The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (the Planning Board) was established in 1983 by the governments of Canada, Quebec, and Ontario to ensure integrated management of the principal reservoirs of the Ottawa River Basin. The goal of this integrated management is to minimize the impacts of floods and droughts along the Ottawa River and its tributaries, particularly in the Montreal Region, while maintaining the beneficial water uses such as hydro-electric energy production and preserving statutory or environmental levels and discharges in respect of other interests.
The governments also established at the same time two other entities that report to the Planning Board, namely the Ottawa River Regulating Committee (the Regulating Committee) and the Ottawa River Regulation Secretariat (the Secretariat), as depicted on this organizational chart.
The authority of the Planning Board is defined by an Agreement Respecting Ottawa River Basin Regulation. Without legal authority over the decisions of the operators of the reservoirs, the Planning Board formulates and implements regulation policies and criteria leading to integrated management of the reservoirs.
The Planning Board also ensures that relevant hydrological information, for example forecasts of river flows and levels along the Ottawa River, is made available to the public and government organizations, especially provincial agencies given that the preparation and issuance of flood messages along the Ottawa River are a provincial responsibility.
The Planning Board collaborates with the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Regulation Office at the policy and operational levels in order to guide operational decisions under each other’s purview during high flow events on the Ottawa River or in the Montreal region.
How is the Planning Board structured?
Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board
- Administrative and general policy function to ensure integrated management of the principal reservoirs
- 7 members: Canada (ECCC, PSPC, CCG); Quebec (MELCC, Hydro-Québec) Ontario (MNRF, OPG)
Ottawa River Regulating Committee
- Operational unit
- 4 members*: Hydro-Québec, MELCC, OPG, PSPC
* Associate membership with Ontario MNRF
Ottawa River Regulation Secretariat
- Executive unit to carry out the work of the Board and assists the Regulating Committee
- MELCC: Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques of Quebec
- MNRF: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry of Ontario
- OPG: Ontario Power Generation
- PSPC: Public Services and Procurement Canada
- ECCC: Environment and Climate Change Canada
- CCG: Canadian Coast Guard