Hydroelectric Power - The Risks:
The Salmon Problem:
- Extremely Emotional Issue --> icon of the PNW
- Some Federal Dam Licenses can now be lost because of
salmon migration problems
- Some studies suggest Federal dams are mostly resonsible
for drop from 16 million to 300,000 wild fish per year
- Actual Salmon Count data is available for these dam sites:
- Estimated that to improve migration, utility rates will
rise in the PNW by 8%
- There are lots of other factors at work as well:
- El Nino
- Agressive Fishing
- Poor logging practices and increased soil erosion
Note that reservoirs offer expanded habitat for geese, pelicans,
eagles, osprey. They also help with flood control thus minimizing
soil erosion in the watershed.
Adverse effects of dams on salmon:
- migratory barrier
- killed in turbines (especially young ones swimming downstream)
- supersaturation of air in water (high pressure of water falling
down forces air into the solution)
- reduced oxygen content if river flow is reduced (summer) due
to separation of warm and cold water; cold water doesn't mix to
be aerated (this is mostly a problem in the Tennesee Valley)
- Build fish "passages" to direct them towards tributaries -->
this has proven successful for trout in Oregon
- Better turbine design and screen systems can help eliminate
fishkill on the downstream migration
- Minimize turbulence in the operation of the turbine
- Have better flow control
How will potential lost power be compenstated for?
Read More About it (note: this document will take a few minutes
- energy conservation?
- sale of hydro to the US by Canada?
- Coal-fired plants?
The Columbia River Salmon Passage model (CRiSP)
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