Resource: Preliminary Review of Fisheries Conservation Gains within BC Hydro’s Water Use Planning Process

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Authors / Publisher: Quadra Planning Consultants Ltd., Regional Consulting Ltd. and Linda Nowlan, for Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Date: May 2004

PDF: Preliminary Review of Fisheries Conservation Gains within BC Hydro’s Water Use Planning Process

Summary:

After advocating for fish and the public interest in 70-some meetings for the Coquitlam-Buntzen Water Use Planning (WUP) process (link to WUP page), Watershed Watch recognized the need for an objective analysis of the overall gains made by BC Hydro’s WUP process. We commissioned Quadra Planning Consultants to prepare the main part of this report—the first independent assessment of the largest water restoration project ever undertaken in BC. The report focuses on the fish conservation gains that stem from the water use planning initiative. Quadra also examined how successfully the water use plans incorporate First Nations’ traditional ecological knowledge.

In addition, Watershed Watch hired environmental lawyer Linda Nowlan to determine whether the WUP process satisfies the expectations set out in NAFTA’s “factual report” dated June 2000, and whether the WUPs do or do not meet two contentions: that water use plans are “a step in the right direction towards achieving greater protection of fish and fish habitat from the harmful impacts of hydroelectric operations,” and that “the WUP process holds promise as an enforcement strategy.” Nowlan’s contribution begins on page 47.

Acknowledgements:

The report was possible thanks to funding from the Bullitt Foundation as well as participation from members of the First Nations Water Use Planning Committee, particularly Fred Fortier, Bill Green and Marilyn Mura. Watershed Watch is also thankful for contributions from the Vancouver, Henry. P. Kendall, David and Lucile Packard, and Tides Canada foundations for making it possible for Watershed Watch to attend so many meetings on water and fish.