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Flood mapping of Chemainus River watershed underway

Managing future flooding the objective
Flooded Chemainus River over Westholme Road in November of 2021. (File photo by Don Bodger)

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is working in partnership with the Municipality of North Cowichan, Halalt First Nation and Penelakut Tribe to develop flood maps for the Lower Chemainus River watershed.

The flood mapping project will help the CVRD and partners to better understand watershed processes and identify potential options to help manage future flooding in communities.

”The lower Chemainus River is a floodplain, and historic flooding events in both 2020 and 2021 had significant impacts on our communities, impacting our infrastructure, properties, and businesses,” said Kate Miller, the CVRD’s manager of environmental services. “Mapping the floodplain is the first phase to provide a complete picture of flooding and erosion, anticipating the effects of climate change in the future. Once complete, we can plan solutions to protect our communities while also protecting our environment.”

Community members can learn more about the project at an information meeting on Wednesday, July 20 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Crofton Community Centre, across from the Crofton Fire Hall at 8104 Musgrave St. The drop-in event will introduce the process, preliminary flood maps for the lower Chemainus River watershed and early ideas for flood mitigation planning. Residents will have an opportunity to talk to CVRD staff and the project team.

“Flood management planning is a long-term process that involves our community members and understanding what’s most important to them as we develop and evaluate options to reduce future risk,” said Miller. “We are interested in hearing the experiences and ideas community members have about flooding and erosion to help us identify potential future projects and secure funding for implementation in the coming years.”

For more information about the project, visit For those unable to attend the event, an online comment form is available until Aug. 2 to share comments and questions.

The Government of Canada and the Province of B.C. are providing funding for the project through the National Disaster Mitigation Program, with additional funding from the CVRD and Municipality of North Cowichan.

High Chemainus River water level near the Hicks de Plumpton residence in January of 2021. (File photo by Don Bodger)