Director’s Meeting 7pm, Monday December 2, 2013
Dance Room at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre
- Rumour check
- Status of Watershed Management Initiatives: organization, partnerships, funding proposals
- Land Assembly for the Future of Shawnigan Village
- Sewage Treatment developments for Shawnigan Village
- Recent water testing efforts in the South watershed area
- The CVRD 2014 Budget Development (Regional grants and senior salary questions)
- Civic Organization Reports
- Others as needed.
What are we trying to do for the Shawnigan Watershed?
It is very important that we keep a clear eye on what is being put in place to give our community a greater say in the management of our watershed. We are following the lead of the Cowichan Watershed Board in building our own version of local influence, but we are attempting to do it more rapidly in the face of accelerating change in watershed conditions. We started the process in 2012 with the Watershed Roundtable, but quickly found out that the critical government agencies lacked the capacity to participate as thoroughly as they did when the Cowichan Roundtable was formed 13 years ago. We moved then to create the Shawnigan Basin Society so that we had a responsible vehicle to receive and account for public and foundation funds. They in turn are in the process of creating the Shawnigan Basin Authority, our version of the Cowichan Watershed Board, to give the community a strong civic voice to deliver our views on watershed management. We need to influence local and senior government agencies more vigorously than we have in the past. This brief summary is the systematic ten-point program that we are pursuing. It is a work in progress that depends on many hands to accomplish.
Ten Steps to Gain Influence over Watershed Management
1. Know and map our physical watershed in detail - climate, hydrology, geology and ecology
2. Know and map the human uses of the watershed in detail – industrial, commercial, transportation, settlement, institutional, recreational
3. Assess the carrying capacity of the watershed for human uses, particularly water, so that we know what and where we need to conserve and what we can use sustainably
4. Develop a practical watershed master plan that reflects the physical and development reality and supports sustainable human uses into the future at a scale we want for our community
5. Prepare the civic organization that will allow our community to participate with local and senior government agencies and private landowners in the decisions that affect watershed management
6. Provide basic funding for our civic organization so that it has the capacity to do the necessary research, engage the public, do the planning and bring in outside funds to help accomplish the projects identified in the watershed master plan
7. Monitor and report on the state of the watershed and track changes resulting from our work and from outside influences
8. Engage a team of technical experts to help us with the details
9. Work with all community interests, public and private, to develop the partnerships needed to shape the future uses of the watershed over time so that we can achieve ecosystem health and a safe water supply
10. Work with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to gain legislative support for local engagement in watershed management as part of the modernization of the Water Sustainability Act
This is an ambitious undertaking and a lot of work. There will be differences of opinion and debate every step of the way as we learn together, discuss alternatives and choose among options. Shawnigan will achieve success by pulling together as a team. We can do it, because it is in our best interests to do so.
Shawnigan Ecological Governance
Environmental Appeal Board grants the stay requested by the Shawnigan Resident's Association and the Cowichan Valley Regional District
One of the key reasons for granting the stay is the contamination risks of such highly toxic materials such as the furans and dioxins that are allowed by the permit, their persistence in the environment and the inability to remediate their presence should they reach the aquifer or surface water. While the stay decision document is a long read it is worth taking the time to read it in full as the reasons for both the appeal and the stay are well documented, the uncertainties in the operation are clearly identified and the SIA arguments and interests fully stated. As the stay decision points out there are further tests of the security of the underlying bedrock in the quarry area that were required before the commencement of operations, not all of which have been completed. Results of diamond drilling of new test well bores have not yet been reported publicly, tests that are crucial to the claim that the site is impervious to water transport. Stay tuned on this matter and in the meantime congratulations to the SRA and CVRD legal teams for a job well done.
Bruce Fraser, Area Director