'Our committee represents diverse interests in Bella Coola and has come together after discussions with local stakeholders, government agencies and First Nations,' said project manager Vesta Filipchuk.
The planning process will review BC Hydro's operations at its existing facilities and explore ways to balance fisheries, wildlife, recreation, environment, heritage and flood control interests with the needs for power generation.
'The committee has identified the issues and interests connected to BC Hydro's Clayton Falls facility,' said Filipchuk. 'Currently, the committee is setting the process objectives and determining the measures to assess operational alternatives.'
The water use plan is being developed in consultation with the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, local governments, First Nations, community groups and other interested parties.
BC Hydro will develop water use plans at all of its facilities over a five-year period. Water use plans are in progress for Aberfeldie/Elko, Ash river, Bridge river/Seton, Campbell River, Cheakamus, Clayton falls, Clowhom, Coquitlam/Buntzen, Duncan dam, Falls river, Mica/Revelstoke/Hugh Keenleyside, Peace, Puntledge, Shuswap, Wahleach and Whatshan hydroelectric facilities.
Water use plans have already been completed for the Stave river and the Alouette hydroelectric facilities in the Lower Mainland and the Jordan river on Vancouver Island.
The Falls river water use plan is expected to be completed by March 2003. At key points over the next seven months, BC Hydro is planning to provide updates on the process and encourage further dialogue.
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