Climate Risks and Projections

Cowichan, we've been studying climate change in our region. 

The Cowichan Region's climate varies greatly over a small area due to complex geography. Our ability to adapt to climate change requires specific information on how changes in temperature and precipitation will play out locally, how impacts differ through each season, and how they impact different parts of our region. Areas with the least precipitation include the east coast of the region. Climate projections for the Cowichan Region over the next century include an increase in temperature, an increase in precipitation, a decrease in snowpack through much of the region, and an increase in sea level. Learn more about local climate projections

Climate impacts are expected to contribute to increased intensity and frequency of natural hazards such as heat and drought, flooding and sea level rise, landslides and erosion, wind and storms, and wildfires. 

The CVRD has completed natural hazard risk assessments for some areas in the region. The CVRD has also adopted a risk tolerance policy to ensure developments will not increase risks from natural hazards. For more information on natural hazards, please visit our natural hazards page. 

  1. Heat and Drought
  2. Flooding
  3. Sea Level Rise
  4. Wind and Storms
  5. Landslide and Erosion
  6. Wildfire

Heat and Drought

Climate models for the South Coast of BC project warming for all seasons. Summer will warm slightly more than other seasons, by 2.0o  by the 2050s and 3.1oC by the 2080s. Our region can expect more than twice the number of hot days where temperatures exceed 25oC, from 16 days per year now to 39 days per year in the 2080s.
While more summer days above 25oC may seem good at first, we can expect prolonged heat waves, more energy consumption, and health impacts. A seasonal increase in hot and dry conditions would increase the possibility of water shortages, increase wildfire risk, raise plant and livestock stress, and place thermal stress on fish and their habitats. Animals may migrate in response to warming.
Increased temperature also means fewer frost days. A projected decrease in our snowpack of approximately 85% by the 2050s will impact watershed health, stressing the need for water conservation and storage

How can we prepare for the New Normal? 

1 - Dry River - Drought2022 Cobble Hill Farm Summer Dry - Drought2015-05 New Normal from Taiji ThinkstockPhotos (29) - Drought - Water Use