Light in the River - climate solutions for the Columbia and Snake Rivers

 

litr.logo"Light from the river illuminates our homes. But let us also remember and honor the light in the river."  - Don Sampson, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation

Salmon are the light in our rivers. In partial return for earth’s blessings, we must keep that light shining.

Salmon are a beacon to guide us through climate disruption. If any species can show us the way through this human-caused crisis, it is these adaptive masters.

SOS HWR SqTwo further convictions guide this program:

Halting climate change and adapting to it are reciprocal challenges, connected by permeable membranes. Actions by individuals, businesses, and governments that address only one side of the challenge are likely to fail.

Climate change is dissolving boundaries between issues, interests and parties. A program to help salmon through climate upheaval cannot focus solely on salmon. An agency seeking to tackle climate change cannot do so solely within its statutory or constituency bounds.

Learn more about our two Light in the River reports: A Great Wave Rising and Bright Future.

 SOS HwR

-- REPORT FOR JULY 19, 2016 --

INTRODUCTION: With weekly updates, The Hot Water Report 2016 tracks water temperatures, salmon survival and climate related developments in the Columbia-Snake River Basin this summer.  The report is updated weekly - published here every Tuesday - from early July through September. Each week we will share the most recent temperature data from the Columbia-Snake Rivers, news stories on climate change and current conditions for rivers and fisheries, and share information on actions state and federal agencies and our communities can take to ensure safer, healthier rivers for salmon and steelhead. We will include first-person accounts from anglers, guides, scientists and citizens on the Columbia-Snake rivers this summer.

Will you be on the river this summer? Do you have a story or photo you would like to share?  Please send to Sam Mace.

This is a joint project of the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition, Association of Northwest Steelheaders, Columbia Riverkeeper, Idaho Rivers United and Sierra Club.

 SPRING-SUMMER 2016 WATER TEMPERATURES AT LOWER SNAKE RIVER DAMS (4/1-7/10)

HWR.LSRD.7.18

The graph above reflects water temperatures recorded in the lower Snake River reservoirs. The blue-toned lines reflect the average daily mean temperatures in each of the four reservoirs collected in the last 1-8 years, beginning on April 1. The red-toned lines reflect the 2016 daily mean temperatures at each of the four lower Snake River reservoirs since April 1. As one can see, this year's daily mean water temperatures are frequently considerably warmer than the average daily mean temperature collected over the last 1-8 years.

Notably, the Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Lower Monumental dams all show similar patterns of temperature dips followed by warming. Lower Granite Dam shows the most dramatic temperature fluctuation pattern, followed by Little Goose Dam, and then Lower Monumental Dam. Temperatures at the Ice Harbor Dam continue to increase steadily and stay above 68 degrees.

Read more...

 SOS HwR

-- REPORT #1 FOR JULY 6, 2016 --

INTRODUCTION: With weekly updates, The Hot Water Report 2016 will track water temperatures, salmon survival and climate related impacts in the Columbia-Snake River Basin this summer.  The report will be updated weekly - published here every Tuesday - from early July through the end of September. Each week we will share the most recent temperature data from the Columbia-Snake Rivers, news stories on climate change and current conditions for rivers and fisheries, and share information on actions state and federal agencies and our communities can take to ensure safer, healthier rivers for salmon and steelhead. We will include first-person accounts from anglers, guides, scientists and citizens on the Columbia-Snake rivers this summer.   

Will you be on the river this summer? Do you have a story or photo you would like to share?  Please send to Sam Mace.

This is a joint project of the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition, Association of Northwest Steelheaders, Columbia Riveerkeeper, Idaho Rivers United and Sierra Club.

 SPRING-SUMMER 2016 WATER TEMPERATURES AT 4 LOWER SNAKE RIVER DAMS

HWR.7.6.LSRDa

The graph above reflects water temperatures recorded in the lower Snake River reservoirs. The blue-toned lines reflect the average daily mean temperatures in each of the four reservoirs collected in the last 1-8 years, beginning on April 1. The red-toned lines reflect the 2016 daily mean temperature at each of the four lower Snake River reservoirs since April 1. As one can see, this year's daily mean water temperatures are frequently considerably warmer than the average daily mean temperature collected over the last 1-8 years.

Read more...

 SOS HwR

-- REPORT FOR JULY 12, 2016 --

INTRODUCTION: With weekly updates, The Hot Water Report 2016 will track water temperatures, salmon survival and climate related impacts in the Columbia-Snake River Basin this summer.  The report will be updated weekly - published here every Tuesday - from early July through the end of September. Each week we will share the most recent temperature data from the Columbia-Snake Rivers, news stories on climate change and current conditions for rivers and fisheries, and share information on actions state and federal agencies and our communities can take to ensure safer, healthier rivers for salmon and steelhead. We will include first-person accounts from anglers, guides, scientists and citizens on the Columbia-Snake rivers this summer.

Will you be on the river this summer? Do you have a story or photo you would like to share?  Please send to Sam Mace.

This is a joint project of the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition, Association of Northwest Steelheaders, Columbia Riverkeeper, Idaho Rivers United and Sierra Club.

 SPRING-SUMMER 2016 WATER TEMPERATURES AT LOWER SNAKE RIVER DAMS (4/1-7/10)

7.11.Report.LSRD.2

The graph above reflects water temperatures recorded in the lower Snake River reservoirs. The blue-toned lines reflect the average daily mean temperatures in each of the four reservoirs collected in the last 1-8 years, beginning on April 1. The red-toned lines reflect the 2016 daily mean temperatures at each of the four lower Snake River reservoirs since April 1. As one can see, this year's daily mean water temperatures are frequently considerably warmer than the average daily mean temperature collected over the last 1-8 years.

Notably, Little Goose Dam's reservoir on the lower Snake River has exceeded 68 degrees consistently in the last seven days. Lower Monumental Dam's reservoir broke past 68 degrees in the last several days. We can expect more of this in the weeks ahead.

Read more...

Columbia Basin Bulletin: Steps Taken To Cool Warming Lower Snake, Reduce Thermal Blocks As Large Basin Sockeye Return Heads Upstream

500px-USACE Lower Monumental DamFriday, July 1, 2016

As a larger than predicted run of sockeye salmon head up the Columbia and Snake rivers ˆ some 400,000 fish -- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took steps this week to cool water in the lower Snake River.

At least 1,900 Snake River sockeye, listed under the Endangered Species Act, are predicted to move into the Snake River during this year‚s return.

Beginning Monday, the Corps increased the outflow at Dworshak Dam on the North Fork of the Clearwater River -- the additional water from the dam cools flows further downstream.

The Technical Management Team, an interagency panel that guides hydro operations throughout the basin, and the Corps are trying to keep water in the tailwater at Lower Granite Dam at a targeted 67 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 68 degrees.

In addition, TMT at its meeting Wednesday directed the Corps to close the surface spillway weir and modify spill at the dam, which has been an aid to juvenile fish passage. The largest chunk of juvenile yearling chinook salmon migrating out of the Snake River has already passed the dam as have nearly all of the juvenile sockeye salmon. TMT fisheries managers are uncertain what the impact will be for migrating subyearling chinook.

Read more...

Washington Post Energy and Environment analysis: Obama’s advisers just dismantled a key myth about the future of clean energy

solar.panelBy Chris Mooney, June 21, 2016

Most people these days know that wind and solar energy are booming. And for the most part, we simply see this as adding two new and cleaner sources of electricity to the mix that we already have.

But really, it is way more complicated than that. These two renewable sources have a tremendous difference from sources such as coal, nuclear and even hydropower that involves not where the energy comes from but, rather, when it comes. You can run a nuclear plant, or a coal plant, all night, steadily. But you cannot do that with a solar plant, except perhaps in the summer in far northern Alaska.

This large “variability” or “intermittency” of renewable energy has been endlessly cited to suggest that sources like wind and solar can only make up in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 percent of all electricity on the grid, notes a recent report by President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. And yet, the study goes on to say, we are already seeing isolated instances, albeit brief, of renewables doing much more than that in some locations.

“Portugal was run 100 percent on wind, solar, and hydropower for four days straight in May 2016, and Texas hit a record level of 45 percent instantaneous penetration from wind generation during one evening in February of this year,” the report observes.

Read more...

CBB: Columbia Basin Salmon/Hydro Managers Gear Up For Another Hot Summer: Will Sockeye Get Slammed Again?

bonneville damFriday, June 24, 2016

Columbia Basin fish and water managers are planning for operations at Dworshak Dam on the Lower Snake River to regulate water temperatures for the benefit of migrating sockeye salmon this summer.

It was the dominant topic at Wednesday’s meeting of the Technical Management Team, an interagency panel that guides hydro operations throughout the basin.

And, it has been a topic on the minds of all Columbia River federal and state fisheries managers, as well as basin hydroelectric managers this year as they met in a forum in May. The forum was organized by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to share data and set up what the Council is calling an “early warning system.”

The focus is on how warm water can harm sockeye spawners and the best way to keep temperatures below a 67 degree Fahrenheit threshold in waters between Dworshak and Lower Granite dams to aid that passage.

TMT and other managers want to stay ahead of the game by keeping Snake River temperatures as low as possible, rather than trying to re-cool water after it gets warm.

Read more...

Save Our wild Salmon is a diverse, nationwide coalition working together to restore wild salmon and steelhead to the rivers, streams and marine waters of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of our region's ecology, economy and culture.

SOS HWR Sq

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