Fish & Habitats– Restoration

Water Use Planning

A Water Use Plan (WUP) defines the way specific works or water control facilities will be operated. The process for arriving at a WUP allows interested parties to explore the costs and benefits of changing the way these structures are operated, and to make informed decisions about the best choices to reflect the full range of uses and resource values.

The basic concept of water use planning is applicable to all water-control facilities regulated under the Water Act. However, the main focus in the short term is BC Hydro. A review of all BC Hydro's water licences is under way and water use plans will be developed for each of its 34 facilities. It is expected to take about five years to develop WUPs for all of these facilities. In light of this time frame and the need to act on some issues immediately, it was agreed that interim measures would be applied where sufficient fisheries data were available. This step in the process was aimed at achieving some early successes in fish habitat restoration.

In the longer term the entire hydroelectric system will be examined to ensure that British Columbians receive the maximum net social and environmental benefits. The development of water use plans for the first 34 facilities is a co-operative effort between the Ministry of Environment, BC Hydro, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, First Nations, other key interested parties, and the general public.


Interim Orders, which are Orders of the Water Comptroller under the Water Act, are a legal instrument instructing a licence holder to operate its system in accordance with certain constraints or conditions.

  • Ministry of Environment
  • BC Hydro
  • Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management

Other Restoration Programs: