Dams

An audacious proposal to revive the Columbia River’s historic Celilo Falls drew heavy flak when it was aired at the Oregon Legislature Thursday.

Wikimedia Commons

Chances are your utility bill has gone up this year. One small part of the reason may be that you’re paying for electricity that was never generated. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty takes a look at how Northwest electricity customers got saddled with more than $2.5 million in payments for power they didn’t use.

D. Kvamme PacifiCorp

More dams are being removed from rivers as they get older and no longer produce hydropower. Researchers have found after these dams come down, rivers return to their natural state surprisingly fast.

Over the years lots of sediment backs up behind dams. Ecologists have worried the release of that sediment would harm habitat and cause flooding.

But a study from Oregon State University found that didn’t happen. Researchers studied two rivers in Oregon before and after dams were removed.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Salmon may soon have a faster way to make it around dams. There’s a new technology that’s helping to transport hatchery fish in Washington. It’s called the salmon cannon — yes, you read that right.

MrPanyGoff / Wikimedia Commons

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades. Tribal leaders from across the region gathered for the past two days in Portland to strategize how to return salmon to their full historic range.

As of Tuesday engineers say the Wanapum Dam’s major crack is stabilizing with the drawdown of the pool behind it.

Dams Help The NW Cope With Climate Change

Sep 26, 2013
Doug Wertman

A new study suggests Columbia River dams are helping the Northwest cope with climate change.

USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

Not much would change for dam operations on the Columbia River under the federal government’s new draft plan for protecting endangered salmon and steelhead.

Tom Roorda / National Park Service website

The largest dam removal in history is on hold. Dam removal on the Elwha River has been temporarily halted because massive amounts of sediment released from above the dams have clogged one of the city’s water treatment facilities.

Research Helps Design Fish-Friendlier Turbines

Jan 17, 2013
Photo courtesy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

When salmon swim through dam turbines, the changes in pressure can be catastrophic to their bodies. Researchers are trying to figure out how improve fish survival rates. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is paying attention. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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