good water for the Cowichan region requires 10 times the $20 million in federal economic support offered.

Sincerely interested in better water,

Bruce L. Clarke

Cowichan Bay


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