Opinion

Our take: Cowichan, stop taking our water for granted

There is certainly some irony in the fact that while Cowichan officials were pointing to messing with the Cowichan River as a cause of the 2009 flood, they fixed the problem by messing with the river.

And for some more irony, consider this: while those same officials toured those dikes, the headline in that morning’s paper blared a warning about the river threatening to run dry.

In the wet West Coast of Canada, we tend to take our water for granted.

But life and Mother Nature often conspire to send the message that maybe we aren’t as smart as we think we are.

We can build weirs to store water, wells to tap it, and dikes to control its flow. But all we can do is steer things for awhile. Ultimately, there will be consequences and we will have to deal with them.

Don’t take this for “a stop meddling with the river” chastising from the pulpit.

The dikes and the weir are necessary. Without the dikes, flooding would be more frequent. Without the weir, the river may have run dry already. As long as we want people to live here, improvements to each are welcome.

We just wanted to make the point that our issues with water are an unavoidable consequence of the fact we have chosen to build Duncan on a flood plain and tap the Cowichan as a source for more and more human activity.

And it is important to remember pretty much any human activity can affect our water system, and we need to be careful how we use it.

Dry communities know this. Their residents take special care.

Cowichan needs to do the same.

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