Business View Magazine September 2018

294 295 COWICHAN VALLEY REGIONAL DISTRICT, BRITISH COLUMBIA for each individual service and those dollars are all accounted for within that service.We can’t have one service supplementing another. So,we run 180 separate budgets. Each one needs to balance and has its own revenues, expenditures, and reserves. It’s actually quite complicated, but we make it work.” The key function for CVRD is land use planning for electoral areas. Because they offer broadscale regional services, they usually only interact with the municipalities on specific projects.The RD handles all solid waste for the entire region.Municipalities collect their own garbage, recycling, and organic waste and bring it to the regional depot,where it is managed and shipped down toWashington state. Carruthers acknowledges that water and cli- mate change are two of the larger issues facing Cowichan Valley RD.“We’re seeing the effects of climate change every day and that’s directly related to issues around water.We live on an island and we have ground water we use and, also, surface water. Increasing temperatures, less snowfall for snow pack,means less replenishment of our aquifers from surface water.Those are the biggest concerns.” AmyMelmach, CVRD Economic Development Manager, adds,“The whole issue around water is having an impact on the way we look at econom- ic development, because we have to take into consideration the capacity to supply business and industry with water in the future.And what is the changing face of agriculture? There are new crops we can produce in the region that the previous climate didn’t accommodate. But, traditional forms of agriculture need to deal with more se- rious flooding in the winter and hotter, dryer summers.Tourism is also impact- ed and that’s a big factor for this region, as well.As the weather gets warmer, people are gravitating more towards the lake and the coastal areas.” The Cowichan Valley economy was built on forestry and there are still 330,000 hectares of forestry land in the area–making it a major sector in the region,with a lot of related business activity.Heavy-dutymechanic and ma- chining operations connected to forest- ry are starting to branch out into other areas.Melmach notes,“Within that confine,we have a value-added wood sector that is growing dynamically; 32 companies working in high-end wood design. Live Edge Design and Canadi- an Bavarian are becoming world-re- nowned for the specialty wood prod- ucts they’re developing here. Some of the most respected cabinetry designers work in the RD: CowichanWoodwork- ing in Cobble Hill, South Shore Cabine- try in Lake Cowichan. People are rec- ognizing they can locate their business here, have access to loyal, qualified workers, and it’s more cost-effective for