Resources & Environment
British Columbia is known for its natural beauty and abundant resources. The province is Canada’s third-largest generator of hydro electricity, as well as Canada's second-largest natural gas producer, with the oil and gas industry continuing to grow. Recognizing the importance of sustaining natural resources and protecting the environment, B.C. is dedicated to working towards a green, eco-friendly future.
Every time you flick on a light or push the button that powers your computer monitor, think about how BC Hydro is responsible for providing electricity to our province. As British Columbia’s demand for power continues to grow, BC Hydro remains committed to providing clean, abundant energy solutions in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
BC Hydro is the 3rd largest electrical producer in Canada, operating 30 hydroelectric facilities and three natural gas-fueled thermal power plants. In the two decades that followed the creation of BC Hydro nearly 50 years ago, B.C. constructed two of the most ambitious hydroelectric projects in the world – hydroelectric generating stations on the Columbia and Peace Rivers which today, provide about 80 per cent of our province’s electricity.
As the demand for electricity continues to escalate, our hydro electric dams might not be able to provide future generations of British Columbians with enough power. That’s why BC Hydro is constantly looking to support other clean, renewable sources of energy such as run of river, wind and solar.
Click here for more information about BC Hydro.
Power Smart plays a major role in BC Hydro’s commitment to helping British Columbians lead the way to a cleaner, greener world by using less electricity. Through television, radio and print ads, and clever marketing tools, such as Team Power Smart, BC Hydro is encouraging people of all ages to be smart about their power use.
Whether it’s turning off the light when you leave a room and powering down your computer at night, or installing low flow shower heads, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, or hanging LED Christmas lights, being Power Smart is about reducing home or business electricity consumption, saving money, and protecting our environment.
Click here for more information about BC Hydro Power Smart programs.
Canada is one of the largest mining nations in the world, producing more than 60 minerals and metals. The mining industry relies on advanced technology and science not only for exploration purposes, but also to ensure safety for workers while minimizing the impact of mining operations on the natural environment and the communities in which they are located.
Each year, the demand for skilled mining workers continues to grow – some of mining’s science-related careers are centred around robotics, three dimensional computer programs, information management and other leading edge technologies.
Click here for more information about careers in mining.
Scenes of towering flames and billowing clouds of smoke followed by images of decimated forests, we’ve all seen photos and television news stories about some of the 2,000 forest fires in British Columbia each year. But have you ever stopped to think about the science of forest fires? Fighting forest fires isn’t just a physical effort. Getting in front of a forest fire is often aided by the wonders of science and technology.
The B.C. Forest Service uses infrared technology to detect wildfires in their initial stages. Ground personnel and aircraft are often outfitted with thermal imaging technology to assist in detecting spot fires and areas of residual fire on larger fires, boundary establishment, fire mapping and fire progression.
The B.C. Forest Service also has an advanced fire management computer system for obtaining current weather information, determining the location of lightning strikes, predicting the probability, location, and spread of wildfires, and measuring the amount of moisture in the fuels on the forest floor and in the deep soil.
Being aware of the types of fuels, the topography, which is also known as the “lay of the land”, and the weather, which includes wind, temperature and humidity, is just as important as the actual fire fighting. Using science to determine wind behaviour characteristics helps fire crews to figure out a plan of attack, while studying the topography of a fire area can provide information about the speed of a fire. For instance, the steepness of a slope affects both the rate and direction of the fire spread. Fires usually move faster uphill than downhill and the steeper the slope, the faster the fire will move.
Click here for more information about the science behind fighting forest fires in B.C.