Moving Forward!

August is one of those months where most seem to take the time to vacation and enjoy friends and family. I also took some time to enjoy my kids and grandkids right here on Cowichan Lake. It is such a beautiful environment to relax and have some fun.

Now it’s back to work! I am really please to say that the Project has continued to progress on plan. A few highlights to share with you are that the survey results are ready to be published, that the preliminary conceptual engineering designs are starting to take shape and that part two of this project, the Cowichan Lake Shoreline Assessment work, has been awarded and work begins immediately.

Field work will begin mid September. This work will utilize a Professional Surveyor of BC to make visual observations, photograph and take some GPS measurements of current conditions of the existing shoreline. They will access the beach with a boat and work from the existing water level to the typical High-Water Mark. Those of you who live in the area will see a postcard in the mail describing this work and those who own lakefront property will receive a letter in the mail.

This shoreline assessment work will help us understand the potential impact(s) of raising the weir to the properties around the perimeter of the lake. Most people who live in the Cowichan Valley understand the affect of climate change and the necessity to raise the weir to ensure a healthy supply of water for our HERITAGE Cowichan River and all of it’s inhabitants (the fish)! Those who actually live on the lake they are trying to balance the between climate change, raising the weir and impact to their property. We hope to address this. Stay tuned.

July 21 – Update

Thank you to all who participated in the survey. I have looked at all the results and read all the feedback. There is quite a range of opinions and thoughts, however I found most to be positive and supportive. One thing I appreciate is trying to find the balance between ‘wants’ and costs. The other perspective is that this structure will be in place for the 50++ years so we do want it to have some appeal to the region for generations to come.

I’ll get back to you with some overall results and themes once I review your input with our key stakeholders (CVRD, Cowichan Tribes, Cowichan Watershed Board and Paper Excellence).

We just awarded the second key piece of work – Cowichan Lake Shoreline Assessment Study. This work will study today’s conditions and model future conditions. We hope to differentiate the impact the new weir would have on the shoreline from the impact of ongoing climate changes. Water levels and shorelines are not static systems – just a few thousand years ago this area was covered in ice! Modelling and assessing are not an exact science but with the latest evidence and best forecasting we will measure what the future will likely show us.