Oil and Gas Commission ordering industry to suspend water diversion from Northeast B.C. water bodies

Equipment used by oilfield water service companies for water storage. File photo.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Oil and Gas Commission has issued an industry directive requiring industry to immediately suspend all previously-approved water diversions under Section 10 of the Water Sustainability Act, due to drought conditions.

The directive, which was issued on Monday, includes rivers, streams and lakes in the following basins within the Peace and Liard River watersheds:

  • Aitken Creek
  • Beatton River
  • Blueberry River
  • Cache Creek
  • Cameron River
  • Chinchaga River
  • Johnson Creek
  • Doig River
  • Farrell Creek
  • Lynx Creek
  • Milligan Creek
  • Kotcho River
  • Shekilie River
  • Fontas River
  • Kantah River
  • Petitot River

The OGC said that the diversion and use of water stored in dugouts or dams is not suspended, nor does the suspension apply to the main channel of the Peace River or Dinosaur Lake.

Last week, the provincial government declared a Level 3 drought rating for the Peace, Upper Fraser East and Upper Fraser West areas.

Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Mackenzie, and Fort Nelson are included in the Level 3 drought area, while East Peace Basin that includes Fort St. John, Taylor, Hudson’s Hope, and Dawson Creek currently lie outside the region.