Nicola Valley Water Management Plan
The combined effects of climate change, population growth, and pine beetle infestation have resulted in a significant hydrological change on the Nicola River in south-central British Columbia, Canada. In 2003, it was designated the most endangered river in the province. This kick-started a community planning process to work out ways to conserve and share water during low flow periods. In its final year of deliberation, the fifty-person citizens’ stakeholder committee sought help to identify acceptable policy instruments and reach agreement on a draft Water Use Management Plan.
Compass synthesized and structured the available technical information to make it more directly useful for decision-making. Working with an inter-agency steering committee and the multi-stakeholder committee, we performed a structured options assessment to identify suitable regulatory, economic and voluntary water management measures to be included in a plan, as well as options for the facilities and operation of the Nicola Dam. The structured decision-making process included five workshops to help the multi-stakeholder committee clarify objectives and make value-based choices and trade-offs. Through this process, the committee reached agreement on a set of clear and actionable policy recommendations.