These parts (Weir Design and Shoreline Assessment) of the Project officially end today. These two pieces of work help provide key pieces of the puzzle as we move forward to make a final proposal. The weir design gives us an idea of feasibility, time to construct and approximate costs of the new capital works. It also utilizes the latest regulations and earthquake codes. The new design, most importantly, will allow for more water storage to ensure flow throughout our longer, hotter and dryer summers which will give maximum opportunity for the health of the river and all the fish and fauna that rely upon it. Another key aspect of the new design is that it maximizes the opportunity for fish to pass to and from river and lake.
The shoreline assessment provides a good snap shot in time as we have captured today’s conditions by looking at the natural boundary, lidar data, orthophotography, GIS, bathymetry data, etcetera and also reviewing the past 70 years of data. By using this as a base, and understanding the impact of a raised weir and using projections of future climate change we are able to give a property by property impact assessment. Each property is truly unique and that makes it difficult to summarize singular conclusions for the whole 110km shoreline of the lake or for the 867 properties as a collective.
This work will inform stakeholders, owners, decision makers and approvers in the years to come as the ‘new weir project’ continues to a conclusion.
These reports and presentations of these reports are available on this website. See the main menu above for the different pages that contain links to the reports and presentations.
The good news is that there has been a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which guides the ongoing collaboration of Cowichan Tribes, Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Catalyst Paper Corporation (a Paper Excellence Company) to achieve long term water supply. The MOU allows them to work collaboratively on a shared purpose which is to continue to maintain the health of the Cowichan River watershed with a goal to eventually construct a new weir. A DRAFT water license application for conservation purposes has just been submitted to the Provincial Water Regulators. This will allow the province to formally begin to review the information and provide guidance to the partners regarding next steps and expectation. The regulators process for proceeding was outlined in the July 14th presentation.