Columbia River streamflow study to inform decades of environmental planning

By on January 23, 2014
Columbia River Gorge as seen from Dog Mountain (Credit: Cacophony , via Wikimedia Commons)

Columbia River Gorge as seen from Dog Mountain (Credit: Cacophony , via Wikimedia Commons)

Environmental engineers at the University of Washington have begun a study to look at streamflow within the Columbia River Basin, according to a release. The results of the work will help future researchers predict how the river will be affected by climate change and may inform treaty negotiations between the U.S. and Canada.

Streamflow projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as climate and hydrology models, will be used to estimate future river flow. Researchers hope to come up with a set of ranges that will better environmental planning around the river for the next 20 to 50 years.

Knowing Columbia River streamflow conditions is important for flood control operations through parts of Oregon and Washington state. It is also vital for electricity generation in hydroelectric installations.

Image: Columbia River Gorge as seen from Dog Mountain (Credit: Cacophony , via Wikimedia Commons)

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