Tag Archives: Drought

Quadra Project: The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal and the Suez Canal are both magnificent feats of engineering that allow marine shipping to move east and west across the mid-latitudes without having to make the long journey around the continents of South America and Africa, respectively. The Suez is mostly a big ditch that was dredged in the sand to connect the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. No locks are required because the two seas are at the same elevation. Building the Panama Canal, however, was a much more complicated engineering problem, solved with remarkable ingenuity.

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‘Here we are talking about drought in February’

Editor’s note: When the rains finally started in October 2022, Cortes Island had received very little precipitation for 97 days. That was the first year Basil Creek came close to drying up and only about 10 Chum were able to swim upstream to spawn. The creek almost disappeared during the 2023 drought and some of Cortes Island’s shallow wells stopped recharging. On Quadra Island, I-CAN’s water security team responded to the drought by launching a project to gather data on the island’s ‘water budget,’ wetlands and wells, so they can be better prepared for the future. With Vancouver Island’s snowpacks currently 70% below normal, we may need a wetter than normal spring and summer to avert another drought in 2024.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Water security groups in B.C. are rallying to face another summer wracked by drought and wildfire after the province revealed the snowpack is 40 per cent lower than normal. And they are urging the provincial government to do the same. 

Extremely low snow levels across most of B.C., ongoing drought in certain areas of the province and unusually warm weather are increasing the risk of widespread drought and wildfire this spring and summer, according to the BC River Forecast Centre’s snow bulletin released Thursday. 

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Studying The Water Budget For Quadra Island; a model for the future

ICAN’s water security team and the We Wai Kai First Nation have embarked upon an exploration of Quadra Island’s water systems.

While this is a Quadra study, everything they are doing is applicable to Cortes and every other British Columbian island where there is a sizeable population. They are offering a model of how we can prepare for the future.  

“The project started a number of years ago, really centered on the concerns of local people on Quadra about the nature of their water supply. People were really worried about what was going to happen with both climate change, whether it’s going to be getting hotter (particularly in the summers) and with development. Every new person that moves on to the island usually sinks a well. If they sink a well, they’re pulling quite a bit of water out of the aquifer. We wanted to know, would the aquifer actually meet our needs? Also, what needs does the environment have? And what will happen when things like climate change influences the availability of water,” explained Colin Chapman, who, together with his partner Claire Hemingway, is a key leader in this project. 

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Mark Vonesch’s First Year In Office: Things ‘Accomplished’ and ‘In Process’

Mark Vonesch is very passionate about Cortes Island and his activities as Regional Director. If this were a video, rather than a radio broadcast, you would see this it in his facial expressions. There is a hint of this passion in the words he chose and the tone of his voice. 

Cortes Currents asked him for a recap of this past year and what to expect going forward into 2024.  

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The Quadra Project: Welcome to 2024

Unless you’re brave enough to consider the reality of our global environmental situation, don’t read this. Confronting it is not a matter of being pessimistic or optimistic, but of being realistic—of assessing what we’re doing on our planet, what we want to avoid, what we want to accomplish, and what we can do both collectively and individually to have a more promising future. In one more year we will have reached a quarter of the way to 2100, and we are well on our way to creating conditions that we will either applaud or bemoan.

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