By Rich Landers
Kayakers are enjoying ritzy new facilities at Trailer Park Wave.
A $480,000 access to the Spokane River geared especially for nonmotorized paddlers, floaters and anglers has been completed by Avista Utilities downstream from Post Falls Dam.
The site includes parking for five vehicles, a vault toilet and a paved trail kayakers can use to carry their boats safely down to the river. Read more
By Rick Landers
The 10 boat-in campsites completed this month at Lake Spokane are the most recent recreational benefits generated by the largest of six hydropower projects on the Spokane River. Read more
By Chenfei Zhang
WASHINGTON – The nation could get new electricity from old dams, saving time and money compared to damming new streams, under a bill that passed the House unanimously this week.
The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and praised by one environmental watchdog group, would speed up the licensing of projects that retrofit existing dams and pipelines.
Building new hydropower dams can be harmful to rivers, Matthew Rice of American Rivers said, but “this bill considers more than just increased megawatts.”
Just 3 percent of the nation’s 80,000 dams are designed for hydropower, but almost 70 percent have the potential to generate electricity, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy. Different dams could be retrofitted to generate between 1 megawatt and 500 megawatts. Read more.
Are environmental regulations making it more difficult for the Bureau of Reclamation to keep hydropower affordable and reliable? During today’s OnPoint, Michael Connor, commissioner of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the second-largest producer of hydropower in the western United States, discusses regulatory and policy hurdles facing hydropower. He also explains how the Bureau of Reclamation is planning for a possible water crisis in the nation.
By Associated Press
Frustrated that a deal to remove a string of hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River in Northern California has stalled, the Hoopa Tribe has petitioned federal authorities to restart the bureaucratic process in hopes it will get the dams out of the river more quickly.
Tribal attorney Tom Schlosser said Tuesday the current agreement is hopelessly bogged down in Congress and going back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offers the best chance to open up the river for struggling salmon and to improve water quality. Read more
By Samantha Tipler
Herald and News
Uncertainty is the only certainty for Klamath River Basin irrigators and fishermen if Klamath River dams remain and a related water agreement is not implemented.
“Status quo is death by a thousand cuts for us,” said Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association. “We have no choice but to keep plugging along. There is no choice.”
Legislation to fund the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and authorize the Interior Secretary to make a decision on dam removal has stalled in Congress.
No action on the agreements for irrigators means continuous uncertainty about water and power rates Read more
By K.C. Mehaffey
The Wenatchee World
OROVILLE — An Okanogan County PUD proposal to relicense Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River near Oroville doesn’t make economic sense, four environmental groups contend.
The PUD has been working for seven years toward restarting operations at the dam, which was built in 1920 but stopped producing power in 1959 when it became cheaper to buy from the Bonneville Power Administration. Read more