Regional Rivers Resource Assessment as a Tool for Hydropower Planning and Policy: The Pacific Northwest Rivers Study

by Thomas E. Pansky, Bonneville Power Administration, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '89


In August, 1984, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the Northwest Power Planning Council (Council) initiated a study to provide information about important river characteristics that should be preserved while developing hydropower facilities in the Northwest United States. Completed in December, 1986, the Pacific Northwest Rivers Study documents the environmental significance of river resources throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. For each river segment, the states conducted a separate assessment of six categories of resources on over 40,000 individual stream segments throughout the region. To maintain the information, each state has developed a computerized rivers inforamtion system. The resource assessment indicates when conflicts over use and adverse impacts are likely to occur, and creates the opportunity to avoid these conflicts by working to achieve equitable solutions. With this information regulators can guide new hydropower development toward locations where environmental damage can be minimized.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Hydro power | Urban and regional development | Power plants | Fish and fishery management | Computing in civil engineering | River systems | Resource management | United States | Pacific Northwest | Washington | Oregon | Idaho | Montana

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