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Takakia Lake

there is a place of extraordinary beauty


A notice of application for "water license water act" appearing in the Queen Charlotte Islands Observer, February 13th placed by the Queen Charlotte Power Corporation is of deep concern for a number of residents who over the years have investigated trying to protect Takakai Lake. This alpine lake set in the San Cristoval mountains of southern Moresby has a spectacular waterfall that drops about 1100 feet.

Several years ago an application by local residents was made to have the lake area designated an ecological reserve. At the time it seemed more people felt that the area should be made available for recreational use. However that option is now hanging in the balance.

The proposal by Queen Charlotte Power is for the lake be used as water storage to supply the hydro plant at the head of Mitchell Inlet. At present the hydro plant is supplied from Moresby Lake with additional water from the natural runoff from Takakai Lake. The proposal is to drill through the rock-face below Takakai Lake and drain the lake through a tunnel.

"(T)he storage will be by draw-down of Takakai Lake. The quantity of draw down water is 12,160 acre feet." This is not a large lake and in simple language this means dropping the water level 100 feet in June, July and August, the months that have the highest use by recreationists.

How are they going to do this without draining the whole lake?
According to the Comptroller of Water Rights in Victoria a public process was part of Phase One and there are engineering and environmental reports available. As this article goes to press, I have not been able to get a commit-tment from anyone to send these documents to me. Comment on the plan must be in by no later than mid March.

While we may need more hydro power on Haida Gwaii there should be alternatives we can examine. In my view this is simply the easiest way to get more water for power­p;but at the possible expense of destroying a unique and beautiful alpine lake.
Yes, there are other lakes in the area that could be considered for this project. Yes, there is already a large flow of water from the natural waterfall. I for one would like to have questions answered, explanations given, alternatives and options publicly discussed. Time is running out. We need your assistance in asking, in the very least, for a public consultation. We need a clear look at what alternatives there are.
The notice in the Queen Charlotte Islands Observer states.

"Objections to this application may be filed with the Comptroller of Water Rights, Parliament Buildings, Victoria BC V8V 1X4 within 30 days of the date of the publication of this notice" that is by March 15.
Dave Lovedhl is the Comptroller and can be reached at 1.800.361.8866.
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