Snake River

FERC Delivers a Win for Twin Falls in Idaho

After years of fighting on behalf of the Twin Falls on the Snake River in Idaho, Coalition members recently secured a victory to protect the Falls from drying up.

In 1995, Idaho Power Company, the operator of the Twin Falls hydropower project, proposed to reduce the amount of water flowing through the falls to generate more power. While doing so would have eliminated the natural beauty of the Twin Falls and deprived thousands of visitors of the majestic view that the Falls offers, it would have increased Idaho Power’s income by a mere $50,000 a year.

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More Hydropower Projects Seek LIHI Certification

The last day of 2009 saw seven hydropower projects filing their application for certification with the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. In 2009 alone, the Institute issued certifications for nine projects throughout the country. So far, there are 46 LIHI certified projects in 24 states.

Of the seven newest projects seeking LIHI certification, five are owned by PacifiCorp. The seven projects are:

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Identifying Promising Juvenile Salmonid Dam Passage and Survival Improvements through Simulation Modeling

Source: 
Waterpower XVI
Year: 
2009
Abstract: 

A simulation model was created to identify dam operations and configurations that provided high survivals for Juvenile salmonids migrating out of the Snake River. Regional fisheries managers sought to identify ways to operate and configure the dams and the fish transportation system (barging) to provide safe passage conditions and survival rates that met or exceeded criteria set forth in the Biological Opinion. The challenge was to determine whether a candidate operation or construction item provided the expected survival benefits when the operations and configurations of the entire system were considered. The expected influence of candidate operations and configurations was simulated to screen many millions of combinations and identify the subset that met minimum criteria. Acceptable combinations exhibited a range of survival values, construction costs, and power revenues. This approach provided a set of cost effective combinations from which a mix of survival benefits, construction costs, and power revenues could be chosen to meet stewardship goals. 

Author(s): 

Kenneth D. Ham

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Cost Effective Recovery Strategies for Snake River Chinook Salmon

Year: 
2006
Abstract: 

Formulation of recovery plans for endangered salmon populations in the Columbia River Basin of North America is a complex, controversial resource-management issue. This report presents an integrated assessment model to analyze the biological-economic tradeoffs in recovery of Snake River spring/summer-run chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).The authors find that the removal of an estuarine predator, the Caspian tern (Sterna caspia), and elimination of adult salmon harvest are recovery measures that markedly increase long-term population-growth rates regardless of transport effectiveness. Dam breaching significantly increases growth rates under the best available estimate of transport effectiveness. The authors also conclude that recovery strategies in the cost-effective set depend on assumptions about transport effectiveness. Tern removal and harvest elimination are generally cost effective. At the best estimate of transport effectiveness, strategies that discontinue smolt transportation or breach dams are prevalent in the cost-effective set. In contrast, strategies that maximize transportation are prevalent in the cost-effective set if transport effectiveness is relatively high. This paper links biology and economics through an integrated model thus providing a valuable tool for science-based policy and management.The paper can be downloaded from Michael R. Moore's website at http://sitemaker.umich.edu/micmoore/working_papers

Author(s): 

David L. Halsing and Michael R. Moore

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