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Regional Briefing . Nancy Stephan – Treaty Review Program Manager Bonneville Power Administration Matt Rea – Treaty Review Program Manager U.S. Army Corps of Engineers February 28, 2011. Outline. Treaty Background 2014/2024 Review Joint Phase 1 Studies U.S. Entity Supplemental Studies

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Regional Briefing

Nancy Stephan – Treaty Review Program Manager

Bonneville Power Administration

Matt Rea – Treaty Review Program Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

February 28, 2011


Treaty Background

2014/2024 Review

Joint Phase 1 Studies

U.S. Entity Supplemental Studies

Flood Risk Management

U.S. Entity Perspective

Next Steps

Columbia River


the columbia river basin
The Columbia River Basin
  • Canada has 15% of the basin area, but contributes 35% of 134 million acre feet (Maf) average annual flow at The Dalles.
  • Flow at Canadian border varies from 14,000 to 555,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), much wider variation (1:40) than Mississippi or St. Lawrence.
  • Unregulated flow at The Dalles varies from 36,000 to 1,240,000 cfs a ratio of 1:34, compared to the St. Lawrence 1:2 and Mississippi 1:25 ratios.
  • Columbia River basin has most hydropower capacity (~37 GW) in North America, but large variations in seasonal and annual natural flows that cause power and flood control regulation problems.
general treaty provisions
General Treaty Provisions
  • The Treaty required Canada to construct and operate three large dams (Mica, Arrow, and Duncan) with 15.5 million acre-feet (Maf) of storage in the upper Columbia River basin in Canada for optimum power generation and flood control downstream in Canada and the U.S.
  • The Treaty allowed the U.S. to construct and operate Libby dam with 5 Maf of storage on the Kootenai River in Montana for flood control and other purposes. Libby creates power and flood control benefits downstream in Canada and the U.S., and these benefits have no payment requirements.
  • U.S. and Canada are to share equally the downstream power benefits (DSB’s) produced in the U.S from the operation of Canadian Treaty storage.
  • The Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (Chair) and Division Engineer of the Northwestern Division USACE (Member) are the U.S. Entity that implements the Treaty. The Canadian Entity is B.C. Hydro and Power Authority.


Duncan and Arrow

Treaty Non-Treaty Generator Dam

CompletedStorage Storage Capacity Height

DUNCAN 1967 1.4 Maf None None 130 ft.

ARROW 1968 7.1 Maf .25 Maf 185 MW 170 ft.

Arrow Lake

Keenleyside Dam




Mica and Libby

Treaty Non-Treaty Installed Hydraulic Dam

CompletedStorage Storage Capacity Capacity Height

MICA 1973 7.0 Maf 5.0 Maf 1740 MW 40 KCFS 650 ft.

LIBBY 1973 5.0 Maf None 604 MW 25 KCFS 370 ft.

Kinbasket Lake


treaty power provisions
Treaty Power Provisions
  • Canada must operate 15.5 Maf of their Treaty storage for optimum power generation downstream in Canada AND the United States.
  • U.S. must deliver electric power to Canada equal to one-half the estimated U.S. power benefits (Canadian Entitlement) from the operation of Canadian Treaty storage, currently worth about $250-$350 million annually.
  • Province of B.C. owns Canadian Entitlement, and BPA (on behalf of the U.S. Entity) delivers the power based on daily schedules set by B.C.
  • Owners of five Mid-Columbia non-federal hydro projects deliver 27.5% of Canadian Entitlement to BPA for delivery to B.C.
treaty flood control provisions
Treaty Flood Control Provisions
  • Canada is obligated to operate 8.45 Maf of reservoir storage (increased to 8.95 Maf in 1995 due to reallocation of Mica/Arrow storage) under a flood control operating plan that attempts to eliminate, or if not possible then reduce, all flood damages in both Canada and the U.S.
  • Canada must also operate all additional storage on an on-call basis (as requested and paid for). This has never been used to date.
  • As the dams were completed, the U.S. paid Canada $64.4 million for one-half the present worth of the expected future U.S. flood damages prevented from 1968 through 2024.
  • This U.S. purchase of 8.45 Maf of flood control operation expires in 2024.

Vanport Flood 1948

Portland Flood 1996

effect of columbia river coordinated reservoir operations
Effect of Columbia River Coordinated Reservoir Operations

Columbia River Treaty Benefits

Values of Maf are for The Dalles April-August Runoff

columbia river treaty benefits
Columbia River Treaty Benefits
  • Canadian Treaty storage reduces flood flows and increases generation at U.S. projects by reducing spill, shifting energy from low value time periods to high value time periods, and augmenting low inflows.
  • The Treaty motivated infrastructure and governance development such as the electrical intertie to California, regional power preference legislation, and added generators at most Columbia dams.
  • Several regional power coordination agreements are related to the Treaty (e.g. Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement).
columbia river treaty organizations
Columbia River Treaty Organizations


Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Ministry Natural Resources




Department of State

Department of Army

Department of Energy




for Art.XIV2j*






Engineering Committee ***CANADIAN UNITED STATES












*Established by TREATY **Established by ENTITIES***Established by PEB

The Treaty has no specified end date; however, either nation can terminate most of the provisions of the Treaty as early as Sep 2024, with a minimum 10 years’ written notice.

Current assured annual flood control operating procedures will end in 2024, independent of Treaty decision.

Why Conduct the 2014/2024 Review?

post 2024 power operations
Post-2024 Power Operations

If the Treaty continues:

Coordinated annual planning of an optimum U.S. and Canadian power operation continues

U.S. continues to deliver Canadian Entitlement

Certainty in Canadian storage operations through Treaty planning and coordination

If the Treaty is terminated:

B.C. will operate Mica, Arrow, and Duncan for the benefit of Canada (subject to Boundary Waters Treaty), except for Called Upon flood control operations. The U.S. will continue to coordinate with Canada on the operation of Libby.

Canadian Entitlement will cease to exist

post 2024 flood control
Post-2024 Flood Control

Flood control provided by Canadian projects transitions to a “Called Upon” operation after 2024 for the life of the projects:

U.S. requests for called upon storage limited to potential floods that cannot be adequately controlled by all related (effective) U.S. storage

Canada must be consulted prior to a called upon action

Called upon storage to provide no greater degree of flood control after 2024 than prior to 2024

U.S. must pay for operating costs and any economic losses in Canada due to the called upon operation

Regardless of Whether the Treaty Continuesor is Terminated:

phase 1 studies project overview
Phase 1 Studies:Project Overview

The Phase 1 studies were joint studies by the U.S. and Canadian Entities.

The purpose of the studies was to provide fundamental information about post-2024 conditions, with and without the Treaty.

These initial studies only addressed power and flood control. This was necessary to allow an informed regional discussion regarding how to model other factors such as fisheries mitigation and additional irrigation withdrawals over these existing base operations.

phase 1 studies key driving assumptions flood control
Phase 1 StudiesKey Driving Assumptions: Flood Control

Methodologies and Requirements of Called Upon Flood Control:Called Upon procedures used in the Phase 1 studies provided a starting point for refining future modeling of Called Upon. The Phase 1 Called Upon methodology is just one preliminary look at this procedure.

Maximum Flow Objective:Studies looked only at two alternative flood control maximum flow objectives (600 and 450 kcfs at The Dalles) in the Phase 1 studies represented only a range of potential flow objectives. Refining of the actual flood control need will be done through future studies and the Corps’ Flood Risk Management effort.

Effective Use of U.S. Reservoirs:U.S. Entity can “call upon Canada to operate storage only to control potential floods in the U.S. that could not be adequately controlled by all the related storage facilities in the U.S…”

Called Upon Cost:No calculation of Canadian operating costs and economic losses were done in the Phase 1 studies.

phase 1 studies key driving assumptions
Phase 1 StudiesKey Driving Assumptions

Future Loads and Resources:Energy demand and the resources to meet that demand were estimated from available information, including projections of renewables and conservation, for the 2024-2025 and 2044-2045 periods. The process of forecasting loads and resources is highly uncertain.

Future Canadian Operating Scenarios:The Canadian operation used in the Treaty is Terminated scenarios only represents one type of power operation and does not adequately evaluate the possible ranges of operations and flows across the border.

Use of Study Conclusions:The results of both the Phase 1 studies and the Supplemental studies should not be assumed to be the conclusion or answer to issues related to post-2024 Treaty outcomes, but rather a starting point for discussion and future work. The limited scope to these studies does not provide enough information to base any recommendation or conclusion.

u s entity supplemental studies overview
U.S. Entity Supplemental StudiesOverview

The joint Phase 1 studies did not include the ESA Biological Opinions and other fish operations at U.S. projects, and as such, they did not depict realistic results for flows, reservoir levels, and generation in the U.S.

The Supplemental Report is a U.S. Entity developed companion report to the jointly developed Columbia River Treaty 2014/2024 Review Phase 1 Report.

Purpose of the Supplemental studies was to overlay current Biological Opinions and other fish operations to the Phase 1 studies.


columbia river treaty 2014 2024 review status
Columbia River Treaty 2014/2024 Review Status
  • Work Completed to Date
    • Phase 1: U.S./Canadian Entities Joint Technical Studies
    • U.S. Entity Supplemental Studies
  • Work Currently Underway
    • Corps Flood Risk Management Studies (continuing)
    • Regional Engagement with Sovereign and Stakeholder Interests
    • Scoping of next set of technical studies with regional input
The importance of risk-based approaches to flood management

All key variables, parameters and components of flood management are subject to probability-based analysis

Focus on uncertainties of variables having significant impact on study conclusions

Systems Approach

Canadian storage drafts must be viewed within a systems approach to flood risk management in which this is one tool in a suite of tools to manage flooding in the Columbia River Basin in the U.S.

Other tools include U.S. Reservoir Storage and local flood measures

U.S. Entity Flood Risk Management Considerations

u s entity flood risk management studies
U.S. Entity Flood Risk Management Studies

Flood Risk Assessment


Collect and manage data and develop tools and processes necessary to produce quantifiable estimates of flood risk management benefits and costs

Characterize current level of flood risk under base conditions

Complete by September 2011

Flood Risk Management

Objective: Evaluate flood risk management benefits and costs associated with alternative Treaty strategies

Complete by January 2013

Flood Risk Communication

Objective: Prepare Decision Documents needed to inform U.S. Treaty decision

September 2013

flood risk assessment products and deliverables
Flood Risk AssessmentProducts and Deliverables

Inventory and analyze existing floodplain data…

Floodplain Mapping and Surveying

Levee Assessments

Economic Surveys

  • 3000 sq. miles
  • 4 states
  • 42 counties
  • 180,000 structures
  • 160 levee systems
  • 1600 river miles
  • 9 points per sq. meter
flood risk assessment products and deliverables cont
Flood Risk AssessmentProducts and Deliverables (cont.)

Develop analytical tools…

Hydraulic/ Hydrologic Studies

Develop Updated Flood Stage-Damage Curves

key flood management questions to be answered
Key Flood Management Questions to be Answered…

What is the flood risk in the Columbia River Basin under both the current Flood Control Operating Plan and future alternatives?

Can we adequately manage flood risk without assured flood control space in Canada (with Called Upon) after 2024?

What are the implications of climate change for basin hydrology and flood risk between now and 2024? After 2024?

What is the possible range of “economic losses” that could be incurred by the U.S. for Canadian flood control storage?

What are the potential non-economic (especially environmental) consequences for other river uses and benefits associated with flood risk management alternatives?

columbia river treaty u s entity treaty perspectives summary
Columbia River TreatyU.S. Entity Treaty Perspectives: Summary
  • The lack of coordinated hydro operations on an international river system such as the Columbia could result in additional uncertainty for downstream U.S. power, flood control, fisheries, and other non-power river uses and operations.
  • Expectations are that Called Upon will be needed post-2024, but how much is needed, how it will be implemented, and how it will be paid for are still uncertain and will need to be evaluated in future work.
  • U.S. reservoirs in the PNW may have to be operated much differently for flood control post-2024, and this could have significant implications for interests around those reservoirs.
  • Without the Treaty, the U.S. retains about 300 - 500 average annual MW of energy and 1300 -1500 MW of capacity as a carbon-free resource.
  • Many of the current U.S. operations (e.g. BiOp objectives) are not considered when determining Entitlement return to Canada.
columbia river treaty u s entity perspective responsibilities
Columbia River TreatyU.S. Entity Perspective: Responsibilities
  • The U.S. Entity authority to conduct the Columbia River Treaty 2014/2024 Review and to make a recommendation is derived from E.O. No. 11177 (signed by President Johnson September 16, 1964) designating the U.S. Entity for the Columbia River Treaty and empowering and charging it with “the duty to formulate and carry out the operating arrangements necessary to implement the Treaty”.
  • Continuation of the Treaty may be managed by the U.S. Entity but any amendment or termination must be decided by the U.S. State Department and President and any amendments must be approved by the U.S. Senate (with an equivalent process in Canada)
  • The U.S. Entity will remain neutral until then as to whether the Treaty should be maintained, terminated, modified, amended or supplemented by a diplomatic instrument such as an exchange of notes.
  • The U.S. Entity is committed to delivering a recommendation to Department of State by September 2013 as to whether or not it is in the best interest of the U.S. to: (1) continue the Treaty; (2) terminate the Treaty; or, (3) seek to negotiate with Canada on modification or amendment to the Treaty.
columbia river treaty next steps
Columbia River Treaty Next Steps

Consistent with responsibility for implementing the Treaty, the U.S. Entity is continuing to conduct the CRT 2014/2024 Review with input from and coordination with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and regional stakeholders.

Other regional concerns such as ecosystem health, water supply and quality, climate change, cultural resources, recreation, navigation, irrigation, and other river uses will need to be considered.

The Corps of Engineers is continuing to work on its comprehensive Flood Risk Management (FRM) project.

Climate change data sets (streamflows, temperatures) are completed, will be part of next phase of modeling and scenario development.

Expectations are that the U.S. Entity will provide a recommendation on the Treaty future to the Department of State by late 2013.


external engagement strategy
External Engagement Strategy
  • Design and Implement an Engagement Plan that meets the needs of the PNW region to identify and define sovereign and stakeholder interests regarding various Treaty future scenarios and evaluation. This process must address the interests of key parties as well as general stakeholders in the region.
  • Sovereign Review Team: (monthly meetings starting in October 2010)
  • Four States: OR, WA, ID, MT
  • 15 NW Tribes (5 representatives)
  • NW Stakeholders: (first learning session is scheduled for March 10, 2011)
  • Plan must take into consideration stakeholder concerns and input. This may be done in several ways:
  • Regional workshops
  • Joint Sovereign Policy Group/Stakeholder meetings
  • Technical consultation with regional experts among stakeholder groups

Treaty Review Timeline

The U.S. Entity is fully committed to an open, non-prejudicial, collaborative, and region-wide engagement process and expects to work with the region to develop additional analysis, including a broader range of scenarios for evaluation.

Other regional concerns such as ecosystem health, water supply and quality, climate change, cultural resources, recreation, navigation, irrigation, and other needs will need to be considered.

For more information:

Matt ReaNancy Stephan

Program Manager Program Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bonneville Power Administration

503-808-4750 503-230-5296