BC Hydro is beginning a water use planning process for its Falls river facility as part of an overall review of how provincial water resources are managed at BC Hydro facilities.
The Falls river hydroelectric facility is located on the Big Falls river at the confluence with the Ecstall river approximately 50km southeast of Prince Rupert, Canada. The two-unit powerhouse produces approximately 7MW of electricity, which supplies a portion of Prince Rupert.
To introduce the water use planning process, BC Hydro held its first Consultative Committee meetings in Prince Rupert on 2-3 October 2002 The planning process will review BC Hydro’s facility operations and explore ways to better balance the use of water among fisheries, wildlife, recreation, the environment, heritage conservation and power generation.
‘Water use planning is a new approach to making informed choices on how to allocate water resources,’ said BC Hydro Falls river water use plan project manager, Vesta Filipchuk. ‘As a responsible user of a shared provincial resource, BC Hydro recognises that multiple water use interests must be considered in maximising the overall benefits of the resource to the Province.’
The water use plan will be developed in consultation with the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management; the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; local governments; First Nations; community groups; and other interested parties.