Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Communicating the ‘New Normal’ in the Cowichan Region

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Warmer, Wetter Winters;
Longer, Drier Summers

Summer drought and winter flooding are the ‘new normal’ in the Cowichan region, and are putting water supply and the regional ecosystem under extreme stress. To foster long-term, strategic water preparedness the CVRD has launched a website that is intended to provide the community with easy, clear information and tools that make adapting to the ‘new normal’ easier.

To Learn More:

The Cowichan Valley chapter in Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is 14 pages and is organized in six sections. To download a PDF copy and read the complete story, click on Convening for Action in Cowichan Region.

To download a copy of the entire 158-page Beyond the Guidebook 2015, click on this link:

Cowichan_NewNormal website

Water Balance Actions

The CVRD’s New Normal initiative illustrates what putting ‘water balance thinking’ into action looks like from a communications perspective. The branding for the New Normal uses images and words that inform and educate, with a focus on practical actions that emphasize what is possible: Drought Smart, Flood Smart and Smart Tools.

Regional Climate Adaptation Initiative

The amount of water entering and exiting the region each year is not changing; instead what is changing is how and when water arrives.

NewNormalCowichan is a regional adaptation initiative led by CVRD in partnership with the communities that comprise the Cowichan Region.

Living the new normal means using only as much water as needed to minimize the impacts of drought, and getting better at storing water (including in the ground) so that the region has enough to support the ecosystem and economy year round. And it means being aware of the risks and being prepared for flooding.

Smart tools, such as the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners and the Agricultural Water Demand Tool, make adapting to the new normal easier for homeowners, business owners and farmers.

Moving Towards a Water Balance Culture

Jon Lefebure_2015_120p“The summer dry season has extended on both ends and we can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to keep our watersheds healthy,” states Jon Lefebure, CVRD Board Chair and Mayor, District of North Cowichan. “Our region and each of us individually needs to adopt new ‘water smart’ management practices.’s main message is that we all have a part to play in establishing a culture of water conservation.”

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