The Shoreline Assessment Project is wrapping up and is essentially complete. We will be sharing the results at a virtual public meeting on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 6:00pm. See the TAB on the home page for details.
This project and the Weir Design project are just two pieces of the bigger puzzle and does not mean the construction can begin. There are still the Provincial processes for a water license application, reviews and approvals. And then the funding needs finalizing and contracts need to be put in place. We are still a few years away.
As you can imagine, storing an extra 70cm (27″) of water for part of the year is going to have some impact. There are 876 unique individual properties around the lake. The reason I use the word ‘unique’ is because there are no two properties that are identical. Even properties that are directly beside each other have their own characteristics like where the residence is located, whether or not property titles reach into the lake, where structures and docks are positioned, what type of vegetation exist, beach materials, etc. We have attempted to look at the lake as a whole and to also understand each individual property. The amount and type of impact varies greatly around the lake. When we share our results with you it will be with an overall perspective as we just do not have the time to get into every detail. Having said that, we will make available, through the Property View tool, an Impact Assessment ‘report card’ for each property. We hope this will give you an insight into your particular situation and give you enough data to give you an understanding of what it means to you. The plan view and cross-sectional view are also important tools to give it context and scale.
The extra 70 cm of water being stored won’t alter the range of water levels we have seen in the past, however it will change how long water will reside at a particular level. It’s this change in ‘time at various levels’ that will create changes along the shoreline.
Climate continues to change. We’ve experience longer, hotter dryer summers and warmer, wetter winters and those trends will continue and even become more severe. Even without a new weir our work concludes that we will see changes to how long water will stay at various levels and we will see lake levels much lower than in the past. The ‘System’ of climate and the earth’s response, and in particular our Lake’s response, is very dynamic and always changing and evolving. We have an opportunity to adapt to these changes in the Cowichan Valley by raising the weir. We’ve done our best to understand what those changes may be to the perimeter of Cowichan Lake. The final reports will be made available on this website later this month.