The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), located on the southern end of Vancouver Island, is investigating opportunities to maintain adequate water flows on the Cowichan River, which has experienced an increasing number of drought-like spells during past summer and fall months.

Several options have been identified by the regional district’s review thus far, including raising the weir at Cowichan Lake, dredging the upper river, installing pumps, or a combination of these measures. The district will have to decide on a tactic by April 15 in order to secure funding through the federal gas tax fund. Depending on the preferred solution, the project may cost as much as $10 million.

“We’re looking for a practical, cost-effective solution to ensure adequate river flows to the end of the dry season,” said CVRD chair Jon Lefebure. “We’re fortunate that the Cowichan River watershed receives an abundant supply of water annually. Our challenge is to maintain that supply during the increasingly dry summer months.”

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