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Salmon and Energy:. Do We Have Enough Power to Remove the Dams? by Katherine Hausrath [email protected] www.britishenergy.com/environment/BE/school/. http://www.bluefish.org/opendams.htm. Thank you .

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Salmon and energy

Salmon and Energy:

Do We Have Enough Power to Remove the Dams?

by

Katherine Hausrath

[email protected]

www.britishenergy.com/environment/BE/school/

http://www.bluefish.org/opendams.htm


Thank you

Thank you

  • Reed Burkholder, a long-time advocate of the salmon, who pointed me towards the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers websites and other information.


Scope of my presentation

Scope of My Presentation

  • Background

    • Dams

    • Salmon

  • Why are the dams a problem?

    • Scientific issues

    • Legal issues

  • Energy issues


Where are the dams

Where are the dams?

  • On the lower Snake River

  • West of Lewiston, Idaho

  • In southeastern Washington

http://www.sci.wsu.edu/idea/Salmon/salmon.html


The lower snake river

The lower Snake River

http://protophoto.com/picture.html?pic=2807


The four dams

The four dams

  • Lower Granite – constructed in 1975

  • Little Goose - constructed in 1970

  • Lower Monumental - constructed in 1969

  • Ice Harbor - constructed in 1962


Lower granite dam

Lower Granite Dam

http://crunch.tec.army.mil/nid/webpages/nidviewpictures.cfm?ID=100607&ACC=1


Lower monumental dam

Lower Monumental Dam

http://crunch.tec.army.mil/nid/webpages/nidviewpictures.cfm?ID=100599&ACC=1


Ice harbor dam

Ice Harbor Dam

http://crunch.tec.army.mil/nid/webpages/nidviewpictures.cfm?ID=100605&ACC=1


Who owns the dams

Who owns the dams?

  • The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation own and operate the 31 dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.

  • The Army Corps of Engineers owns the four dams at issue.

    Bonneville Power Administration, Who Are We? (April 7, 2004), at http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/About_BPA/.


Bonneville power administration

Bonneville Power Administration

  • Part of the Department of Energy, but not tax-supported.

  • Markets the electricity from the dams to the Pacific Northwest’s public and private utilities.

    Bonneville Power Administration, Who Are We? (April 7, 2004), at http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/About_BPA/.


Why were the dams built

Why were the dams built?

  • Irrigation

  • Creating an inland port

  • Hydropower


Irrigation

Irrigation

  • Only Ice Harbor provides irrigation.

  • Only provides water to 35,000 acres on 24 farms.

    Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, The

    Columbia & Snake Rivers Interactive Map, at

    http://www.removedams.org/interactive%5Fmap

    (last visited April 5, 2004);See alsoMichael C.

    Blumm, et al., Symposium on Water Law: Saving

    Snake River Water and Salmon Simultaneously: The

    Biological, Economic and Legal Case for Breaching

    the Lower Snake River Dams, Lowering the JohnDay

    Reservoir, and Restoring Natural River Flows, 28

    Envtl. L. 997, 1024 (1998) (hereinafter Blumm).

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/irsprayhigh.html


Idaho s inland port

Idaho’s Inland Port

  • The chief economic benefit is navigation.

  • The dams allow Lewiston, Idaho, 465 miles upriver from the Pacific ocean, to be a “seaport.”

    Blumm at 1024.

http://www.idahofuturetravel.info/PortTrns.asp


Hydropower

Hydropower

  • The dams produce about 5% of the Northwest’s power.

  • I will discuss this in much greater detail later.

    Blumm at 1024.


Not flood control

NOT Flood Control

  • None of the four lower Snake River dams are authorized for flood control.

    Blumm at note 155 (citing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Columbia River System Operation Review, Final

    Environmental Impact Statement 3-3 (1995)).


Salmon

Salmon

  • Anadromous – which means they spend time in fresh water and the ocean.

  • 4-5 year life span.

  • Five species:

    • Sockeye (pictured)

    • Chinook

    • Chum

    • Coho

    • Pink.

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, What’s a Salmon?,athttp://salmonofthewest.fws.gov/default.htm (Mar. 24, 2004).

http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/mapswitc.htm


Why are the dams a problem

Why are the dams a problem?

  • The Dams’ Impact on Salmon

  • Importance of Protecting Salmon

    • Endangered Species Act

    • Native American treaties

    • Salmon’s role in the ecosystem


Negative impacts of the dams

Negative Impacts of the Dams

  • Salmon need fast-moving, cold water.

  • Dams create slow-moving, warm pools of water ideal for predators of salmon.

  • Dams block/impede salmon migration.

City of Seattle, Habitat Salmon Needs at Each Stage of the Life Cycle, (last visited April 8, 2004), at

http://www.cityofseattle.net/salmon/needs.htm


Salmon only have a short time period to move between fresh and salt water

Salmon only have a short time period to move between fresh and salt water

  • When baby salmon (smolts) begin to move toward the sea, they only have a set amount of time before their bodies can no longer tolerate fresh water.

  • In reverse, when adults come back to spawn, they only have a set amount of time before they die.

City of Seattle, Habitat Salmon Needs at Each Stage of the Life Cycle, (last visited April 8, 2004), at

http://www.cityofseattle.net/salmon/needs.htm


Scientific opinion

Scientific Opinion

  • NMFS attributes 80% of the decline in the salmon populations directly to the Snake River dams.

  • The Army Corps of Engineers found that the dams have raised the aggregate mortality of juvenile salmon in the 330 miles of continuous reservoir created by the four Snake River Dams from 33-75%.

    Chris Garrett, The Political Symbolism of Dams, (1999) (citing United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lower

    Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Study, (1997)) at

    http://www.whitman.edu/environmental_studies/WWRB/damsymbol.htm


Endangered species act

Endangered Species Act

  • Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) in 1973.

  • The ESA’s purpose is to conserve and recover “listed” species as well as the ecosystems upon which these species depend.

    Endangered Species Act, § 1531(b).


National marine fisheries service

National Marine Fisheries Service

  • NMFS – responsible for ESA-listed salmon and steelhead (a type of salmonid) - as well as all other marine species.

  • NMFS has listed 26 populations of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers as endangered, threatened, or candidate species.

    National Marine Fisheries Service, Endangered Species Act Status of West Coast Salmon and Steelhead, at

    http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/pubs/1pgr.pdf (Mar. 25, 2004).


Listed populations of salmon

Listed Populations of Salmon

  • Sockeye – one endangered and one threatened population.

  • Chinook – two endangered, seven threatened, one candidate populations.

  • Coho – two threatened populations, three candidate populations.

  • Chum – two threatened populations.

  • Pink – none presently listed.

  • Steelhead– two endangered, eight threatened and one candidate species.

    National Marine Fisheries Service, Endangered Species Act Status of West Coast Salmon and Steelhead, at

    tp://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/pubs/1pgr.pdf (Mar. 25, 2004)


Esa jeopardy decisions

ESA Jeopardy Decisions

  • § 7 - Agencies whose actions may affect listed species of anadromous fish must “consult” with NMFS.

  • NMFS decided that the federal Columbia Basin dam operations would jeopardize the continued existence of listed salmon and steelhead.

  • NMFS must then discuss the availability of reasonable alternatives that it can take to avoid jeopardy.


Nmfs decided that dam breaching is not a reasonable alternative

NMFS decided that dam-breaching is not a “reasonable alternative.”

  • NMFS is currently attempting to protect the salmon through methods besides breaching the dams.


Methods besides dam breaching

Methods Besides Dam-breaching

  • Barging has been the most common on the four dams at issue.

  • Smolts (juvenile salmon) are collected at the dams, loaded on trucks or barges, and are released below the dams.

  • This is not effective.

    See Blumm.

http://www.taxpayer.net/snake/GAOfactsheet.pdf


Other ineffective methods

Other Ineffective Methods

  • Fish ladders (pictured)

  • Spilling water at dams over the spillway.

  • Spilling water over the dams is somewhat effective, but is not done if the water gets low.

  • None of these options are as effective as dam-breaching.

    See Blumm.

http://www.steinborn.org/jim/gifs/alaska2/bonneville-fish-ladder.JPG ,


Breaching the dams is the best scientific option

Breaching the Dams is the best scientific option

  • Scientists agree that breaching the dam is the best option, scientifically, for recovering the salmon.

  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game has said the “natural river option is the best biological choice for recovering salmon and steelhead in Idaho...with the highest certainty of success and lowest risk of failure, and is consistent with the preponderance of scientific data.”

Blumm at 1012 (quoting Idaho Dep't of Fish & Game, Report to the Director, Idaho's Anadromous Fish Stocks: Their Status and Recovery Options 16 (1998)).


The controversy and the reason for nmfs decision was mainly political

The controversy, and the reason for NMFS’ decision was mainly political.

  • I will address economic issues surrounding the breaching of the dams later.


Native american treaty rights

Native American Treaty Rights

http://www.watershed-watch.org/ww/Photos/dipnetting.html


The tribes

The Tribes

  • The Nez Perce Tribe

  • The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

  • The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon

  • The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Treaties, (April 4, 2004), athttp://www.critfc.org/text/treaties.html


The land

The Land

  • In 1855, the tribes signed four treaties that ceded over 35 million acres of the Columbia River basin to the United States in exchange for…

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Treaties, (April 4, 2004), athttp://www.critfc.org/text/treaties.html


The treaty text

The Treaty Text

  • “The exclusive right of taking fish in the streams running through and bordering said reservation is hereby secured to said Indians; and at all other usual and accustomed stations, in common with citizens of the United States, and of erecting suitable houses for curing the same; also the privilege of hunting, gathering roots and berries, and pasturing their stock on unclaimed lands, in common with citizens, is secured to them.”

    Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Treaties, (April 4, 2004), athttp://www.critfc.org/text/treaties.html

    (emphasis added).


Supreme court decisions

Supreme Court Decisions

  • 1905 - Treaties are to be interpreted the way the Indians understood them. U.S. v. Winans.

  • 1979 - The tribes were entitled to a “fair share” of the fish, which was interpreted as 50% of the harvestable fish destined for the tribes’ usual and accustomed fishing places. U.S. v. Washington.

    U.S. v. Winans, 198 U.S. 371, 371 (1905); U.S. v. Washington, 444 U.S. 816, 816 (1979).


Salmon s role in the ecosystem

Salmon’s Role in the Ecosystem

  • Many species depend upon salmon for food, including bears.

http://www.wildlifewebsite.com/bear/alaskan-brown-bear-with-salmon-97.html


Salmon replenish nutrients

Salmon Replenish Nutrients

  • Salmon carcasses contribute significantly to the nitrogen capital in freshwater systems.

  • One study found that 18% of the nitrogen in riparian plants along a coho salmon spawning stream was of marine origin.

Robert E. Bilby & Peter A. Bisson, Nutrient Enrichment of Riparian Areas by Spawning Salmon, (1997), (citing Bilby, et al.), athttp://www.onrc.washington.edu/research/pnw/1997/NutrientEnrichmentofRiparianAreasbySpawningSalmon.htm


How to breach the dams

How to Breach the Dams

  • Slowly lower reservoir levels to prevent erosion;

  • Remove the earthen embankment, and leave the concrete locks and powerhouses dry.

  • Breaching all four lower Snake dams would take about 4-7 years.

    Blumm at note 32 (citing Bill Loftus, How To Breach A

    Dam, Lewiston Morning Trib., June 7, 1998, at 1D).


Breaching ice harbor dam

Breaching Ice Harbor Dam

Before After

http://www.wildsalmon.org/about/partially.htm


Energy issues

Energy Issues:

How much power do the dams actually produce?

Picture of the generator room at Lower Monumental http://www.theslowlane.com/91tripb/gen.html


The terms

The Terms:

  • Watts - measure instantaneous use of power – for example, a 100-watt light bulb uses 100 watts per hour.

  • Megawatt – one million watts.

  • Megawatt hours (MWH)– the actual output of megawatts for a period of time.

  • Average megawatt hours (aMW) – the average output of a power source per hour.

    • For example, on March 1 Lower Granite produced 5,880 MWH, so 5,880/24 = 245 aMW.

      Bob Bellemare, What is a Megawatt? (June 24, 2003), athttp://www.utilipoint.com/issuealert/print.asp?id=1728


Energy production of the lower snake dams march 2004

Energy Production of the Lower Snake Dams: March, 2004

(note, this is near-peak production time for these dams)


Lower granite

Lower Granite

  • MWH for all of March – 228,304

  • aMW – 307 (to calculate this, take the MWH for the whole month and divide by 31 days and then divide by 24 hours).

Lower Granite – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Production of Lower Granite Dam, (Mar. 2004), at http:// www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/ftppub/project_data/daily/lwg.txt


Little goose

Little Goose

  • MWH for March – 225,374

  • aMW - 303

Little Goose - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Production of Little Goose Dam, (Mar. 2004), athttp://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/ftppub/project_data/daily/lgs.txt


Lower monumental

Lower Monumental

  • MWH for March – 239,406

  • aMW - 322

Lower Monumental - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Production of Lower Monumental Dam, (Mar. 2004), athttp://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/ftppub/project_data/daily/lmn.txt


Ice harbor

Ice Harbor

  • MWH for March – 232,540

  • aMW – 313

Ice Harbor - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Production of Ice Harbor Dam, (Mar. 2004), athttp://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/ftppub/project_data/daily/ihr.txt


How does this compare to all of the power produced in the northwest

How does this compare to all of the power produced in the Northwest?


What is the relevant total power produced

What is the relevant total power produced?

  • Bonneville Power Administration (the federal agency that sells power to the utilities) serves most of Idaho, Oregon, Washington and part of Montana and Canada.

     Bonneville Power Administration, Who Are We? (April 7, 2004),

at http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/About_BPA/

http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/About_BPA/


Idaho

Idaho

  • Electric generation for all of 2002: 9,786,933 MWH

  • 1117 aMW (I calculated this by taking 9,786,933 divided by 365 days and then divided by 24 hours).

Energy Information Administration, State Electricity Profiles, 2002, (Dec. 2002), athttp://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/st_profiles/idaho.pdf


Washington

Washington

  • Electric Generation for all of 2002: 102,765,048 MWH

  • 11,731 aMW

Energy Information Administration, State Electricity Profiles, 2002, (Dec. 2002), athttp://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/st_profiles/washington.pdf


Oregon

Oregon

  • Electric Generation for all of 2002: 47,099,368 MWH

  • 5,376 aMW

Energy Information Administration, State Electricity Profiles, 2002, (Dec. 2002), athttp://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/st_profiles/oregon.pdf


The lower snake river dams power contribution

The Lower Snake River Dams’ Power Contribution

  • The power produced by the 3 states: 18,224 aMW.*

  • The power produced by the four lower Snake River dams: 1,245 aMW.

  • At the highest production time for the dams (Spring) the dams only produce 6.8% of the energy in the Northwest.

    * This is not including the power produced in western Montana and western Canada, which is still part of the Bonneville Power Administration’s service area.


The lower snake river dams power contribution1

The Lower Snake River Dams’ Power Contribution

6.8%


Northwest power sources

Northwest Power Sources

Northwest Power and Conservation Council http://www.nwppc.org/energy/powersupply/source.htm


Problems with using the dams as an energy source

Problems with Using the Dams as an Energy Source

  • The power is not produced evenly throughout the year.

  • The dams produce power in relation to the flow of the Snake River.

  • The Snake River levels fluctuate with the seasons, which means the dams produce the most power when the consumers least need it (Spring).


Snake river levels

Snake River Levels

Median Flow of the Snake River at Nyssa, Oregon

United States Geological Services, Monthly Streamflow Statistics for Idaho: USGS 13213100 SNAKE RIVER AT

NYSSA, OR, (April 10, 2004), at http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/monthly/?site_no=13213100&agency_cd=USGS


Cost of breaching the dams

Cost of Breaching the Dams

  • Studies have found that breaching the dam and replacing the power with renewableenergy sources (instead of just conserving the power) would raise each household’s energy costs by $1-5 per month.

American Rivers, The Facts on Salmon, Energy and the Snake River Dams (last visited April 7, 2004)(citing Natural Resource Defense Council, Going with the Flow: Replacing the Four Lower Snake Dams, (2000)), athttp://www.amrivers.org/doc_repository/SnakeRiver/SnakeEnergyFinal.pdf; See also U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Study, Power System Analysis, (July 1999), athttp://www.nww.usace.army.mil/lsr/NEWS/info5.htm (finding that the average cost to consumers would be $1-5 extra per month).


Can we breach the dams and still have a reliable energy supply

Can We Breach the Dams and Still Have a Reliable Energy Supply?

  • The lower Snake River dams only produce 6.8% of the Northwest’s power supply at their near-peak production time.

  • There are many ways to replace this power. For example….


Energy efficiency

Energy Efficiency

  • In response to the black-outs, California instituted a very successful energy efficiency campaign.

  • Electricity use fell 6 % in the first nine months of 2001 compared to the same period during 2000.

  • Peak use dropped even more. For example, in June, peak demand dropped 12 %.

  • Northwest consumers could similarly reduce their power consumption.

Natural Resource Defense Council, Energy Conservation Solves a Crisis, (Dec. 31, 2001), at http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fcal2001.asp


Other options to replace the power

Other Options to Replace the Power

  • Solar

  • Wind

  • Bioenergy

  • Geothermal

  • Hydrogen

http://www.imaginationsolar.com/Gallery/sp_w_pv.htm

http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_pages/0023-0310-1018-2454.html

http://www.ece.umr.edu/links/power/Energy_Course/energy/Renewables/geotherm/pictures/geysers6.jpg


Information on renewable energy

Information on Renewable Energy

  • For research and general information on these renewable energy sources, as well as policy arguments,

  • See Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology, Renewable Energy Policy Project, (last visited April 12, 2004), athttp://solstice.crest.org/index.html.


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • It is possible to maintain energy reliability and breach the dams.

  • We would lose at most 6.8% power at near-peak production times.

  • We could either reduce demand or replace this power with renewable energy sources.

  • We would save the salmon and fulfill the ESA and Native American treaty obligations.


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