COVID-19 is an ongoing complication affecting the Study. Governments have granted the Study an extra six months to submit the final report, which will help the study overcome delays due to the pandemic. The new deadline for final study report submission to the IJC is August 2021. The Study team will use the remaining time to complete the evaluation of potential reservoir operational changes, advance the climate change analysis, and finalize recommendations.
Study Board achievements in 2020:
- The Study Team is currently in Phase 5 (final phase) of running and evaluating alternatives.
- The Study Team created alternative building blocks for potential changes to operating rules of the 1989 agreement in the first three phases of plan formulation. The Study Team combined the alternative building blocks into preliminary operating plans in Phase 4.
- In Phase 5, these operating plans were further refined based on feedback received from workshops held in November 2019 with the Public Advisory Group (PAG), and Resource and Agency Advisory Group (RAAG).
- The Study Board also held a workshop for First Nations, Métis and Tribes interested in the Study in November 2020.
Upcoming Study Tasks in 2021
- Final report writing and review
- Engagement with PAG, RAAG and Indigenous Nations on study recommendations
- Public comment period for final report
- Submission of final report to IJC
The Study Team is continuing to work on documentation for Phase 5, completing interim deliverables, and developing the Study's final report. However, COVID-19 has limited the Study Team’s ability to run simulations. As the situation improves, the Study Team will be able to resume running and analyzing simulations of the alternatives.
Virtual workshops and webinars have been utilized to continue engagement with the PAG, RAAG, and Indigenous Peoples during COVID-19 restrictions. The Study Team hopes to transition from virtual platforms to in-person meetings once the travel restrictions have been lifted and if resources are available.