In this Water Region, the Electoral Area H Official Community Plan (OCP) covers the communities of Deep Bay, Bowser and Qualicum Bay. It provides a
comprehensive set of guidelines and policies for managing existing and future uses of land,coastal areas and the surface of the water within the Plan Area. Its objectives and policies reflect the local community values and the regulations of the local, provincial, and federal government.
Water purveyors in this region use the BC Water Use Reporting Centre, a secure online tool, to track, record and report on water use. This project is a partnership between the RDN, the Province and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (who have helped develop this tool).
Located in aquifer 661, this private well is part of a small network of volunteer monitoring wells, overseen by the RDN DWWP program to fill gaps in the BC Observation Well Network. Groundwater levels are measured to observe trends over time.
A snapshot publication that profiles Thames Creek and Nile Creek, based on the water quality information gathered through the RDN Community Watershed Monitoring Network since 2011.
Yikw'at - Cook Creek
Pentlatch language: name for what is known as Cook Creek, a stream that feeds into Deep Bay where a large village site once existed.
Ajumixw - Deep Bay
Deep Bay was once a large booming village site, mostly on the island side of the bay. In both Tla'amin and Comox the word translates to mean a place that is really beautiful.
Tla'amin: Ay ajoomixw
Kwaluxwum - Big Qualicum River
Refers specifically to the Big Qualicum River. When Xw is placed in front of the Hul'qami'num name, it refers to the larger parcel of land around the river. It has been an important dog or chum salmon river for a very long time. Chum salmon dries differently than other fish and is less likely to go rancid, so was a staple for winter in the area. There are two other places that we know about referred to as Qualicum - one near Port Renfrew and one near Bellingham (Squalicum) - all meaning places where there are many dog salmon.
Hul'qami'num: Kwaluxwum (where there are lots of chum salmon)
Saahtlam (green by the river)
Kwa'a xum (where you go dry fish)
Pentlatch: Sa'alhem Comox: Kwu uxwem (a place to dry fish)
Ch'namin - Chrome Island
Chrome Island currently has a lighthouse that marks the southern entrance to Baynes Sound, bounded by Vancouver Island and Denman Island. This island has been changed by blasting to make room for the lighthouse. These are the traditional names for Chrome Island, which is also known by old-timers as Yellow Rock:
Pentlatch:ch'namin (Dog Island)
Tla'amin: chi na men (To prop something up)
A Pentlatch word for a fresh water spring on the south bank of the Big Qualicum River. Means "where there are lots of maggots".
The Big Qualicum water region extends from Mud Bay in the north to Qualicum River in the south and from the coast to the Beaufort Mountain Range in the west.
The total drainage area is approximately 292 sq. km.
It includes all of RDN Electoral Area H and small sections of Areas F and G.
For properties that are NOT within the community water supply area, residents supply their own water from private wells. These are shown as pink dots on the map image. Our wellSMART program provides information on private wells.
Education and networking opportunities exist for smaller water system operators, such as mobile home parks, restaurants, campsites, gas stations etc. The Water Purveyor Working Group meets annually, click here for details.
Team WaterSmart has information on what you can do to conserve and protect our water supply.
In this water region, the aquifers are productive sand and gravel aquifers that include provincially mapped aquifers 416, 421, 665, and part of 662. While generally considered to be productive, these sand and gravel aquifers are also inherently somewhat vulnerable to surface contamination. Water quality and quantity in this water region are considered to be excellent.
(#310) between Deep Bay and Bowser that monitors water levels in aquifer 416
(#426) near Spider Lake that monitors water levels in aquifer 662
(#427) near Qualicum Bay that monitors water levels in an unmapped aquifer below aquifer 665
There was an additional RDN Volunteer Observation well near Spider Lake, in aquifer 661, monitored between April 2014- September 2016.
Further study on the aquifers in this region was accomplished through a partnership with Natural Resource Canada / Geological Survey of Canada who completed the Nanaimo Lowlands Aquifer Characterization project between 2010 - 2015. Three-dimensional modelling of the aquifers was done for the area between Deep Bay and Nanoose.
This water region includes the Big Qualicum River as well as the neighbouring smaller watersheds including Rosewall Creek, Thames Creek, Nile Creek which all drain into the Salish Sea at the Strait of Georgia, north of the Town of Qualicum Beach. The largest lake in this region is Horne Lake.
The streams in this region are important fish habitat, especially for Pacific Salmon and steelhead trout. Key stewardship groups that are active in this region include: the Nile Creek Enhancement Society.
The RDN Phase 1 Water Budget Study (2013) looked at supply and demand on surface water resources in Water Region 1, based on available data.
First Nations Significance
This water region is within the traditional territories of the Qualicum First Nation and the K'omoks First Nation. This area is rich with cultural significance and the waters and lands are closely connected with First Nations peoples and their ancestors.
There were six Salish languages (Hul'qami'num, Snuneymuxqun, Sqo'mish, she shashishalhem, Tla'amin, Comox, and Pentlatch) spoken traditionally in the RDN. In addition, Nuu chah Nulth, Kwakwala, and Sencothen languages would also bump up against the boundaries of the district. And Chinook was also used as a trading language.
Each piece of land is known by different families, communities, First Nations, dialects and languages by similar and dissimilar names. The land belongs to the name. The name does not belong to the land. In this way?there are more than one Qualicums for example. One near Port Renfrew and one also near Bellingham.
We have recorded here (in partnership with School District 69) as many names as we have been able to find. We recognize that more names are out there, and we are always happy to include them if you are open to sharing with us. Email creid [at] sd69.bc.ca
Traditional ecological knowledge is vital to understanding our watersheds and their health.
Rebate programs are available for residents across the region to conserve and protect water. Currently being offered are:
The RDN's Team WaterSmart offers education and outreach programs across the region. They provide activities and resources on water conservation indoors and outdoors, water quality protection, and ecological values.