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Published on January 12, 2008

Author: Teresa1

Source: authorstream.com

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Either/Or? Is it Hydropower or Salmon in the Northwest?:  John M. Volkman June 13, 2003 Either/Or? Is it Hydropower or Salmon in the Northwest? I. Background:  I. Background Slide5:  A deep-seated conflict: Salmon: cultural icon, mainstay of a fishing economy, central focus of treaties, ESA and Clean Water Act Hydropower: half the region’s energy; vital to NW economy; tied to Canada, California and Southwest energy systems Flood control, navigation, irrigation and recreation Slide7:  Lower Snake River draw-down Slide8:  Litigation and its aftermath: 1994 court rulings concluded that federal recovery efforts were flawed 1994-99 interim opinion hinted at major changes at dams in 1999 Dam-breaching looks cheaper, easier, more effective than draw-down The dilemma in 1998: no authority for breaching breaching would help only Snake River fish Slide9:  The 2000 biological opinion: Avoid jeopardy with federal and non-federal habitat restoration (long-term); tributary water solutions (short-term) Still hinting at major changes 5-10 years out based on monitoring and evaluation Slide10:  National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service: 2000 biological opinion is arbitrary and capricious because it improperly relied on federal habitat programs that weren’t cleared through ESA and non-federal programs not “reasonably certain to occur.” II. Effects of climate change:  II. Effects of climate change “Facts:” 3 degrees F higher average temperatures More rain, less snow Higher winter streamflows, lower summer streamflows Spring runoff peaks about 2 weeks earlier About the same annual runoff (Preliminary Results, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group) Historic vs. projected streamflows :  Historic vs. projected streamflows Source: A. F. Hamlet, Seeds of Crisis, Water Resources Policy and Development in the Columbia River Basin (University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, February 2002) Historic vs. projected climate:  Historic vs. projected climate Slide14:  What might it be like? For the mainstem, consider 2001: hot, dry weather chaotic energy markets hydro operations for salmon abandoned upturn in the ocean record salmon returns III. What’s Next?:  III. What’s Next? Near term: NWF v. NMFS remand: Is the 2000 opinion void? Shore up habitat programs (with a dash of hatchery supplementation? Flood control bottleneck Renegotiate Columbia River Treaty? Breach dams (which ones)? Jeopardy opinion, followed by exemption process? Slide16:  Longer term: Multiple crises overlap with little predictability, sharper conflicts and narrower choices Greenhouse concerns favor hydropower, given current technologies and economics Confusing signals from ecosystems

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