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British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Water resource development--British Columbia
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Water use planning records

  • GR-3879
  • Series
  • 1998-2005

The records in this series relate to Water Use Plans in British Columbia.
In 1998 the province formally initiated a Water Use Planning (WUP) program. WUP is a cooperative effort involving BC Hydro, the provincial government, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and First Nations and other key interested parties. Guidelines were published describing steps required to complete and implement a water use plan. At each facility these plans attempt to define suitable operating parameters which balance environmental, social and economic values. The WUPs are intended to accommodate other water use interests through incremental changes in how existing water control facilities store and release water. WUP are not intended to be comprehensive watershed management plans to deal with water management issues associated with other activities in the watershed such as forestry and mining.

Each hydro facility had their own Consultative Committee of stakeholders, representing a range of interests. These committees held meetings with the aim to establish operating objectives for water use and management for the various water systems. Committee reports express their interests, values, and recommendations and document the consultative process. It is a supporting document meant to help inform and prepare BC Hydro’s Water Use Plan. This series contains both committee reports and the final version of BC Hydro’s Water Use Plans that were submitted to the Comptroller of Water Rights for review under the Water Act.
The reports include a system description (basins, rivers, dams, reservoirs etc.), methodology, hydro operation studies and results.

The series also contain BC Hydro data and interim orders from the Comptroller of Water Rights. Interim orders appear to be proposed operational changes to achieve flows which will provide incremental improvements for fish while the water use plan process was underway and assessment was still being made to determine what the most suitable or preferred flows for fish should ultimately be.

Finally, a few documents in the series deal with redevelopment plans to support BC Hydro water license applications in light of recommendations established in the Water Use Plans.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (2005-2017)

Records from the Office of the Comptroller of Water Rights

  • GR-3860
  • Series
  • 1990-1997

The records in this series originate from the office of Jack E. Farrell who acted as Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights, Director of the Water Resources Branch and Comptroller of Water Rights over the course of his career. The records relate to the activities done and responsibilities held as a member of the executive in the branch. These include regular correspondence with BC Hydro regarding programs and news releases, as well as files dedicated to legislation projects, committees related to safety, monitoring, and water studies, and annual reports from the Branch detailing current issues, projects, investigations and accomplishments. Committee records include both inter-provincial and international management of water resources along BC borders.

A number of files also describe the organizational structure of the Branch which appears to have gone through a major restructuring in 1995/1996 when the Water management Division/Water Rights Branch became the Water Resources Branch. The Branch was to administer the Water Act, Water Utility Act and the Utilities Commission Act (including licensing of major power projects). They were also responsible for the safety of dams and dykes, regulation of privately owned water utilities, protection from flooding and the collection of water license fees, with other past responsibilities being distributed to other offices.

The records are arranged by ARCs number and then alphabetically. The following primary and secondary numbers from the Administrative Records Classification System are included in the series:
102-20 : ministry meetings
105-02 : ministry organization
105-20 : branch, region and district organization and responsibilities
105-30 : organization/reorganization projects
204-20 : inter-ministerial committees
205-20 : international committees
206-20 : inter-provincial/federal committees
280-20 : executive briefing notes
280-40 : executive issues
350-20 : legal issues
400-20 : program planning files
442-20 : annual reports

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks