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Title: Dam removal: Listening in: RIVER RESPONSE TO DAM REMOVAL
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
5229 to 5246
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Dam removal is gaining both support and resistance in different communities and political circles in the Pacific Northwest of the United States; given its sensitive environmental and economic consequences. The Columbia River Basin (CRB) offers a unique opportunity to examine to what extent the replacement of hydroelectric dams affects reliability and adequacy of the power system given long-standing proposals to remove the four Lower Snake River dams to improve the survival of the endangered salmon species. Key results show that replacing the four dams leads to an inadequate energy supply necessitating the need for more capacity to satisfy requirements. Althoughmore »the four dams have higher nameplate capacity, they provide a much lower effective capacity. Thus, the debate about removing dams should be an opportunity for CRB managers to consider investment options in new ecosystem services and energy solutions that maintain adequate performance.« less
  2. This article considers the agentic capacity of fish in dam removal decisions. Pairing new materialist explorations of agency with news media, policy documents, and interviews related to a suite of dam decisions in a New England, USA watershed, we identify the ways that river herring seem constrained through technocratic discourse to particular human-defined roles in dam removal discussions. We suggest, meanwhile, that existing human relationships with salmonids like brook trout might serve as a bridge for public stakeholders and restoration managers to recognise the agentic creativity of fish in dam removal and river restoration decisions.