Round Table Report
From: Brian Smith
Representing the Community from Port Moody to West Vancouver
SEHAB Meeting: November 2-4, 2012
Community Advisor: Sandie Hollick-Kenyon
Joint Water Use Plan for the Capilano and Seymour Water Sheds
For the past two years I have had a seat on the Consultative Committee and the Fish Technical Working Group helping to develop a Joint Water Use Plan (JWUP) for the Capilano and Seymour water sheds. After numerous (26) eight hour meetings I am happy to report that the public input component to the process has come to an end and a plan has been developed. The plan will now be presented to the Metro Vancouver Water Board for approval and then passed along to the Water Comptroller who will review it and hopefully approve the plan quickly. The JWUP was initiated by Metro Vancouver and there was representation from DFO, Provincial Fisheries, Seymour Salmonid Society, the Drift Fishers, the Steelhead Society, Canoeing and Kayaking groups as well as other stake holders at the table helping to develop the JWUP. It is important to note that the plan was unanimously agreed to by all parties. It was identified early in the process that an important component of the JWUP would be increasing water flow from both the Capilano Dam and Seymour Falls Dam to improve fish habitat. Therefore, as part of the JWUP new flow regimes were developed for both water sheds. The new flow regimes represent greatly improved minimum water flows for both rivers. As an example, the new flow regime for the Seymour River would increase absolute minim flows (drought situation) during late summer and fall from 0.57cms (cubic meters per second) to 0.70cms and in the winter from 0.57cms to 1.36cms. If the new flow regime was in place on the Seymour this past fall it would have resulted in a threefold increase in flow. Obviously these new flow regimes represent a dramatic improvement for fish.
Although there is infrastructure problems holding up delivery of agreed upon Capilano flows there is no such problem on the Seymour. The required infrastructure to deliver the new agreed upon flows at the Seymour Falls dam already exists. The hold up on implementing the newly agreed to flows on the Seymour is purely bureaucratic.
Understanding how much of a fisheries benefit these new flows represent, many of the people involved with the JWUP are asking why Metro Vancouver will not immediately implement the new flow regime on the Seymour.
SEHAB Action Item: Ask DFO at the RHQ meeting to investigate with Metro Vancouver why the new flow regime on the Seymour River cannot be immediately implemented.