Jordan River Dam

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The Jordan River Dam, officially the Jordan River Diversion Dam, and known locally simply as Diversion Dam, is a dam located in Jordan River, British Columbia, Canada. It is part of the second hydroelectric development on Vancouver Island.[1]


Prior to the dam's construction, the Lubbe Powerhouse was the main source of electricity to Victoria. Upon completion, it dwarfed the plant.

The Vancouver Island Power Company completed construction of the Jordan River hydroelectric system in 1911. At 126 feet (38.4 metres) from top to bottom, it was upon its construction, the highest dam in Canada.

From 1912 to 1930 continual improvements and additional generators pushed the capacity of the power plant to 26 megawatts. In 1971 the flume was replaced by a tunnel, connected to a penstock flowing down to a new power house, presently located across the river from the original location. A Japanese built generator replaced the old equipment, boosting power output from 26 megawatts to 175 megawatts.[2]

Current operation[edit]

Water collects at Bear Lake Dam and Diversion Dam, is used to fill Jack Elliot equalization reservoir on demand and flows from there through a 8.8 km (5.5 mi) long tunnel into a steel penstock for the last 330 feet (101 metres) of vertical height. It currently provides 35% of Vancouver Island's generating capacity.

In 1996, the provincial government initiated a Water Use Planning (WUP) program, demanding that BC's water licence holders show they can manage environmental problems of dams. The Jordan River "WUP" is now well-underway, and restoration of fish habitat has been a top issue.[2]


  1. ^ Peers, Elida (March 2007). "Jordan River Powerhouse". Rural Observer. 
  2. ^ a b Newcombe, John (2001-03-18). "A source of Victoria's power" (PDF). University of Victoria. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 48°29′47″N 123°59′34″W / 48.496517°N 123.992772°W / 48.496517; -123.992772 (Jordan River Dam)