Ottawa RiverRegulationPlanning BoardCommission de planificationde la régularisationde la rivière des Outaouais


Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board

The Planning Board has the administrative and general policy function to support the integrated management of the principal reservoirs.

It has 7 members:

Government of Canada

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)
  • Canadian Coast Guard (CCG)


  • Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC)
  • Hydro-Québec (Hydro-Québec)


  • Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF)
  • Ontario Power Generation (OPG)

Ottawa River Regulating Committee

  • The Committee determines the water management strategies.
  • Operational unit responsible for collaborative management of principal reservoirs.
  • 4 members*: Hydro-Québec, MELCC, OPG, PSPC

* Associate member – Ontario NDMNRF

Ottawa River Regulation Secretariat

  • The Secretariat supports the work of the Planning Board and the Committee.
  • Made up of two staff engineers.
Role of the Committee and Secretariat

The Committee is responsible for the integrated water management of the principal reservoirs. It is made up of four agencies that manage the principal reservoirs within the basin.  These four agencies exchange information on river conditions and water management strategies regularly throughout the year via the Committee. This collaboration allows them to know how their counterparts manage Ottawa River water at their facilities.

The members of the Committee are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the principal reservoirs owned by their respective agencies. They are also responsible for the day-to-day operations of other dams along the river and tributaries that are not principal reservoirs.

The Committee is a consensus-based group. It establishes agreement on appropriate regulation strategies. The strategies must align with the regulation policies and criteria developed by the Planning Board aimed at reducing the impacts of floods and droughts. However, each operator remains responsible for the operational strategies and decisions at its facilities. The work of the Committee includes:

  • forecasting river conditions based on weather forecasts and mathematical models of the river system,
  • agreeing on flow regulation strategies for the principal reservoirs, for example increasing or decreasing the amount of flow released from the principal reservoir to help limit high water levels or help augment river water during low flow periods, and
  • providing relevant information to the public and other organizations.

The NDMNRF is an associate member of the Committee. It does not operate any principal reservoirs but contributes important hydrometeorological information to the group. It also plays a key role in disseminating information in Ontario.

When needed, the Committee may recommend new or modified regulation, procedures or operational practices to assist in the objectives of integrated management of the principal reservoirs.

The Secretariat directly assists the work of the Committee and the Planning Board by providing various administrative, technical and professional support. It is responsible for:

  • planning, coordinating and implementing the flow regulation and flow forecasting activities for the Ottawa River basin, and
  • communicating current and forecasted water flow and level conditions on the Ottawa River with the pubic, media and government agencies.