Showcasing Water Innovation: Pic Mobert First Nation White River Watershed Compensation Flow Management & Development

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Pic Mobert Leaders and Members celebrate a water ceremony at the site of the Gitchi Animki Hydroelectric Project. Nibi (Ojibwe) or Water, is among the most sacred of the elements in our Ojibwe Culture.

The Pic Mobert First Nation has released a profile of innovative technologies incorporated into the Gitchi Animki Hydroelectric Project which received financial support from Ontario through the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s Showcasing Innovation in Water Program.

Project Context

The Na tah me sah ka mig People of the Pic Mobert First Nation have lived on and from the lands and waters of the White River watershed, since time immemorial. The White River watershed encompasses some 5,283 km2 ha extending some 130 km from its headwaters to Lake Superior.
The modern day Pic Mobert community that is home to some 400 people, is located on White Lake, a man-made lake created with the construction of a regulating dam, now known as “the White Lake Dam”, by the forest industry in the 1940’s. Over time, this artificially regulated lake has developed and now supports new values and interests including White Lake Provincial Park, approximately sixty residential cottages, and a recreational boat club and campground. White Lake is a popular sport fishing and recreational boating lake and is also a popular put-in point for canoeists paddling the White River down to Pukaskwa National Park and Lake Superior.

While the Pic Mobert First Nation continues to use the lake and surrounding river systems for traditional activities such as trapping, hunting, fishing and transportation, its connection with the waters of the White River watershed area have over time diversified to also include recreation and economic development and, beginning in the Spring of 2016, as a source of drinking water for the community with the completion of the new and modern drinking water source and treatment system.

High Level Results

  • Demonstrated the technical, financial and environmental feasibility of integrating low-impact micro-turbine generation (MTG) technology sustained entirely by compensation flows within a hydroelectric project, thereby making beneficial use of a resource that would not have been captured.
  • Installed, commissioned and achieved commercial operations for MTG units at each of the two generating stations that comprise the Gitchi Animki Hydroelectric Project (GAH Project), for a combined installed capacity of 830 kw.
  • Secured new economic values from the source waters that have sustained the Pic Mobert First Nation for time immemorial, while enhancing community safety and respecting environmental sustainability and the values of the Pic Mobert People and other residents and users of the White River Watershed.

Click here to download the PDF of the entire document.

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