Approaching obsolescence? A multi-criteria analysis of high-risk dams in the United States Pacific Northwest


International Journal of Water Resources Development, Hydropower Reform Coalition


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Case StudiesRecommended readingPublished   1/28/2021

ABSTRACT: This research uses a multi-criteria analysis tool and field site observation to critically analyse a network of dams across a single watershed in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The analysis offers a template to better understand some nuances and complexities involved in decision-making leading to relicensing, retrofitting or decommissioning of both powered and non-powered structures. The study focuses on 13 dams in Oregon’s Willamette River Basin Reservoir System, where the average age of structures is 62 years, exceeding a national mean of 57 years. Research outcomes can inform stakeholders who make decisions regarding America’s high-risk dam network as it rapidly approaches obsolescence.

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