Water Use Planning

British Columbia’s water resource is one of our most precious and important assets. From a crucial supply of drinking water to energy to recreation to irrigation, B.C. water meets many needs for many people.

In recent years declining fish stocks have emerged as a pressing issue along with concern about aquatic habitat and consequently water management. The relationship between fish, flood protection, recreation, other water uses and power generation at hydroelectric facilities has received considerable attention. Environmental and other interests groups called for greater protection of fish resources. Consequently the province began developing Water Use Plans for water control structures.

Operations at BC Hydro hydroelectric facilities were reviewed by consultative committee which involved licensees, government agencies, first nations, key stakeholders, and the general public. The Water Use Plans resulting from this consultative process describe a set of operating rules for each facility that address the interests at stake while respecting legislative and other boundaries.

Twenty-three of BC Hydro’s facilities went through the water use planning process. These are listed below with the actual Water Use Plan implementation dates.

Aberfeldie May 2005
Alouette April 2009
Ash October 2004
Bridge Seton March 2011
Campbell River November 2012
Cheakamus February 2006
Clayton Falls December 2004
Clowhom April 2005
Columbia January 2007
Coquitlam April 2005
Duncan December 2007
Elko April 2005
Falls River March 2006
Jordan River July 2004
Peace River August 2007
Puntledge January 2005
Seven Mile December 2006
Shuswap October 2005
Spillimacheen July 2005
Stave May 2004
Wahleach January 2005
Walter Hardman March 2006
Whatshan July 2005

Metro Vancouver has developed a joint water use plan addressing its existing facilities and proposed new generating stations at Cleveland and Seymour dams. The implementation date is to be determined.