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MistakeNice1466 t1_ixd7hza wrote

I did a project about dam removal in college. what was wild was that the fish started going up the river immediately. Like as soon as the silt settled. It was one of the first dams they took out. There was a lot of speculation about how long it would take the fish to re-establish their runs. As soon as they could see thru the water


Ratstail91 t1_ixc5uht wrote

Well, dam!


snarefire t1_ixd3h5b wrote

So I wanna raise a couple important points this article and assumable much of the media missed.

Removal of damns is not just about one species of fish. The restoration of the natural course of a river and the natural silt deposition of a river. Has huge and far ranging impacts for the entirety of the rivers watershed.

It often means restoration of a river Delta and wetlands at mouth of the river.

-meaning more natural flood protection

-restoration or increase of those wetland specific species

Do the math on that, and you should come up with a knock on effect even out into the ocean as prey species rise and predators species alongside them.

  • restoration of the salmon also has positive effects and not just for the indigenous peoples. A return to higher levels of salmon could mean a more diverse and healthy ecosystem as other species who both prey on and are prey to salmon increase or are better managed by predation.

There is also restoration of natural river flood silt deposition along the rivers banks. Likely meaning better and more diverse forestation along the river and of course a better environment along it.

While I am not a climate scientist, and don't understand the mechanics. An argument could also be made that restoration of natural flows where possible. Might have an impact on drought conditions and weather systems of the area. Though it is possible that the opposite is true, as the natural climate reassert its self.


fairlyoblivious t1_ixem696 wrote

While all of this may be varying degrees of true, it's almost certain that the main MAJOR reason for this is that Chinook Salmon that spawns at the Klamath is endangered and the next step beyond that is "Critically endangered" which is often impossible to come back from. This being the largest and most valuable fish for consumption on the west coast and perhaps for much of America, and it's pretty clear much of this decision is to prevent the loss of a billion dollar industry..

It's not JUST about that one fish, but it IS ALMOST ENTIRELY about that one fish and the knockdown effects if it goes bye bye, which it may any way - Their main food source is invertebrate and the increasing acidification of the ocean by the increased co2 absorption is making "Exoskeletons" unable to form as easily, soon they will not form at all, boom collapse from the bottom up.


snarefire t1_ixemmss wrote

Thank you for articulating the finer points of this.


Neirchill t1_ixdhwkf wrote

I'm curious on what will happen to the current environment created by the dam


TheThickJoker t1_ixclqjm wrote

This type of news definitely put a smile on my face. Hopefully we will continue to get more large scale environment friendly projects like this one in the near future.


bread-wolf t1_ixdxkt4 wrote

Seconded! This is more than environment friendly though, this is full on restoration, which is even more important, we need to show that it is possible and beneficial to do these projects, that we can fix things!


BarryZZZ t1_ixd4h06 wrote

I all comes down to what a bear might do in the woods; they do, as does every other living thing that feasts on a salmon run. The fish move tons of nitrogen from the sea to the forests drained by streams. There is ample tree ring proof that dams that limit or destroy salmon runs stunt the growth of forests.


flow_man t1_ixcrgms wrote

So they are getting rid of clean hydro-electicity dams that power 70,000 homes and replacing it with what exactly? Because that type of power generation is a hell of a lot of power.

Like it sounds good if you spin it for the salmon but are we not trying to ween ourselves off oil and gas?


ribcracker t1_ixcxh43 wrote

It says those damns produce 2% of California's power IF they're operating at maximum efficiency. Yet they haven't been running at max because of already low water and other factors.

Seems like a big win overall and I'm sure California can make up the 2%.


EndlessHalftime t1_ixdbq6j wrote

Not 2% of California’s power. 2% of PacificCorp’s power, which is just one company.


flow_man t1_ixczfkc wrote

you say 2% like its a small number. This is 70,000 homes.... This is a horrible scale to use and is purposefully used to diminish its significance.

Another way to put it this would be this would power 30% of Wyoming. (70/240k homes). This is NOT a small amount of energy.


onemany t1_ixd1l3t wrote

It's like ~170MW according to pacificorp. The dams were built in 1912 and 1960ish. Pacificorp added like 2200 MW of renewable energy since 1980 and has plans to generate 12k MW of renewable energy by 2040.

I'm not sure what's up with the pearl clutching.


flow_man t1_ixdtgw4 wrote

170MW is a crazy high amount of electricity lost to the grid. Who's pearl clutching? This is being replaced by a gas plant.

If your an environmentalist you just advocated for oil and gas over the best and most reliable form of renewable energy production.


ydouaskbeta t1_ixdvplq wrote

Not very renewable if the water levels dropping friend


flow_man t1_ixe31zt wrote

Water levels dropping from drought does not make it a non-renewable or even account for the future. This is incredibly short term thinking. Hydro electric dams are thought of on a centennial scale not a year to year or even a decade.

If such reactionary measures were used consistently we would just ALWAYS have duel systems of renewables and non-renewables in ever case INSTEAD of being able to rely on hydro in a lot of cases solely because it is an incredible stable and long living power source.


onemany t1_ixdz5fr wrote

"Replacing the Klamath River dams' renewable energy won't be difficult, PacifiCorp officials say. The company has developed nearly 1,600 megawatts of new wind energy in the past five years."


JohnSnowsPump t1_ixed63v wrote

It's like he thinks he is the first person to think of this.

The project has been planned for decades, alternatives have been considered and the benefits have been calculated.


DresdenPI t1_ixd1hf9 wrote

But the thing is that these dams aren't producing that much power anymore. They have the capacity to but the river is less powerful than it used to be. The ability of these dams to produce energy is curtailed regardless of what is done with them, may as well get rid of them to eliminate their effects on the river biome.


Super_Crisis_64 t1_ixd4ocg wrote

Those homes are connected to the full grid. They are not isolated to the dam. Those homes will not lose access to electricity


crakii105 t1_ixd0xe6 wrote

Wouldn't it be 12% of Wyoming?


flow_man t1_ixdf1s3 wrote

70/240 = 29.2%


crakii105 t1_ixdfbtc wrote

But the population is 578k


flow_man t1_ixdh9u1 wrote

and the average persons per home is 2.43.

This is not that hard. That equals 238k (240k)


crakii105 t1_ixdi5rw wrote

Oh yeah I didn't even think about house size vs population


Supermichael777 t1_ixdc8ij wrote

Wyoming is like measuring the expected weight of groceries against a family size bag of potato chips


slater_san t1_ixcuuk1 wrote

There's also wind and solar and lots of other power generation methods, but only so many salmon habitats.


CharonsLittleHelper t1_ixd1m2m wrote

Except that solar/wind aren't reliable. Hydro is.

This sort of thing shows that most hardcore environmentalists are Malthusians.


BigLizardInBackyard t1_ixd3wcw wrote

My guy, this isn't being done for the environmentalists or the minorities it's being done to help the profit of the power company which is what we want really - this will be great for the bottom line - a huge cost avoidance and them liberals are paying for it too. Stop complaining or they'll figure it out.

"PacifiCorp would have had to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in fish ladders, fish screens and other conservation upgrades under environmental regulations that were not in place when the aging dams were first built. But with the deal approved Thursday, the utility’s cost is capped at $200 million, with another $250 million from a California voter-approved water bond."

Edit, LOL: PacifiCorp, which operates the hydroelectric dams and is owned by billionaire Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway,


msinkovich t1_ixdzgfe wrote

This is the explanation as I understood it..


slater_san t1_ixd2jv3 wrote

Reliable like a cloudy day compared to the constant of running water? Okay. Add in nuclear.

All you've proved is arguing in bad faith with no sources but 🤷‍♂️


CharonsLittleHelper t1_ixd2wxd wrote

A dam saves up water to be used as needed. That's why the hydroelectric plants are on dams instead of on the river itself like historical water wheels.

I don't need sources to point out super obvious things. Water is wet. The sky is up. Dams accumulate water.


slater_san t1_ixd529i wrote

Okay watch this: solar farm for the sunny days, wind farm for the windy/cloudy days and nuclear plant to do those pesky overcast but not windy days.

Wind is windy, sun is sunny and I can play this game too!

Bonus: lots of job creation!


fireisveryfun t1_ixd6svx wrote

There are some other super obvious things, like how those dams interfere with salmon habitats and natural river flows. And how we have the technology to generate clean energy elsewhere. And that we have more than enough resources store water somewhere else.


PornoAlForno t1_ixdaihi wrote

Hydro isn't clean, it destroys rivers, that's the reason it's being replaced here.


bazooka_matt t1_ixddqc4 wrote

This is perpetuating the lie that dam owners and power companies keep shoving about these 100+ yearold dams, that providing value to humans at the expense of wildlife and endangered species is always worth it. It's not.

About 75 wind turbines at 42% generation capacity will power the same number of homes. Fairly small solar fields will also do the same. The other fact is that these dams will need full replacement soon regardless and I am also sick of my tax dollars paying for things like public utilities, where the profits go to a private person. We are a long long time being done with oil and gas, but we can do without these dams.


flow_man t1_ixdgttv wrote

Yep, I know exactly the article you looked at for this too, ( So yes, we build 75 wind turbines at 262 million dollars and that is fine. BUT you also need to have a stable source added for when the wind does not blow. So you need a natural gas plan that can make this energy too. Costs about 400 million to make that plant and then maintenance for both of these systems each is more than the cost for the hydro dam but now you have two of them to deal with. See where this goes? There is a true cost to this decision both monetary wise and environmentally.

We can do a lot of COULDA's. But the fact is this. A clean hydroelectric dam is not being upgraded but rather demolished for a gas electric plant and Environmentalists here seem to be in full support. Sounds like a lot of not in my backyard environmentalism.


bazooka_matt t1_ixdiro6 wrote

Sorry bud, I just can't support keeping dams at the expense of wildlife. Also $262M is nothing compared to the cost of renovation and rebuild of these "clean dams".

I get what you're saying about when the wind doesn't blow. A hybrid system is a a must. Also what's going to happen when there's not enough water to turn the turbines in these dams anyway?


flow_man t1_ixdlqg3 wrote

262m upfront for only the wind power. You need a dual system with wind because it doesn't blow all the time nor does it meet the hyperbolic curve of power that is needed in a day. you need the 400m gas plant as well and the maintenance of both of these systems is individually is more than the hydro dam. nonetheless combined. Passing the buck onto the future.

The neat part of a damn is the power is there for you whenever you want it. Need more power in the evening, let more water through.


eggnogwithextranog t1_ixdnu26 wrote

Dams require upkeep as well, you seem to be ignoring that. More importantly, how many billions of dollars in ecosystem services have been lost in the decades that the dams have been up? If you're really worried about clean, consistent energy output, you would be a proponent of nuclear over hydroelectric. Or you'd be advocating for increased funding into innovation in large scale battery storage technology so we can store extra energy generated by wind and solar in times of high production. Why argue for dams?


flow_man t1_ixdqbp9 wrote

>both of these systems is individually is more than the hydro dam

This is not ignoring. This is directly relating them and saying one is more than the other.

Nuclear power is GREAT. It is the one non oil and gas power source which can generate the power in great supply and usability that rivals Hydro. There is no need to be a proponent of one over the other. They BOTH are the best ways to generate cleaner energy. The funny thing about all large scale battery storage solutions currently is they all make a DAM and pump water to the top of it. Wind is at the ebb and flow of the wind, solar produces during the day when power is not needed as much as it is in the Evening.


dramaking37 t1_ixcvzhq wrote

I think we are trying to move away from oil and gas while also maintaining or increasing our food supply.


Skill3rwhale t1_ixde8gz wrote

The rivers have not been yielding good results with electricity generation for years.

There has also been a HUGE amount of support for this among the Oregonians, me included.


Substantial-Emu-9900 t1_ixft44i wrote

Not everything is 1:1.


flow_man t1_ixh37ql wrote

When it comes to a power grid, sadly it is.

If a power grid goes below a certain threshold for even as long as 10 minutes. It fails. You do NOT want to have to endure a failed power grid.


ABoxACardboardBox t1_ixd46bi wrote

With "clean coal" and natural gas plants. They're also removing their nuclear plants within 5 years.


Colddigger t1_ixdag2i wrote

How do these kinds of projects get funded? For some reason I thought demolishing big power dams was government funded, but I was told otherwise the other day.


snarefire t1_ixdjfm7 wrote

So far as I know there are various funds allocated for these projects. Usually it's a mixture of public, private, state and federal funding. That gets these projects done, usually under grants that entirely taxed and designed for environmental rehabilitation


mikolsic t1_ixe0eww wrote

While this move is long overdue, it's never too late to do the right thing. Very happy to see this happening in my lifetime ❤️


aviatorEngineer t1_ixdgj63 wrote

I wonder how exactly a dam goes about being demolished without some sort of catastrophic flooding afterward.


CatharsisAddict t1_ixdkwgl wrote

In the article it says they drain them slowly. It takes awhile to get the entire river drained and flowing “naturally”.


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plzzhelpaguyout t1_ixdsa0a wrote

Any talk of regulation on water usage during the summer months.

I live a hop skip and a jump from one of the salmon bearing rivers in Oregon.

Our current fish return count as of a week or so ago was 3 chinooks coming back up. :(

During the past few summers, I’ve noticed that the river water pretty much plummets within a week or so once the people raising cattle start to water their pastures. They will be watering when it’s full sun mid day.. not at night or the morning and evenings..

I can go down to the river and the spots that are almost chest deep are ankle deep once the irrigation starts.

That cannot be helping the fish and wildlife that rely on the river. Not a scientist or biologist. Just my 2c.

2017 was the last year I saw any significant sign that there might have been fish activity happening ie: boats / fisherman out in droves during fishing season. It’s been pretty quite here since.

Would love to get a job helping with bring back the fish numbers and habitat restoration work. Anyone got leads on those positions? Or guidance on getting into that type of field of work?


sharksnut t1_ixemaur wrote

TL;DR: California taxpayers, already facing a projected $50 billion budget deficit this year alone, are giving $250 million to Warren Buffett's company to do what it was legally obligated to do anyway out of its own pocket. Um, yay?


TheGameSlave2 t1_ixdarpu wrote

"........................DAM!" - Ron Simmons


blankarage t1_ixeo5r7 wrote

why was it dam’d in the first place?


kevdogger t1_ixczrme wrote

so the silt and sediment that's going to be released when the damn is deconstructed..scientists actually worried this will do far more harm at this point to salon population..


snarefire t1_ixd2055 wrote

That damage is contingent to the season its released in isn't it? As well as speed of release which can be managed?


kevdogger t1_ixd2fg6 wrote

Well Idk..neither does anyone exactly since experiment to test was specifically denied during litigation since the settlement attorneys are all scientists


snarefire t1_ixd47r8 wrote

I think we can probably use other damn removals as evidence for a positive effect on syste. Though it does specifically state in the article. That large damn removals and thus silt storage are slated for a years long removal. So there is time to manage evidence


kevdogger t1_ixd4ldm wrote

And so removing this damn is going to improve salmon population? Any evidence this is going to actually work? Being that there a I believe 4 other damns on the river is removal of this one damn going to actually accomplish what they claim?


snarefire t1_ixd4uwy wrote

They are removing multiple damns, not just one.

Also yes according to NOAA in a report on a different system.

I'd also caution you that these systems are measured in decades, not in years. Restoration of a natural system literally cannot be realistically measured in the course of a handful of years and takes active management.

Take the save the bay initiative where efforts ore often invisible to the average person. Where as scientist and conservationist can see the gradual increase in sea grass and other species as evidence of better health. This effect will likely take decades to see a drastic change in population


kevdogger t1_ixd8pof wrote

I don't really know anything about the treaty that was signed in the past so I won't common on that however on face value this entire project just seems like a stretch and huge waste of money with questionable results. I've read the link you posted however I'm always cautious about projections that take years to show results. There are a lot of variables that could come into play effecting results..either positive or negative. The US and I think the world in general are looking for clean sources of energy and here this proposal are tearing down clean sources of energy. Spending a lot of money to construct the damn..then tear them down..then to reconstruct alternative sources of green energy seems in my opinion a huge waste. I appreciate opposing points of view however.


EndlessHalftime t1_ixdd93u wrote

You’re ignoring the fact that old dams including these need massive upgrades to have a new license approved. They were also built long before current seismic design standards. Dam safety isn’t something you want to shortcut. Oroville dam didn’t even fail and it cost a billion dollars to repair.

The project is driven by money. Any environmental benefits are an added bonus.


kevdogger t1_ixddx6m wrote

Thanks for in the end it's a money problem..


Dagamoth t1_ixd4hw8 wrote

There are actually some really good videos on YouTube about dam removals and dealing with the silt. A well planned demolition can very rapidly flush the silt out having a minimal immediate impact and zero long term impact.


DancingYetiCrab t1_ixdr7op wrote

As a salmon biologist that is categorically false


snarefire t1_ixe6yfc wrote

As a Salmon Biologist would you identify Salmon as a keystone species within the Klamath River Biome?


LUNA_underUrsaMajor t1_ixcun32 wrote

So all that fresh water will just get wasted emptying into the ocean, while california takes way more than their fair share of colorado river water


Short_Elevator_7024 t1_ixbmdoa wrote

Next in the news, wild salmon population plummets


cherry2525 t1_ixbyrh5 wrote

It already has been plummeting due to increased water temperatures, low water levels and other human related factors.
I don't know about WA or CA but concerning Salmon in Oregon the treaty government negotiated with the tribes there says that the land reverts back to the tribes if the actions of the 'white men' causes the salmon to stop running.
While the USA has broken EVERY treaty that was made with the natives, the tribes have been able to use the courts to receive compensation and the ones in Oregon would most definitely sue if not for the return of their lands, the value of said land as well as the value of the salmon.


msinkovich t1_ixdz6e8 wrote

Having finished on this river for many years I was told that the tribes have their catching grounds near the mouth of the river. The guides bemoan this as they claim the tribes get the best quality fish and take more than they need. I don’t know about any of those claims but there were years where I caught a fish ever 5-10 minutes and years where I got 2 in 6 hours. The runs are cyclical in terms of their numbers.


bttrflyr t1_ixcn3d1 wrote

Lol that is literally in the news right now, hence why they are removing the dams.