South Cowichan Watershed Planning

We All Use Water . . . 
We all use water—for drinking, bathing, watering the garden, and doing laundry. Water is essential for swimming and boating; for growing forests; for agriculture; for waste treatment; and for industry. Fish and other wildlife also depend on water to survive. But is there is enough for all our needs, both now and in the future?

In recent dry years, many residents of the South Cowichan area have experienced declining water levels in their wells. Discussions with local well drillers and the province have indicated a growing concern for groundwater (aquifer) health.

As the fastest growing area in the region, we want to ensure that the water our communities will need now and in the future continues to be available and of the highest quality.

WorleyParsons and Westland Resource Group were jointly retained by the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) to undertake a preliminary water plan study of the South Cowichan region. This water plan study was designed to provide CVRD with the tools necessary to develop a water management framework
for the region that will maintain its unique hydrological and ecological values while supporting appropriate kinds and scales of human activities.

South Cowichan Water Plan

 More than 17,000 people currently live in the South Cowichan communities of Cobble Hill, Mill Bay, Malahat, Shawnigan Lake Village, and Cowichan Bay, and are contained within 7,477 housing units. Depending on the extent of future development, the 2036 population could range from 22,000 to 32,000. It is important to recognize that global phenomena, such as climate change and economic fluctuations, increase the uncertainty associated with projections of future growth in the South Cowichan area. The communities of Shawnigan, Mill Bay and Cowichan Bay joined and approved the development of a South Cowichan Water Management function to carry out the work of the strategy. Click here to view the full report by Worley Parsons.

Click here to view the full report by Worley Parsons.

Or access the report in parts:
  • Part 1 - Introduction and Environmental Setting
  • Part 2 - Human Setting, Water Use & Demand and Water Supply & Management
  • Part 3 - Terms of Reference for Water Management Plan and Study References
  • Part 4 - Appendix 1
  • Part 5 - Appendices 2 and 3
Shawnigan Lake