Review of the Fish Benefits Workbook for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Willamette Valley Project

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Update: For part two of this review and the Executive Summary see ISAB 2014-4

This is the first of a two-part ISAB review associated with the Willamette Project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operated system of 10 high-head federal dams and reservoirs, three run-of-river dams that function as re-regulating projects, and 42 revetments located in Willamette River tributaries. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is responsible for marketing and transmitting power generated from 8 projects, with the remaining projects being non-power producing facilities. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) administers a water marketing program for water stored in Corps’ reservoirs to agricultural users.

The ISAB’s two-part review covers the Fish Benefits Workbook (FBW) and life-cycle modeling developed by the Corps, NOAA Fisheries, and other agencies to inform the Corps’ Configuration and Operations Plan, which is to be completed by December 2014. This first review is of the FBW, which is designed to help evaluate alternative approaches to improving downstream passage at dams and associated reservoirs in the Willamette River Basin. The ISAB’s second review, an evaluation of the life-cycle model, is due August 1, 2014. The ISAB’s reviews are intended to provide constructive feedback to the Corps, NOAA Fisheries, and their cooperators as they complete analyses supporting the Configuration and Operations Plan. This review is a logical next step from the ISAB’s recent review of NOAA’s life-cycle model for the Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion (FCRPS BiOp) (ISAB 2013-5) and the ISRP’s Review of the Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Plan and Proposals for the Willamette Valley Project (ISRP 2011-26).

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