Hydro dams not heavily impacted by drought

Regional power planning group says water levels will be low, but the system is “pretty resilient.”

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The Northwest Power and Conservation Council acknowledged Wednesday that the Columbia River Basin water levels will be about 71 percent of average this summer.

The council was also told by wildlife managers that the low water levels would not adversely impact endangered salmon or navigation systems.

“What you are describing is a pretty resilient system,” said Phil Rockefeller of Washington, who is chair of the council.

Giant hydro dams on the Columbia and Snake river systems provide much of the electricity for the Pacific Northwest. The dams also provide flood control, irrigation for crops, navigation of cargo, and the water needed for fish to migrate to the sea and then back home to spawn. This year, a light winter snowpack has raised concerns about how a water shortage would impact those activities.

(SOURCE: Associated Press)

The council is comprised of appointees from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. 

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