Columbia River System Operation Review

by Robert A. Barbo, Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


For many years hydroelectric power has been a surplus commodity in the Pacific Northwest. However, this picture has been changing rapidly in recent years. Increasing pressures for use of limited water resources for many competing uses, combined with steadily increasing load growth, has consumed the surplus bringing the region to its present position of load-resource balance. Also, environmental values have become more important in the region as evidenced by the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act enacted in 1980, and recent petitions requesting that several species of salmon be considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The Bureau of Reclamation, Bonneville Power Administration, and the Corps of Engineers are jointly preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to address expiring power coordination agreements in the Columbia River Basin. In conjunction with that EIS, the three Federal agencies have launched a System Operation Review which will identify and evaluate trade-offs associated with alternative operational scenarios in the basin. A further goal of this activity is to develop an operational strategy for the system which recognizes and responds to all of the water resource needs in the basin in a fair and equitable manner.

Subject Headings: Basins | River systems | Load factors | Electric power | Hydro power | Water resources | Power plants | Fish management | Pacific Northwest | United States

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