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 - June 26, 2020

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    Key highlights observed during the reporting period: 19 June to 26 June 2020

    • Reservoir level is currently at 2798.57 feet (853.22m), an increase of 0.8 feet (0.2m) over the last 7 days.
    • Skins Lake Spillway discharge increased by 1m3/s in the past 7 days and is currently 49m3/s.
    • Spillway discharge will be increased from 49m3/s to approximately 170 m3/s on July 10th in preparation for the Summer Temperature Management Program (STMP). Please see illustration below for further information about the STMP.
    • Water level in the Nechako River may increase by up to 1.0m between July 10th to the 15th as a result of the STMP.
    • Nechako River flow at Vanderhoof decreased by 7 m3/s in the past 7 days and is currently 132 m3/s (2.4m).
    • Twenty-three (23) millimetres of precipitation was observed last week. Four (4) millimetres of precipitation is expected next week.


  • NEEF announces amendment to decisions for allocation of funds

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    In 2012, the NEEF Management Committee made 10 decisions for use of the NEEF, some of which included time-restricted milestones. The NEEF Management Committee has amended the 2012 decisions on the use of the fund because these milestones were not met.

    The objectives of the fund have not changed, and the new decisions do not change the scope of projects that could qualify for funding. Projects funded by NEEF must meet one or more of the following objectives: flow management; fish and fish habitat rehabilitation; education and stewardship of water; and improving how water flow regulation decisions are made.

    Under the amended decisions, funds will be made available on an annual basis until 2050 or longer. Funds are available for projects as follows:

    • $7.4 Million @ $200,000/year is allocated to Cheslatta Watershed
    • $27.2 Million @ $850,000/year is allocated to Nechako Watershed
    • $6.4 Million @ $200,000/year is allocated to Post-Secondary Research
    • An option remains for BC and Rio Tinto to jointly allocate all uncommitted funds to a major project such as building a spillway at Kenney Dam.

    The amended decisions provide an inclusive funding strategy that builds on past successes and enables NEEF Management Committee and the parties to the agreement to respond to Nechako water stewardship-related challenges into the future.

    The NEEF Society encourages project applications from local governments, local First Nations governments and legally incorporated Societies.

    Visit www.neef.ca to download the Amended Decisions and to learn more about the NEEF and projects being supported by NEEF.


  • Partnering to Enhance Education and Research in the Northwest

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    The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council has named University of Northern British Columbia Environmental Science Professor Dr Stephen Déry as the first NSERC/Rio Tinto Senior Industrial Research Chair in Climate Change and Water security.

    At Rio Tinto, we believe that our partnership to enhance education and research in Northwest is critical to the success of our business. This partnership with UNBC is an integral way to understand and know about the climate impacts to this region, to better plan and operate for the future.

    Rio Tinto’ BC Works general manager Affonso Bizon said “We share UNBC’s commitment to advancing education and research in the region, and look forward to seeing the findings from this work to build on our environmental management program for the Nechako.”

    UNBC President Dr Daniel Weeks said “This collaboration between NSERC, Rio Tinto and UNBC will create knowledge around the future of the Nechako River and will contribute to the ongoing global climate conversation”

    To read the full media release, download it here!

  • Rio Tinto releases their 2018 Sustainability Report

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    Under Rio Tinto's global Communities and Social Performance standard, operations publish an annual local report summarizing their approach to sustainable development.

    This report provides our host communities, employees, and other stakeholders with a more detailed understanding of our activities across our operating area in northwestern British Columbia, and addresses sustainable development across key areas including social, environment and economic growth.

    Download the full report here.


  • UNBC work opportunity in mountain hydrometeorology

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    Rio Tinto’s partnership with UNBC represents a shared commitment by each party to work collaboratively in seeking out opportunities to advance education and research. The following opportunity is an example of that collaboration. Click here to view the job opportunity.

  • Rio Tinto extends congratulations to the Unified Command Team on the success at Big Bar!

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    Thank you! Rio Tinto extends its sincere appreciation to the Big Bar Unified Command team and everyone involved. Congratulations! Your efforts will benefit British Columbians for generations to come.

    Read an update on the Big Bar event and the impact of the STMP change here.

  • Rio Tinto funds Chinook Emergency Response Society's cell phone service signage for local highways and roads

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    The Chinook Emergency Response Society (CERS) is hoping to make it more clear where, on local highways, drivers have cell service. Check out the full story here!

  • Timeline of Big Bar events

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    On 3 August 2019 Rio Tinto received an Order from the BC Comptroller of Water Rights to suspend the STMP.

    The Order was issued to facilitate instream works at the Big Bar land slide area and possibly facilitate salmon passage through the slide area. A landslide has created an obstacle to salmon migration, including the salmon of the Nechako watershed that the STMP is intended to protect.

    Click here to view the Government of BC website with daily updates on the Big Bar Landslide Incident.



  • Big Bar Landslide Incident - Province of BC updates

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    The Province of BC has established a web page with daily updates on the Big Bar Landslide incident. Click here to visit the page now.

    Information available includes Government Statements, Media Briefings, Information Bulletins, and Response Updates.

  • Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund

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    by Spencer Coulbrien,
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    The purpose of the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund (NEEF) is to enhance the environment of the Nechako Watershed. Rio Tinto has agreed to contribute up to $50 million to NEEF to help better our watershed. Some projects taken on by NEEF include Nechako River Sustainability and the White Sturgeon Conservation Fish Culture Program.

    Tell us about your favorite NEEF projects here!



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