Following heavy rain in 1996 which caused exceptional floods in the Saguenay region, the government of Quebec established a scientific and technical commission on dams to provide recommendations aimed at improving dam management in Quebec. In June 2000, following the recommendations of this commission, the government of Quebec issued a decree which authorized the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources to contract Hydro-Quebec to undertake technico-economic and environmental studies, to implement the design development for the infrastructure aiming to provide greater flood control of the KÚnogami Lake watershed, and to carry out the exploratory work, the studies, the scientific surveys and all other activities preceding the construction of the project.
The Project seeks to ensure that works on Lake KÚnogami comply with the new Loi sur la sÚcuritÚ des barrages; to prevent exceeding the major flood levels on the Chicoutimi River and the riviŔre aux Sables, for a flood similar in scale to the one of July 1996; and to keep the water level of Lake KÚnogami stable during the summer in order to meet the needs of the shoreline residents.
In the context of the environmental assessment, the project includes four main components to ensure public safety:
The project also involves the construction and operation and, if necessary, the closure and the rehabilitation of structures and related activities that would be necessary for the construction and implementation of the main components of the project.