Drought will be a part of the ‘new normal’ in the Cowichan region, and is putting our water supply under extreme stress. These conditions have serious implications for our economy and ecology, but the good news is that there are practical, effective solutions that our region as a whole and each of us individually can take to adapt to this new reality. The first step is to change our thinking around water. The new normal is water scarcity, not water abundance, and all actions must flow from this reality. We also need to prepare ourselves for tough conditions and decisions in order to protect our water supply.
The CVRD is leading the response at the regional level, working in partnership with our communities. Together we are developing a long-term, strategic water preparedness plan to make sure our water supply is protected. We are laying the groundwork for larger solutions such as increasing our capacity to store water during wet periods to make sure there is enough to get us through the dry periods, building flood management systems to minimize damage, and working with key sectors such as agriculture to ensure they have the tools and resources to support us in the future.
At the personal level, each of us can do our part by being DroughtSmart and FloodSmart – and taking advantage of the many SmartTools designed to make living the new normal easier. With a little bit of effort you can help keep our water supply and quality of life intact.
There are small things you can do to help our region better manage water, including becoming more aware of your watershed. Together we can ‘live the new normal’ of our limited water supply and continue to enjoy all the benefits of living here.