Archive for the 'British Columbia' Category

Feb 12 2011

BC: Mining rights sale complete

Los Andes Copper Ltd. said in February that it has made the final payment under the agreement to purchase consumptive water rights for 250 litres per second. These water rights are now held by the company free and clear of any encumbrance.

The company has made the final option payment in respect of certain mineral claims in addition to the core San Jose claims, providing the company with 100% ownership of all mineral claims surrounding the core of the Vizcachitas project. The consolidation of the San Jose claims, announced by press release on December 21, results in the entire resource comprising the Vizcachitas property being under unified ownership for the first time in decades, and allows the company to take the steps necessary to advance the project to development.

Management is currently finalizing the details of a work program that will include additional drilling in the core San Jose claims, completion of a scoping study and work required for the start of the pre-feasibility stage in respect of Vizcachitas.

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Aug 21 2010

CA: BC projects extreme drought

Due to dry weather in July and record-low river levels in the northern half of British Columbia, Environment Minister Barry Penner said on August 20 that the Peace region has been reclassified to Drought Level 4 (extremely dry conditions).

A high-pressure ridge over the province brought dry, above-average, and in some cases record-setting temperatures for most areas of British Columbia during the past week. River levels in the North continue to fall and in many cases are at or near historic lows. Given the continuation of dry conditions and record-low river levels in the North, Penner is asking British Columbians to conserve water to protect water sources and help manage water demands.

In northern B.C., river levels are well below normal. In the Peace region, most tributaries are near or at record minimum low flows for this time of year. The Moberly, Pine, Kiskatinaw, Halfway, Finlay, Ospika, Omineca, Mesilinka and Osilinka, and Nation rivers are extremely dry (near or below previously recorded low for the date). In the far Northeast, the Liard River has now also fallen to historic low flows. On the North Coast, the Skeena and Stikine rivers are below a 20-year return period low flow.

Flows along the mainstem of the Fraser River downstream of the confluence of the McGregor River are at 10-year return period low flows. In the Central Interior, the Cariboo region is also dry with the Quesnel and Horsefly rivers between 10- to 20-year return period low flows. In contrast, streams in the Chilcotin region are generally between median and five-year return period low flows.

In the Thompson River area, water levels on most streams are between median and five-year low flows, although the upper Salmon River at Falkland is now below normal. Similar conditions are present in the Similkameen and Okanagan region, with most streams between median and five-year return period low flows. Exceptions are Vaseux, Coldstream, and Mission creeks which are approaching 10-year return period low flows.

In the Kootenay and Columbia areas, streamflow conditions are generally slightly below normal for this time of year.

On Vancouver Island, most river levels on the north island are above average, and streams on the south island are normal for this time of year. On the South Coast mainland, river levels are at or above average for this time of year.

Given the continuation of dry conditions and record-low river levels in the north, the Peace region is now classified at Drought Level 4 (extremely dry conditions). The Skeena and Nass region will be maintained at Drought Level 3 (very dry conditions). These conditions are expected to persist throughout the summer unless above normal rainfall occurs.

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Jun 12 2010

Canada: Water calls in BC mountains

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment is using authority under the Water Act to make changes to the regulated amounts of diversion and use of water for the Chimney Lakes community in the Cariboo.

The Cariboo region is facing critical water shortages. Due to low winter snowpacks and already emerging drought conditions, water flows in this area are extremely low and there is not enough water for all water licensees. To protect water supplies in the Chimney Creek watershed (including Chimney Lake, Felker Lake and Brunson Lake), the B.C. government is invoking priority rights.

Water rights for licences issued after 1937 are temporarily suspended for the remainder of the irrigation season (Sept. 30, 2010) or until the Ministry of Environment rescinds the order, which the ministry will do if weather conditions change sufficiently. This order applies to domestic water use and other water purposes such as irrigation. It does not apply to groundwater withdrawals from wells.

Under the Water Act, water licences are regulated by the licence priority date, and older licences have priority over newer licences. Priority date of a licence usually reflects the date the application for water rights was received.

Before initiating regulatory action, the ministry requested water licensees in the area to undertake voluntary water conservation measures and informed them that regulatory action may be required in the near future.

Drought conditions can impact communities in many different ways, including reduced water availability for household and business use, potential impacts to fish and other aquatic life and potential impacts to agricultural crops.

For more information on drought, and what the B.C. government is doing to prepare for and respond to drought, go to: www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/public_safety/drought_info/.

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Jun 03 2010

Canada: Water rights for duck preserve

Transfer of water rights for environmental purposes are not only something for population centers: One new transfer has been reported in a remote part of North America.

It is located near 100 Mile House – itself more than 100 miles north of the Kamloops, British Columbia area – about 20 kilometers away from town. There, the Doman family long has held rights on Crow lands which effectively control much of the water flow, managed by a dam, around the wetlands at Disputed Lakes. The Domans had raised hay and other crops in the area, and needed some water for those uses, but those uses have faded in recent years.

In 2008, however, Grant Doman suggested the idea of a water rights transfer, since he was using less water and would otherwise probably have to either refurbish or tear down the dam, which has had some beneficial effects for local wildlife. The donation went to Ducks Unlimited Canada, which said it would maintain the wilds area.

[see: 100 Mile Free Press, June 3]

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Sep 24 2009

BC conservation group warns of water shortage

From the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council:

The PFRCC released a report entitled “Freshwater for Fish and People: Moving Towards “Living Water Smart”” that advocates for treating water as a scarce resource and promotesstronger water management practices to protect salmon ecosystems.

“After this long hot summer, the need to maintain adequate flows in streams for salmon is clearer than ever,” said Mark Angelo,Chair of the PFRCC (www.fish.bc.ca). “It is imperative that the Province must update the ‘Water Act’ and take the steps required to protect water resources for salmon and their ecosystems. For too long, salmon needs have taken a back seat to the withdrawal of water from streams for other purposes such as agricultural and industrial use.”

The report examines attempts in other jurisdictions, including Alberta, Washington State and Australia, to resolve water issues through better balance between instream and out-of-stream water use. “This review made it clear that a legal basis such as a more balanced Water Act, is needed to ensure adequate flows are retained and that interested parties work together to improve water efficiency, which will in turn benefit fish,” added Angelo.

The report is accompanied by a plain-language brochure that explains why a new approach toward water use and management is urgently needed. It also identifies a variety of tools than can effectively resolve conflicts between excessive water extraction and ecosystem needs. These includeeducation, conservation, financial incentives, water pricing and regulatory penalties. The Council recommends that they be used not independently, but rather as part of a comprehensive new package on water management, and in ways that increase the flexibility of decision makers to respond to local needs and local information. Continue Reading »

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