Drought Shouldn't Impact Northwest Hydro Dams Too Much This Summer

Jun 10, 2015

Despite one of the worst drought years on record, hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest should not see their operations disrupted too much this summer.

That's what the Northwest Power and Conservation Council was told at a meeting in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on Wednesday.

Water through the dams in the Columbia River Basin this summer is projected to be only about 71 percent of average, triggering dry year operation protocols for the dams.

The council, which includes members from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, was told that reservoirs would likely be lowered more than usual as the summer wears on.

But the council was told the drought is not expected to cause major problems for threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead runs this year.