Unfortunately, it has become a summer tradition in the Town of Lake Cowichan, as the weir is reducing the flow of water, starting today.
This summer has seen the tenth Cowichan Valley drought in the last twenty years and Catalyst Paper, who operates the weir, is reducing flow from seven cubic metres a second to six point three by the end of today.
Graham Kissack is the VP of Environmental, Health and Safety and Corporate Social Responsibility with Catalyst Paper and he says reducing the flow by one and a half cubic metres a second is an expectation over the next few days.
The flow level was decreased from seven to six point eight cubic metres per second this morning.
Kissack says a working group, made up of many community partners ensures the flow reductions won’t impact salmon stocks.
That group includes special interest stakeholders, federal and provincial regulators, First Nations experts, along with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
By Thursday, the flow level is expected to be five and a half cubic metres a second and, if needed, the flow rate will be reduced to four and a half cubic metres per second in August and hold for the rest of the summer.
Flow rates (seven cubic metres a second before any reduction):
July 17 (AM): 6.80
July 17 (PM): 6.30
July 18: 5.80
July 19: 5.50
If the weather remains dry and lake levels remain low
August 1: 5.o
August 2: 4.5