In a move that might be the beginning of the State finally deciding that they are going to need to manage the Columbia River dams, this has been announced.That our state has been ignoring the temperatures in the Snake and Columbia for decades while billions of salmon fry and mature salmon have perished is another block in the wall of shame that has led us to this point.
Dams and climate change are the leading cause of high temperatures in the Columbia and Snake rivers that are killing salmon, according to an EPA draft analysis. Now the state wants to get involved.
And to drive home the point of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRDs) let’s review the information that has been put together by DamSense.org
The 4 LSRD’s have a benefit to cost ratio of 15¢ on the dollar, forego about 4,000 jobs and $500 million in direct expenditures and about $20 million per year that could go to State School budgets, when compared to the benefits of a free flowing river.
The cost of producing power (that is surplus and rarely available for meeting peak demands) adds significant pressure to BPA’s dire financial situation causing rate increases and diverts funds from other dams and restoration work. In the last 93,000 hours of production, the 4 LSRDs produced only 2 hours of power needed by BPA customers.
…The 4LSRDs provide no flood protection. Irrigation to a small number of farms on Ice Harbor pool can easily be upgraded as a mitigation feature of breaching.
Inland waterborne transport on the lower snake of wheat has declined significantly over the last 10 years as Washington State (through its grain shuttle service) and farmers are finding it cheaper to ship by rail. Petroleum shipments up the lower Snake virtually ceased several years ago with the only remaining terminal located at mile 1 on the lower Snake River which is NOT impacted by breaching of the 4LSRD’s
Prepared by J Waddell, Civil Engineer, PE, USACE Retired