Using a vast sample of data collected in a citizen science project, researchers say they’ve been able to discern how hydropeaking affects aquatic insects that form the base of river food chains. The information could help resource managers develop alternative hydropower practices that aren’t as harmful to ecosystems, according to a new study published in the journal BioScience.
Hydropeaking refers to the practice of increasing river flows at times of peak demand, generally during the day. This study shows how abrupt water level changes affect aquatic insects in every stage of life. The research was done by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon State University, Utah State University and Idaho State University. Continue reading “Environment: Can dams be operated without killing rivers?”→
Columbia River study shows potential benefits of stored water
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — For all the environmental mayhem they’ve caused in the past, dams may help buffer some aquatic ecosystems from future global warming impacts, according to a new study from Oregon State University.
Specifically, the researchers said dams could provide “ecological and engineering resilience” to climate change in the Columbia River basin.
“The dams are doing what they are supposed to do, which is to use engineering – and management – to buffer us from climate variability and climate warming,” said Julia Jones, an Oregon State University hydrologist and co-author on the study. “The climate change signals that people have expected in stream flow haven’t been evident in the Columbia River basin because of the dams and reservoir management. That may not be the case elsewhere, however.” Continue reading “Can dams help buffer global warming impacts?”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — A pending agreement between Denver Water and West Slope entities has often been described as a “global” settlement, but in reality, the deal doesn’t look very far to either side of the Continental Divide. It’s main focus is ensuring water supplies for the Denver Metro area and for booming recreational communities in the high country.
New diversions — up to 15,000 acre feet per year — will probably exacerbate negative impacts farther downstream, including a series of national parks whose natural history is inexorably linked to the mighty Colorado River. The existing impacts were recently outlined in a new report from the research arm of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association.