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Dams on the Peace20

The W.A.C. Bennett Dam has altered the flow patterns of the Peace River.

  • Annual flow has not changed significantly, but peak spring and summer flows at Peace Point are about 50% of natural flows, and flows in the winter can be 7.5 times greater than under pre-dam conditions.
  • Behind the dam is British Columbia's largest reservoir, Williston Lake, which covers an area of 166,000 ha.
  • The dam can store the equivalent of 1.5 times the mean annual flow of the Peace River at the BC-Alberta border.
  • It is one of the world's largest earthfill structures, stretching two km across the head of the canyon and standing 183 metres.
  • The Peace Canyon Dam, downstream from the Bennett Dam, does not regulate flow, but it can still influence water quality. 21
  • A third dam and hydroelectric generating station, known as Site C, is scheduled to be constructed on the Peace River in northeast BC.22
  • Glacier Power received approval in 2009 to complete a run-of-river hydroelectric dam on the Peace River near Fairview, but it has not yet been built.23
Seneka, M. 2004. Trends in historical annual flows for major rivers in Alberta. Alberta Environment. Edmonton, AB

Bennett Dam

Predicted Natural Flow at the Town of Peace River

Calculated by modelling and comparing against mean monthly flows measured since the Bennett Dam was constructed19
Source: Water Survey of Canada