COURTENAY, B.C. – The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) wants your input on the Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan.

The CVRD is inviting the public to a Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan Open House to learn more about the watershed and participate in the development of the first phase of the plan.

The open house is on Monday, Oct. 29 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rotary Hall inside the Florence Filberg Centre.

This event will begin with a 30-minute presentation, followed by an informal opportunity for residents to browse informative displays, provide input, and ask questions of project representatives.

According to the CVRD, “the Tsolum River watershed and its aquifers provide water that is critical to the health of the local agricultural community and the health of the environment.”

The CVRD is developing Phase One of a Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan to address current and future concerns about water availability for agriculture, instream and community needs.

This work is funded in part through a grant program administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, which is supported by both the provincial and federal governments.

Information on water and agriculture is being gathered and analyzed as part of Phase One. This work will be complete in December 2018. Phase One will produce recommendations for further plan development.

About the Tsolum River

The Tsolum River and its aquifers also provide drinking water for homes, businesses, a school, and community centres.

The watershed is heavily influenced by seasonal variations in precipitation.

In the winter, plentiful rain brings high water levels and occasional flooding.

In dry summer months, stream flows become very low at the same time that agricultural producers, fish, and residents need water the most.

Groundwater is an important source for irrigation water and in-stream flows in the summer, however, its availability varies.