Watershed Protection

WATER QUALITY FOR OUR FUTURE ARTICLE SERIES

A major challenge in the Comox Lake watershed is that it is a multi-use watershed with multiple owners. Along the shoreline, there are nine different categories of landowners or responsible jurisdictions. The watershed is a popular recreational destination for swimming, boating, fishing and hiking, along with active logging throughout the watershed. Most importantly, the watershed provides critical fish and wildlife habitat and hydroelectric power generation, and supplies drinking water to approximately 45,000 people in the Comox Valley.

Comox Lake Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) was accepted at the April 12, 2016 Comox Valley water commitee meeting. The WPP consists of the following key sections:

Helpful Information

Includes educational and background information related to riparian areas, pathogens, water quality objectives as well as several other topics discussed in the plan. In this way the WPP becomes a “stand alone” document that requires less cross- reference to other documents.

Watershed Ecology and History

Includes historical information mainly related to the extensive historical logging that has taken place in the Comox Lake watershed.

Risk Assessment

Using qualitative measures of likelihood and consequence the plan prioritizes the risks for the Comox Lake watershed.

Recommendations

Based on the prioritized risks the plan makes approximately fifty recommendations for the implementation of watershed protection.

Implementation of the Comox Lake WPP is the next step in the process of watershed protection planning. The plan includes both overarching recommendations as well as administrative recommendations. The watershed advisory group (WAG) will continue to have meetings and will play a key role in the implementation of the plan, following its adoption.