The Cowichan Valley Regional District says a decision by the Environmental Appeal Board is good news as we face another potentially dry summer.

The Board has OK’d new operating rules for the Cowichan Lake weir the CVRD has wanted since 2012, after small group of lakeside property owners went to the Board to block the changes.

The CVRD can now hold back water on the lake earlier in the year, and use other strategies to ensure there’s enough in the Cowichan River to protect fish populations, and avoid closures at the Catalyst mill.

“We are pleased that the EAB recognized the greater public benefit of enhancing the flexibility of water storage on Cowichan Lake,” says CVRD Board Chair Jon Lefebure. “This decision allows lake outflows to be controlled in a more proactive manner which will help to maintain adequate river flows during the dry periods of late summer and fall.”

Environment Canada confirms last month was the among the driest Mays on record.