Editorial: We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by conserving water

It’s time to start considering before you haul out the power washer for any reason

What are you going to do to conserve water, starting now?

That’s the question that should be on everyone’s mind, with the province announcing Friday that Vancouver Island is already experiencing Level 3 drought conditions. To put that into perspective, Level 4 is the highest the scale goes.

And, as meteorologists predicted, we have not been having a Junuary (January weather in June). We can look forward to much of the same in the forecast this summer, with B.C. looking at a hot, dry season.

Right here at home the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society has already been out scouring the drying tributaries to Cowichan Lake in a bid to rescue as many salmon fry as possible. They’ve commented on how low the water is already, and how some areas that normally have fry are barren. It’s becoming an annual thing for them, the need to rescue fry from dry creekbeds, streams and rivers. We don’t want to know what will happen to our fish populations should they cease their rescue efforts.

The executive director of the Cowichan Watershed Board, Tom Rutherford, warns that the water situation in Cowichan Lake is “dire”. Water levels are such that they’re anticipating having no water storage left as soon as early July. The Crofton mill, which owns and operates the weir at the lake that controls the flow of water into the Cowichan River, can use pumps to get water into the river for awhile, but there are limits.

If you haven’t started your own water conservation efforts yet this year, it’s time to do it — before we reach a critical point. Municipalities are likely to step in with further restrictions. If you hadn’t heard, many residents are already under Stage 1 watering restrictions, which kick in annually for the Municipality of North Cowichan, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, City of Duncan, Town of Lake Cowichan, Mill Bay Water District and Cowichan Bay Water District on May 1. This is the lowest level. We do not want to get to Stage 3, but with the drought announcement, it’s likely restrictions will be moving to at least Stage 2 in the near future.

So it’s time to start considering before you haul out the power washer for any reason, leave the hose running while you wash the car (something you should train yourself out of all year long), or wash the sidewalk. You may wish you could get all that water back later. Other easy changes include not leaving the tap running while washing dishes or brushing your teeth, and collecting grey water or rainwater for your garden.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain with conservation.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rod Peters resigns as mayor of Lake Cowichan

Byelection expected in the fall

Cowichan RCMP looking for someone who shone laser at aircraft

Several instances reported over Cowichan Valley

Cowichan’s Waldon Park ready for Gord Closson Classic

the Gord Closson Fall Classic will kick off its second half-century this August 21-23

Sonia Furstenau column: MCFD needs overhaul of requirements for social workers

BCASW advocating for mandatory registration for social workers with B.C. College of Social Workers.

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read