Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000


Web Sites:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Hydropower Industry

Department of Energy: Water Renewable Energy

Bonneville Power Administration: BPA

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Army Corps

National Hydropower Association: NHA

Northwest Hydropower Association: NWHA


"Stop Wasting America’s Hydropower Potential" Lisa Murkowski and Jay Faison, New York Times, 1/14/16

Researchers at Washington State University reported that reservoirs of all kinds are sources of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. One of the main reasons cited was the way some dams trap organic materials, which provide food for microbes – and more methane, in turn, is produced by the microbes.

However, the federal hydropower system on the Columbia and Snake rivers does not possess the characteristics or conditions for methane production. The reservoirs do not have large amounts of plant or biomass present or flowing into them which creates methane, the waters are not stratified or eutrophic and circulate regularly; and they contain high levels of dissolved oxygen.

For additional background:

"Methane Gas Emissions at dams" US Army Corps of Engineers, 9/16

"Statement on Reservoir GHG Emissions" NHA, 9/30/16