MINUTES

International Kootenay Lake Board of Control
Annual Meeting

Prestige Lakeside Resort
701 Lakeside Drive
Nelson, BC

Thursday October 6, 2005
2:30 PM

Anticipated Attendance

  United States Canada
Chair Col. Debra Lewis Kirk Johnstone (host)
Members Kathy Peter Glen Davidson
Secretary Larry Merkle Daniel Millar
Guests Commissioners: Irene Brooks, Jack Blaney

Dr. Mark Colosimo (US Section IJC), Tom McAuley (Canadian Section IJC), Marian Valentine (USACE), Dan Egolf (FortisBC)

Agenda

1.   Welcome and introductions

Mr. Johnstone welcomed meeting participants.
Kirk Johnstone
2.   Review of the agenda

Ms. Peter asked that a presentation on 'StreamStats' be added to the agenda. (Item 4.4.)
Kirk Johnstone
3.   Business from previous meeting  
3.1     Status of Proposal to change Libby project operation (VARQ)

Col. Lewis reviewed the implementation of the variable flow process at Libby Dam on the Kootenai River, a process designed to help provide timely flows for endangered fish species in the Kootenai and Columbia systems. She noted that VarQ was implemented after the finding of no significant impact to the environmental assessment of 2003. However, permanent implementation awaits approval of an environmental impact statement expected to be ready for review by November and finalized by February. Meanwhile, the 2004 biological opinion remains in court for decision on a dispute raised by the National Wildlife Federation against NOAA Fisheries.
Debra Lewis
3.2     Libby and Bonners Ferry hydrographs

Mr. Merkle presented hydrographs describing the inflow, outflow and level of Lake Koocanusa during 2005. Drafting of the reservoir during the spring and summer to augment downstream fish flows is evident.
Larry Merkle
4.   New Business  
4.1     Compliance with the Kootenay Lake Order in 2005

Mr. Millar presented hydrographs depicting Kootenay Lake and indicating that FortisBC had successfully managed lake levels below ordered maximums during 2005.
Daniel Millar
4.2     Fortis BC operations in 2005

Earlier in the day, the Board visited the water level gauges operated by FortisBC in the Corra Linn forebay and tailrace and at Nelson. These gauges are operated pursuant to clauses six and seven of the 1938 Order. FortisBC provides daily readings of these gauges along with the lake inflow/ outflow to the Board. (The fourth gauge specified in the Order, Queens Bay, is operated by Environment Canada.) During the visits, the Board raised two questions: the frequency at which the level of the reference gauges are compared to bench marks and the frequency that the company flushes (clears sediment from) the intake pipes to the gauge well at Nelson. Mr. Egolf agreed to determine answers to these questions and to advise the Board.

Mr. Egolf presented an overview of his company's calculation of the lake inflow and outflow. Outflow is a direct function of power generation at Corra Linn and the Canal Plant plus spill at Corra Linn, and inflow is calculated by the change in storage on the lake (a function of water level and lake area) minus the outflow.

He noted that FortisBC suspects their outflow vs. generation curves may be incorrect and when the company completes its investigation of this issue, he will advise the Board.
Dan Egolf
4.3     Damage level study, Kootenay Lake

As part of the VarQ impact analysis, the US Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking a water level vs. damage study for Kootenay Lake in conjunction with BC Hydro. Preliminary investigations indicate that when water reaches the 1750 foot level, about $1 million in damages around the lake may be expected.

Canadian members noted that British Columbia does not typically determine a "flood stage" as is done in the US. Instead, the province calculates the one in 200 probability flood level and uses that elevation as a flood protection design level.

The results of the Corps/Hydro study will be made public when complete.
Larry Merkle
4.4     StreamStats

Ms. Peter introduced a USGS web-based computer tool for estimating streamflow statistics at user-selected sites. The GIS-based system is useful for anyone interested in statistics at ungauged sites. The tool can be found here: http://streamstats.usgs.gov. At present, the application contains information only for Washington, Idaho and Vermont.
Kathy Peter
5.   Preparation for public meeting  
5.1     Review of agenda

The evening meeting agenda was reviewed and found satisfactory.
Kirk Johnstone
6.   Adjourn

Noting that this was her last annual meeting with the Kootenay Board, Mr. Johnstone thanked Col. Lewis for her contribution as the US co-chair. He then thanked participants and adjourned the meeting.
 

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