The CVRD, following the provincial methods, has set the drought level for the Cowichan Valley at Level 3 – Very Dry, based on the following conditions.

  • Snowpack – 7% of normal levels – equivalent to levels normally seen in late August
  • Rainfall – less than 40% of normal rainfall in the past 30 days for the east coast of Vancouver Island
    • North Cowichan – April rainfall 15.4 mm (22% of normal)
    • Shawnigan Lake – April rainfall 16.8 mm (24% of normal)
    • Lake Cowichan – April rainfall 46.4 mm (34% of normal
    • without significant rain in the next few days, May totals will be even lower than April’s.
  • Streamflow
    • Chemainus, Cowichan, and San Juan Rivers at the lowest levels on record for late May
  • Lake Level – Lake Cowichan is at 46% available storage, the lowest level for this date since the weir was built in 1957

The Province has raised the average drought level for Vancouver Island to Level 2 – Dry; however, local conditions within the Cowichan Valley show that the local drought conditions are more severe than in other parts of the Island.