BC Hydro starts releases this week for Terzaghi Dam into the Lower Bridge River: expect high and fluctuating water levels

May 24, 2016
Affected Communities: 
District of Lillooet, Electoral Area A, Electoral Area B

As outlined in late March, BC Hydro began the process of managing the Downtown Reservoir to a new normal operating maximum of 734 meters. At the time, BC Hydro anticipated a gradual increase in water flows for the Lower Bridge River and the Seton River as the snowmelt increased through the spring and early summer. 

As a result of warmer conditions over the past month, the spring snowmelt in the region is well ahead of the seasonal pattern. 

Starting this week, BC Hydro will accelerate their release schedule from Terzaghi Dam and raise the maximum release up to 200 m3/s across May and June. The increase in flow from current levels (55 m3/s) will be conducted in stages.

In addition to the higher flows, river levels can change significantly without notice during this time.

This revised release schedule is designed to provide additional flexibility to manage both Downton and Carpenter Reservoir elevations should the increased water supply forecast continue across the spring and summer.

It is important that BC Hydro release water from Downton and Carpenter reservoir through the spring and summer to avoid potentially impacting fish spawning later in the year and to create an operating buffer in the Reservoirs to handle any large rain events during the late summer or fall.

In addition, BC Hydro continues to manage and make minor adjustments to the volume of water being released into Seton River. BC Hydro anticipates that current discharge levels will be between 90 and 110 m3/s.

Residents and visitors are reminded to stay away from the edges of the Lower Bridge and Seton Rivers during this high flow period and continue to be mindful of water safety throughout the year.

For additional information on climate, snow and reservoir conditions, please see www.bchydro.com/water.

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