BC Hydro is gearing up its debris removal program on Kinbasket Reservoir in preparation for high water levels expected this fall.
The Kinbasket Reservoir, created by the Mica Dam, has traditionally been a popular recreation area for the residents of Golden. But heavy debris has hampered that by clogging recreation sites, and creating boating hazards.
“Earlier this year, local debris management contractors from Golden and Valemount removed as much shoreline debris as possible to reduce the amount of wood that would be re-floated when the later level rises,” said Jennifer Walker-Larsen, stakeholder engagement advisor with BC Hydro.
“Now BC Hydro is planning a water-based debris removal program when the water level is high to remove additional debris expected due to the high water. Depending on the amount of debris, BC Hydro expects to fund up to $600,000 of debris work this year.”
Since 2007, BC Hydro has put close to $4 million into debris work on the Kinbasket, and has removed more than 300,000 cubic metres of woody debris says Walker-Larsen.
“This year’s work builds upon BC Hydro’s very successful water-based debris removal programs that ran last year on Kinbasket, Koocanusa, and Arrow Lakes Reservoirs in response to high water conditions across the Columbia,” she said.
Inflow waters into the Columbia River Basin are expected to be average this year, however the Mica Dam is undergoing some project work to replace aging equipment at the facility. This means that BC Hydro will be running fewer generating units, and less water than normal will be discharged from Mica.
The Kinbasket Reservoir is expected to fill its normal full pool level of 754.38 metres, and could possibly rise up to one foot above full pool in the early fall.