The rain that has fallen in the drainage area of Cowichan Lake has not been enough to raise the level of the lake to a point where it’s safe to turn off pumps supplying water to the Cowichan River.
Brian Houle, Environmental Manager at Catalyst Crofton, says the decline in the lake’s level that began on April 30th has been reversed, but “a lot more rain is needed” before they can shut off the 20 pumps being used to maintain a water flow of 4.5 cubic metres per second into the Cowichan River.
The pumping began on the 13th of this month, and while more rain is forecast over the next few days it is not expected to be enough to consider shutting down the pumps any time soon.
Just days before the pumping began, the flow of water over the weir into the Cowichan River had dropped to 4.1 cubic metres per second but returned to the required 4.5 CMS once the pumps began operating.
The flow of water was reduced over the weir in Lake Cowichan at the end of June because of drought conditions beginning in mid-May.
Throughout the summer, the flow of water over the weir into the Cowichan River had been kept at 4.5 cubic metres per second, which is considered enough to support fish and other aquatic life and also allow salmon to migrate into the river.