Wuskwatim Generation Project - Environmental Monitoring
The Wuskwatim Generation Project is a 200 megawatt hydroelectric generating station on the Burntwood River at the outlet of Wuskwatim Lake in northern Manitoba. Construction on the project began in 2006 and was completed in late 2012. Ownership of the project is by the Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership, a partnership between Manitoba Hydro and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN). Under the terms of the project development agreement, Manitoba Hydro manages the operation of the station.
Regulatory approvals to construct the project required that the WPLP develop and implement detailed monitoring programs to measure environmental effects to determine whether effects were as anticipated or further mitigation measures were required.
NSC's role in the project:
- Developed monitoring plans to address regulatory requirements, including the Aquatic Effects Monitoring Program (AEMP) and Resource Use Monitoring Program (ResRUMP).
- Contracted to provide overall management of the aquatic, terrestrial and resource use monitoring components.
- Conducted sampling described in the AEMP to monitor effects to water quality, benthic invertebrates, aquatic habitat, the fish community, and mercury in fish flesh. Fish of particular interest include Walleye, Northern Pike and Lake Whitefish. Field crews are comprised of NSC staff and NCN members.
- Targeted monitoring programs are conducted to address specific issues. These include site specific sampling at fish habitat compensation sites to assess whether they are functioning as intended. A turbine effects study, to measure injury and mortality rates to Walleye and Lake Whitefish, was also conducted.
- Provided Manitoba Hydro with advice regarding effects observed during the monitoring program and the need, if any, for additional mitigation measures.
- Prepared annual monitoring reports, including comparisons to predicted effects and an ongoing analysis of change, in fulfillment of environmental license requirements.