Thanks to a wet winter, the Bonneville Power Administration says this will be a “normal” water year for the northwest. That’s an improvement over last year.
Last year’s water supply was below average in the Columbia Basin. The BPA says the water supply forecast for this January through July is slightly above normal. That’s based on water volume measured at The Dalles Dam. Erik Pytlak is with BPA.
Pytlak: “This year has been a little warmer than normal but the snowpack was able to build pretty well especially in the Columbia Basin away from the Cascades up into Montana, Idaho and Canada. So things are looking pretty good from that standpoint.”
BPA provides power and sets prices for northwest utilities.
The warm winter has driven down the price of natural gas. That affects the amount of money BPA can get for its surplus electricity, which means a rate hike for local utilities.