Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Service 


Drinking water and watershed management have consistently been identified as priority issues by residents. From 2017 through the spring of 2018, the CVRD asked the community for its input on the role of local government in addressing drinking water and watershed protection in the region. 

Referendum question:

Are you in favour of the Cowichan Valley Regional District adopting "CVRD Bylaw No. 4202 - Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Service Establishment Bylaw, 2018" to support regional programs related to drinking water and watershed protection?

The Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Service would allocate funds as follows:

  • $494,000 (66%) would be dedicated to the implementation of integrated water and watershed protection strategies, monitoring and data gathering, leveraging grants and partnership programs with other  levels of governments, stewardship groups and others to meet objectives.
  • $256,000 (34%) to build internal technical capacity to integrate water management into environmental planning, land use decisions, education and outreach. This is a key component of ensuring knowledge and emerging information is integrated into designing a positive future.

How it works:

Without a clear mandate, CVRD staff have limited time and resources to provide support to region wide water and watershed management. What is needed now is a mandate to move beyond initiatives and into programs and implementation. If passed, the proposed service would enable the development of specific watershed management plans that would characterize risks to water supply and water quality. This would inform land use planning and growth patterns as well as informing infrastructure and water utility needs across the region. Where an existing or future risk is identified, prioritized actions would be designed to address those issues, such as flood protection or emergency water supply plans.


  • A regional service with benefits to both electoral areas and municipalities
  • Better land management decisions based on water resources inventory and monitoring data
  • Partnerships with all levels of government, stakeholders and communities
  • Protection of water through monitoring, planning and prevention
  • Stewardship and conservation tools and information for residents and businesses 
  • Strategic and proactive climate adaption measures to stay ahead of challenges associated with a changing climate
  1. Kate Miller

    Manager, Environmental Services