Kootenay Lake Information Paper Examines 1938 Order for Corra Linn Dam


View of Lake Kootenay and Big Orange Bridge at Nelson, BC
Kootenay Lake at Nelson, British Columbia

The International Kootenay Lake Board of Control is releasing an Information Paper which includes information about Kootenay Lake to support potential future research. The paper was used to inform the board’s decision of whether to recommend an International Joint Commission (IJC) review of its 1938 Order of Approval for Kootenay Lake.

In 1938, the IJC granted an Order of Approval to operate Corra Linn Dam to store 6 feet of water in Kootenay Lake and excavate the outlet of the lake at Grohman Narrows. The Order stipulated that the dam be operated subject to several conditions and established the International Kootenay Lake Board of Control to supervise the dam’s construction and subsequent operation.

Corra Linn Dam continues to be operated based on the 1938 Order of Approval. Many significant changes have occurred in the basin since the order was granted. The board has been considering a review of the Kootenay Lake Order of Approval to determine if revisions are needed.

As a first step in this process, the board requested a paper to assemble information to identify potential further research and inform the decision of whether to recommend a review of the 1938 Order. The paper focuses on climate change, socioeconomic setting, agricultural impacts, Grohman narrows hydraulics, ecological and fisheries concerns, flood risk management and other topics. The Information Paper has been completed and is available to the public.

The Kootenay Lake Information Paper may be viewed at ijc.org/en/klbc/kootenay-lake-information-paper.

The 1938 Order of Approval may be viewed at ijc.org/en/klbc/1938-kootenay-lake-order.

After careful deliberation, the board has decided to recommend a review of the Kootenay Lake Order of Approval to the IJC. Commissioners approved the board’s recommendation to review the IJC’s 1938 Order on Kootenay Lake. This Order review will include an examination of the current Order, public input, studies and consideration of Order revisions. Reviewing the 1938 Order will not necessarily result in a change to the Order or in operations.

Before initiating the Order review, the board is conducting a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment to determine how the existing Order is vulnerable to a changing climate. This study is in the early stages. The board will continue to update the public on this and future studies throughout the process.

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Martin Suchy (Canadian Section Board secretary) and Sonja Michelsen (US Section Board secretary) using the board’s contact form.