Nechako Drought Conditions: FAQ
Sustainability Update (2022) Released
BC Works has released its 2022 Sustainability Update that highlights our contributions to the local and BC economy, our community investments, our environmental and biodiversity performance and more.
Our approach to sustainability is guided by Rio Tinto’s purpose: finding better ways to provide the materials the world needs. In 2022, many of our investments were focused on assisting the low-carbon transition, as well as our of being the best possible partner to our host communities.
As part of Rio Tinto BC Works’ commitment to transparency about its operations, the Rio Tinto watershed team meets frequently with community leaders and stakeholders to provide updates about reservoir operations and other pertinent matters. Presentations are posted here for all to view.
Dam Emergency Plan and Inundation Maps
As part of our commitment to safety and in adherence with
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How can I get more information on Nechako reservoir conditions and data related to the flow of the river?
Go to the tab on top of the page that says Flow Facts. Here you will find weekly updates on reservoir conditions as well as Flow related data. Additionally, you can sign up for weekly updates on flow information and reservoir conditions, that come directly to your email. Send an email to [email protected] to sign up.
2. What is the Summer Temperature Management Program (STMP)?
The STMP is a provincial requirement for Rio Tinto to fulfil every year. The aim of the STMP is to cool the temperature of the Nechako River to less than 20 C at Finmore to help salmon survival and spawning. As part of the STMP, spillway discharge is increased between July 15 and August 20. The discharge fluctuates between 14.2 m3/s and 453.1 m3/s in response to weather forecasts.
3. What is Rio Tinto’s involvement in Sturgeon Conservation?
Rio Tinto has contributed over $1 million for research and monitoring of the Nechako White Sturgeon. We have contributed an additional $1.5 million for construction of the hatchery and another $450,000 per year for the operation of the hatchery through the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund (NEEF). We also support education and stewardship programs carried out by the Sturgeon Recovery Initiative partners.
Every year, Rio Tinto also participates in and has a booth at, the Sturgeon Release event led by the hatchery. Hundreds of school children from school district 91 take part in releasing juvenile sturgeon into the Nechako River, which promotes education about the importance of conservation and the operation of the hatchery.
In addition to hatchery operations funding, Rio Tinto Canada Fund has funded a summer intern program that supports the hiring of three to four interns to work at the hatchery. The intern program includes two high school students and two junior technician interns. These interns support the operations through technical hands-on work and education, and outreach about the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative.
4. What is the Water Engagement Initiative and where can I find more information around it?
The Water Engagement Initiative (WEI) is an inclusive public process, where interests are shared by multiple stakeholders across the watershed area, to improve water management in the Nechako River. The WEI is led by independent facilitators and supported by technical specialists to identify opportunities to better address multiple interests related to Rio Tinto’s operations. For more information on the facilitators or to read the latest document from the WEI process, please go to the tab on top of this website that reads – Water Engagement Initiative.
5. How is the reservoir managed if water levels go below the desired level?
The risk of water surplus and water shortage is constantly managed. Decisions related to flood risk or drought risk mitigation occur many months in advance of any potential event by either discharging additional water or curtailing power generation. However, risk levels can change quickly from weather events, so conditions are continually monitored.
6. How do we engage with our communities?
Rio Tinto has community advisors who engage with stakeholders, community leaders and organizations in our operational footprint on a continual basis. Our advisors in BC are based in Kitimat, Vanderhoof and Prince George.
7. I want to give feedback about Rio Tinto’s activities in the watershed area. Where should I send my feedback to?
At Rio Tinto BC Works, we welcome feedback from our communities. Contact one of our community team members via email or phone.
- Lianne Olson, Senior Advisor, CSP
E: [email protected]
- Aman Parhar, Advisor, CSP
E: [email protected]
- Devrie Sanghera, Business Partner, CSP
E: [email protected]
You can also send us feedback via our Facebook pages
8. I want to work for Rio Tinto, where can I find job opportunities?
We are always looking for new people to join our team. To find current opportunities, visit our careers page at Careers (riotinto.com)
9. Where can my organization apply for funding?
Visit Rio Tinto Aluminium Canada Fund to look at the different criteria for funding from Rio Tinto. On this page you will also find a link to the online form that your organization would have to fill to request sponsorship or donation. If you have any questions, reach out to our community team, and their contact is available in the “Keep in Touch” tab on this website.
10. Where can I go to learn more about Rio Tinto’s BC Works Operation?
Visit the BC Works website (riotinto.com). Here you can learn about our climate action and sustainability goals, aluminium production and other facets of our BC Works operation.