Learn more: Our operations

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Welcome to Rio Tinto's new online community where we want to engage with you about all things Nechako Reservoir.

We want to improve the way we engage with you. We will post frequent updates about our operations, actively listen to your feedback, respond to your questions and increase transparency in how we make decisions.

Your voice matters - so please get involved today!



Welcome to Rio Tinto's new online community where we want to engage with you about all things Nechako Reservoir.

We want to improve the way we engage with you. We will post frequent updates about our operations, actively listen to your feedback, respond to your questions and increase transparency in how we make decisions.

Your voice matters - so please get involved today!



  • Nechako Reservoir Update - December 23, 2020

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    Reporting Period: December 18 to December 23, 2020

    • Reservoir level has decreased in the past 6 days from 2798.50 feet to 2798.42 feet.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge remains unchanged and is currently 85 m3/s.
    • As previously noted in these updates, Spillway discharge may be increased or decreased through the winter depending on inflow to the reservoir and snowpack. Additional changes to Spillway discharge may be required through the winter.
    • Twenty-two (22) mm of precipitation was observed last week and six (6) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • Ice has begun to form on many parts of the Nechako River which prevents accurate measurement of discharge. Discharge will be reported again in the Spring.
    • Ice jams sometimes form during freeze up. Be cautious around the river, and particularly in low lying areas. If you notice an ice jam form, please notify Rio Tinto immediately by emailing NechakoReservoirUpdates@riotinto.com.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here(External link)(External link)(External link)(External link)(External link)(External link). Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
  • Nechako Reservoir Update - December 17, 2020

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    Reporting Period: December 12 to December 17, 2020

    • Reservoir level has decreased in the past 7 days from 2798.55 feet to 2798.50 feet. The Nechako Reservoir is currently 88% full.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge is currently 85 m3/s.
    • As previously noted in these updates, Spillway discharge may be increased or decreased through the winter depending on inflow to the reservoir and snowpack. Additional changes to Spillway discharge may be required through the winter.
    • Fourteen (14) mm of precipitation was observed last week and fifteen (15) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • Ice has begun to form on many parts of the Nechako River which prevents accurate measurement of discharge. Discharge will be reported again in the Spring.
    • Ice jams sometimes form during freeze up. Be cautious around the river, and particularly in low lying areas. If you notice an ice jam form, please notify Rio Tinto immediately by emailing NechakoReservoirUpdates@riotinto.com.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here(External link)(External link)(External link)(External link)(External link). Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please also see the public safety announcement from the District of Vanderhoof at http://www.vanderhoof.ca/nechako-river-ice-hazard-warning


  • Nechako Reservoir Update - December 11, 2020

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    Reporting Period: December 4 to December 11, 2020

    • Reservoir level increased in the past 8 days from 2798.40 feet to 2798.55 feet.
    • Due to continuing high inflow, Skins Lake Spillway discharge was increased from 71 m3/s to 85 m3/s on December 11, 2020. Water level in the Nechako River will gradually increase by approximately 10cm over the next week.
    • As previously noted in these updates, Spillway discharge may be increased or decreased through the winter depending on inflow to the reservoir and snowpack. Additional changes to Spillway discharge may be required through the winter.
    • Fifty-one (51) mm of precipitation was observed last week and seven (7) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • Ice has begun to form on many parts of the Nechako River which prevents accurate measurement of discharge. Discharge will be reported again in the Spring.
    • Ice jams sometimes form during freeze up. Be cautious around the river, and particularly in low lying areas. If you notice an ice jam form, please notify Rio Tinto immediately by emailing NechakoReservoirUpdates@riotinto.com.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here(External link)(External link)(External link)(External link). Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please see below graphs for elevation and flow projections.

  • Nechako Reservoir Update - December 3, 2020

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    Reporting Period: November 27 to December 3, 2020

    • Reservoir level is unchanged in the past 7 days at 2798.40 feet.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge increased from 70 m3/s to 71 m3/s in the past 7 days.
    • Sixty-two (62) mm of precipitation was observed last week and eighteen (18) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • Ice has begun to form on many parts of the Nechako River which prevents accurate measurement of discharge. Discharge will be reported again in the Spring.
    • Ice jams sometimes form during freeze up. Be cautious around the river, and particularly in low lying areas. If you notice an ice jam form, please notify Rio Tinto immediately by emailing NechakoReservoirUpdates@riotinto.com.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here(External link)(External link)(External link). Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
  • Nechako Reservoir Update - November 26, 2020

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    Reporting Period: November 20 to 26, 2020

    • Reservoir level has decreased in the past 7 days from 2798.41 feet to 2798.40 feet.
    • Ice jams sometimes form during freeze up. Be cautious around the river, and particularly in low lying areas. If you notice an ice jam form, please notify Rio Tinto immediately by emailing NechakoReservoirUpdates@riotinto.com.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge increased from 60 m3/s to 70 m3/s in the past 7 days. Spillway discharge may be increased or decreased through the winter depending on inflow to the reservoir and snowpack.
    • The increase in spillway discharge will not cause water level in the Nechako River to increase. The water level in the Nechako River will continue to decrease.
    • Nechako River flow discharge changes in the past 7 days at various locations are as follows:
      • Flow at Nautley remains unchanged at 32 m3/s.
      • Flow at Vanderhoof decreased from 156 m3/s to 127 m3/s.
      • Flow at Cheslatta Falls decreased from 103 m3/s to 80 m3/s.
    • Fifteen (15) mm of precipitation was observed last week and thirty-four (34) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here(External link)(External link). Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please see graphs below for elevation and flow projections. To view real-time and historical information on reservoir activity, click here(External link)(External link).

  • Nechako Reservoir Updates - November 19, 2020

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    Reporting Period: November 13 to 19, 2020

    • Reservoir level has increased in the past 7 days from 2798.34 feet to 2798.41 feet.
    • Ice jams sometimes form during freeze up. Be cautious around the river, and particularly in low lying areas. If you notice an ice jam form, please notify Rio Tinto immediately by emailing NechakoReservoirUpdates@riotinto.com.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge was reduced 60 m3/s on November 10 where it remains as of November 19 to allow water level in the Nechako River to decrease before freeze-up in order to reduce the risk of ice jams and flooding.
    • Spillway discharge may be increased or decreased through the winter depending on inflow to the reservoir and snowpack.
    • Nechako River flow discharge changes in the past 7 days at various locations are as follows:
      • Flow at Nautley increased from 28 m3/s to 32 m3/s.
      • Flow at Vanderhoof decreased from 222 m3/s to 156 m3/s.
      • Flow at Cheslatta Falls decreased from 175 m3/s to 103 m3/s.
    • Forty-nine (49) mm of precipitation was observed last week and seventeen (17) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here(External link). Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please see graphs below for elevation and flow projections. To view real-time and historical information on reservoir activity, click here(External link).


  • Nechako Reservoir Updates - November 12, 2020

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    Reporting Period: November 7 to 12, 2020

    • Reservoir level has decreased in the past 7 days from 2798.39 feet to 2798.34 feet.
    • Inflow to the reservoir continues to be much higher than usual due to recent rain and melting snow, and is expected to stay higher than normal for several weeks.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge was reduced from 250 m3/s to 60 m3/s on November 10 to allow water level in the Nechako River to decrease before freeze-up in order to reduce the risk of ice jams and flooding.
    • Spillway discharge may be increased or decreased through the winter depending on inflow to the reservoir and snowpack. Discharge from September to April is normally 32 m3/s.
    • Nechako River flow discharge changes in the past 7 days at various locations are as follows:
      • Flow at Nautley increased from 23 m3/s to 28 m3/s.
      • Flow at Vanderhoof increased from 154 m3/s to 222 m3/s.
      • Flow at Cheslatta Falls increased from 120 m3/s to 175 m3/s.
    • Seven (7) mm of precipitation was observed last week and twenty-nine (29) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here. Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please see graphs below for elevation and flow projections. To view real-time and historical information on reservoir activity, click here.

  • Nechako Reservoir Update - November 6, 2020

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    Reporting Period: October 29 to November 6, 2020

    • Reservoir level has increased in the past 8 days from 2797.91 feet to 2798.39 feet.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge was increased on November 6 from 150 m3/s to 250 m3/s to manage inflow to the reservoir. Spillway discharge will be reduced next week to between 60 m3/s and 80 m3/s. This temporary increase in discharge is being done to manage higher than normal inflow from recent rain and snowmelt.
    • Water level in the Nechako River at Vanderhoof is expected to increase in a few days, but should be back down to lower than current levels by late November.
    • Nechako River flow discharge changes in the past 8 days at various locations are as follows:
      • Flow at Nautley increased from 19 m3/s to 23 m3/s.
      • Flow at Vanderhoof increased from 73 m3/s to 154 m3/s.
      • Flow at Cheslatta Falls increased from 51 m3/s to 120 m3/s.
    • Thirty-nine (39) mm of precipitation was observed last week and five (5) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here. Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please see graphs below for elevation and flow projections. To view real-time and historical information on reservoir activity, click here.

  • Nechako Reservoir Update - October 29, 2020

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    Reporting Period: October 23 to October 29, 2020

    • Reservoir level has increased in the past 7 days from 2797.88 feet to 2797.91 feet.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge was increased from 50 m3/s to 150 m3/s in the past 7 days to manage inflow to the reservoir due to heavy rain events over the past few weeks.
    • Water level in the Nechako River at Vanderhoof is expected to rise by approximately 1.0 m above its current level over the next 14 days.
    • Nechako River flow discharge changes in the past 7 days at various locations are as follows:
      • Flow at Nautley is unchanged at 19 m3/s.
      • Flow at Vanderhoof increased from 67 m3/s to 73 m3/s.
      • Flow at Cheslatta Falls increased from 41 m3/s to 51 m3/s.
    • Thirty-two (32) mm of precipitation was observed last week and forty-two (42) mm of precipitation is expected for next week.
    • You can monitor continuous reservoir elevation by clicking here. Select the Nechako Reservoir at Skins Lake Spillway and station number 08JA023. Reservoir normal maximum level is 12.55m on this gauge, which is equal to 853.44 m or 2800 feet.
    • Please see graphs below for elevation and flow projections. To view real-time and historical information on reservoir activity, click here.

  • October 28, 2020 - Spillway Discharge Increased

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    28 October 2020 - Spillway discharge increased

    • Due to heavy rain events over the past few weeks, flow to the tributaries of the Nechako River have increased.
    • In addition, to manage inflow to the reservoir, Skins Lake Spillway discharge will be increased from 100m3/s to 150m3/s later today (October 28, 2020).
    • Water level in the Nechako River at Vanderhoof is expected to rise by approximately 1.0m above its current level over the next 14 days.
    • Please see below projection for discharge at Vanderhoof for the next month.