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October 31st 2023
A coastal First Nation’s Guardian team is gearing up to test the waters to try to limit the impacts of drought in their traditional territories on northeast Vancouver Island.
The We Wai Kai First Nation’s environmental stewards are partnering with other local groups to map and monitor wetlands, watersheds and streams on Quadra Island as summers get hotter and drier, said Guardian program manager Shane Pollard.
Drought in the northeastern Vancouver Island water basin, which includes We Wai Kai territory and Quadra Island, is increasingly common.
All of B.C. suffered severe drought this summer, but it is the third year running that the island region hit Level 5 on the provincial drought scale — the most extreme rating when adverse impacts on fish health, ecosystems or society are certain.
Quadra Island has a few lakes, but most residents, including folks living on the nation’s Cape Mudge reserve, draw water from wells that need rain or surface water like creeks or wetlands to recharge underground aquifers, Pollard said.