Northwest RiverPartners advocates for the bettering of our communities, our region, and the world through the low-cost, carbon-free hydropower system. Together, we encourage the balanced use of Columbia Basin rivers, while working towards solutions that help hydropower and salmon coexist and thrive.
Northwest Hydropower By the Numbers
Frequently Asked Questions about Hydro
Answer: Nearly all rivers along the entire North Pacific Coast—from southeast Alaska to southern Oregon—are experiencing similar or worse trends in returns when compared to the lower Columbia and lower Snake rivers.
Do hydroelectric dams lead to significant mortality for salmon?
Answer: Data shows that fish survival past modernized dams can be as good or better than naturally flowing rivers.
Did the lower Snake River dams cause Snake River Chinook and sockeye to become threatened?
Answer: During the same timeframe, ocean conditions dramatically shifted from cooler-than-normal temperatures to warmer-than-normal temperatures. This type of shift is a leading indicator of reduced adult salmon returns.
Answer: Hydropower is critical to the region’s ability to meet these goals because it is carbon-free and because of its energy storage capabilities.
Can batteries become a substitute for hydropower in the Northwest?
Answer: We will likely need all our existing hydropower, plus new sources of energy paired with batteries, to keep up with regional electricity needs.
Are Southern Resident orcas being harmed by the existence of the lower Snake River dams?
Answer: Southern Resident orcas spend most of their time in the Salish Sea. As a result, a NOAA Fisheries’ analysis showed that Chinook from the Salish Sea—not the Columbia or Snake rivers—are the top priority salmon stock for Southern Resident orcas.
Northwest RiverPartners in the News
“The challenge for grid operators is that if there is too little or too much power on the grid at any one time, blackouts can occur. The grid must be in near-perfect balance every second. To keep this balance, a controllable source of electricity is needed to fill in the gaps.”