List of dams in the Columbia River watershed

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Prominent dams of the Columbia River Basin. Color indicates dam ownership:
  U.S. Federal government
  Public Utilities
  State, provincial, or local government
  Private
(Please note, the file linked through the image contains a much more detailed listing of tributary dams than this article.)

What follows are four lists of dams that can be found in the Columbia River watershed. The major tributaries of the Columbia, as well as the main stem itself, each have their own list. The dams are listed in the order as they are found from source to terminus. A large number of the dams in the Columbia River watershed are not created for water storage or flood protection. Instead, the primary purpose of these dams is hydroelectric power production. As can be seen in the lists, these dams provide a massive amount of power.

Major dam construction began in the early 20th century, and finished toward the end of the same century. Including just the dams listed below, there are forty-seven dams in the watershed, with fourteen on the Columbia, sixteen on the Snake, eight on the Kootenay, five on the Pend Oreille, two on the Flathead, and two on the Clark Fork. Averaging a major dam every seventy-two miles, the rivers in the Columbia watershed combine to create 35,936.6 megawatts of power, with the majority coming on the main stem. Grand Coulee Dam is the largest producer of hydroelectric power in the nation,[1] creating 6,809 megawatts, over one-sixth of all power in the basin.

In addition to providing ample power for the people of the Pacific Northwest, the reservoirs created by the dams have created numerous recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, and windsurfing. Furthermore, by creating a constant flow and consistent depth along the river channel, the series of locks and dams have allowed for Lewiston, Idaho to become the furthest inland seaport on the west coast of the United States.[2] Despite the numerous benefits to humans that the dams have given, a number of environmental consequences have manifested as a result of the dams, including a negative impact on salmonid populations of the basin.[3]

The organization of the following lists begins with the Columbia and is followed by its tributaries in order of length. Additionally, the table of contents below is indented to indicate tributary status of each river.

Mainstream Columbia dams[edit]

NameHeightCapacity (MW)Province/State(s)CoordinatesYear of CompletionOwnerReservoir FormedDam Picture
Mica Dam7002240000000000000240 m (790 ft)[4]1,805[5]British Columbia52°04′39″N 118°33′59″W / 52.07750°N 118.56639°W / 52.07750; -118.566391973BC HydroKinbasket LakeMicaDam.JPG
Revelstoke Dam7002175000000000000175 m (574 ft)[6]2,480[5]British Columbia51°02′57″N 118°11′36″W / 51.04917°N 118.19333°W / 51.04917; -118.193331984BC HydroRevelstoke LakeAeriel picture, Revelstoke Dam.jpg
Keenleyside Dam700152000000000000052 m (171 ft)[7]0[8]British Columbia49°20′18″N 117°46′18″W / 49.33833°N 117.77167°W / 49.33833; -117.771671968BC HydroRaised Arrow LakesHugh Keenlyside Dam (104940381).jpg
Grand Coulee Dam7002550000000000000550 ft (170 m)[9]6,809[9]Washington, USA47°57′26″N 118°58′39″W / 47.95722°N 118.97750°W / 47.95722; -118.977501941 / 1974 [n 1]USBRFranklin D. Roosevelt LakeGrandCouleeDam2USBORJune2011.jpg
Chief Joseph Dam7002236000000000000236 ft (72 m)[10]2,620[11] "47°59′42″N 119°38′19″W / 47.99500°N 119.63861°W / 47.99500; -119.638611955USACERufus Woods LakeChief Joseph Dam.jpg
Wells Dam840[12] "47°56′50″N 119°51′51″W / 47.94722°N 119.86417°W / 47.94722; -119.86417}1967Douglas PUDLake PaterosWellsdam-bpa.jpg
Rocky Reach Dam1,287[13] "47°31′59″N 120°17′41″W / 47.53306°N 120.29472°W / 47.53306; -120.294721961Chelan PUDLake EntiatRockyReachDam.jpg
Rock Island Dam660[14] "47°20′33″N 120°05′40″W / 47.34250°N 120.09444°W / 47.34250; -120.094441933Chelan PUDRock Island PoolROCK ISLAND DAM IS THE OLDEST DAM ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER - NARA - 548012.jpg
Wanapum Dam7002185000000000000185 ft (56 m)[15]1,092[15] "46°52′40″N 119°58′13″W / 46.87778°N 119.97028°W / 46.87778; -119.970281963Grant PUDLake WanapumAerial - Wanapum Dam to Vantage, WA, Columbia River 01 - white balanced (9793434594).jpg
Priest Rapids Dam7002178000000000000178 ft (54 m)[16]955.6[17] "46°38′39″N 119°54′36″W / 46.64417°N 119.91000°W / 46.64417; -119.910001961Grant PUDPriest Rapids LakePrstRpdsDam1.jpg
McNary Dam7002183000000000000183 ft (56 m)[18]1,133[19]between WA and Oregon45°56′07″N 119°17′53″W / 45.93528°N 119.29806°W / 45.93528; -119.298061954USACELake WallulaMcNary Dam, Umatilla, Oregon.jpg
John Day Dam7002184000000000000184 ft (56 m)2,485[20] "45°42′57″N 120°41′37″W / 45.71583°N 120.69361°W / 45.71583; -120.693611971USACELake UmatillaJohn day dam 1998 COE.jpg
The Dalles Dam7002260000000000000260 ft (79 m)2,038[21] "45°36′50″N 121°08′02″W / 45.61389°N 121.13389°W / 45.61389; -121.133891957USACELake CeliloThe Dalles Dam USGS.jpg
Bonneville Dam7002197000000000000197 ft (60 m)[22]1,190[23] "45°38′42″N 121°56′27″W / 45.64500°N 121.94083°W / 45.64500; -121.940831937USACELake BonnevilleCorps-engineers-archives bonneville dam looking east.jpg

Snake River Dams[edit]

Note: Dams are listed in order from headwater (Jackson Lake, WY) to mouth (Columbia River, WA).

NameHeightCapacity (MW)State(s)CoordinatesYear of CompletionOwnerReservoir FormedDam Picture
Jackson Lake Dam700165500000000000065.5 ft (20.0 m)[24]Wyoming43°51′30″N 110°35′24″W / 43.85833°N 110.59000°W / 43.85833; -110.590001911 / 1916 / 1989[n 2]USBRJackson LakeJackson Lake and Jackson Lake Dam, Grand Teton National Park 20110818 1.jpg
Palisades Dam7002270000000000000270 ft (82 m)[25]176.6[25]Idaho43°19′59″N 111°12′12″W / 43.33306°N 111.20333°W / 43.33306; -111.203331957USBRPalisades ReservoirPalisades.jpg
Gem State Dam700140000000000000040 ft (12 m)22.6[26]Idaho43°25′19″N 112°06′08″W / 43.42194°N 112.10222°W / 43.42194; -112.102221982City of Idaho Falls
American Falls Dam7002104000000000000104 ft (32 m)[27]92[28]Idaho42°46′43″N 112°52′35″W / 42.77861°N 112.87639°W / 42.77861; -112.876391927 / 1978[n 3]USBRAmerican Falls ReservoirAmerican Falls Dam.jpg
Minidoka Dam700186000000000000086 ft (26 m)[29]28.5[29]Idaho42°40′10″N 113°29′03″W / 42.66944°N 113.48417°W / 42.66944; -113.484171909-1942[29]USBRLake WalcottMinidokaDam2005USBOR.jpg
Milner Dam700138000000000000038 ft (12 m)[30]59.5[31]Idaho42°31′30″N 114°00′35″W / 42.52500°N 114.00972°W / 42.52500; -114.009721905Milner Dam, Inc.Milner LakeMilner-dam-id-us.jpg
Twin Falls Dam52.9[32]Idaho42°35′21″N 114°21′20″W / 42.58917°N 114.35556°W / 42.58917; -114.355561935[n 4]Idaho Power CompanyTwin Falls Dam 1989.jpg
Shoshone Falls Dam700116000000000000016 ft (4.9 m)[33]64[34]Idaho42°35′47″N 114°24′04″W / 42.59639°N 114.40111°W / 42.59639; -114.401111907[34]Idaho Power CompanyShoshone Falls Reservoir2013-07-07 17 41 52 Shoshone Falls, Idaho viewed from the northwest.jpg
Upper Salmon Falls Dam34.5[31]Idaho42°45′59″N 114°53′45″W / 42.76639°N 114.89583°W / 42.76639; -114.895831937 / 1947[n 5]Idaho Power CompanyUpper Salmon Falls Reservoir
Lower Salmon Falls Dam700138000000000000038 ft (12 m)[35]60[31]Idaho42°50′30″N 114°54′54″W / 42.84167°N 114.91500°W / 42.84167; -114.915001910 / 1949[n 6]Idaho Power CompanyLower Salmon Falls Reservoir
Bliss Dam700184000000000000084 ft (26 m)[35]75[31]Idaho42°54′49″N 115°04′16″W / 42.91361°N 115.07111°W / 42.91361; -115.071111950Idaho Power CompanyBliss Reservoir
C. J. Strike Dam7002115000000000000115 ft (35 m)82.8[36]Idaho42°56′51″N 115°58′31″W / 42.94750°N 115.97528°W / 42.94750; -115.975281952[36]Idaho Power CompanyC. J. Strike Reservoir
Swan Falls Dam7002107000000000000107 ft (33 m)0[n 7]Idaho43°14′35″N 116°22′46″W / 43.24306°N 116.37944°W / 43.24306; -116.379441901Idaho Power CompanySwan Falls Dam Before Sunrise.jpg
Brownlee Dam7002420000000000000420 ft (130 m)[38]585[39]Oregon / Idaho border44°50′13″N 116°54′03″W / 44.83694°N 116.90083°W / 44.83694; -116.900831959 / 1980[n 8]Idaho Power CompanyBrownlee ReservoirBrownlee.jpg
Oxbow Dam7002175000000000000175 ft (53 m)[40]220[41]Oregon / Idaho border44°58′15″N 116°50′07″W / 44.97083°N 116.83528°W / 44.97083; -116.835281961Idaho Power CompanyOxbow ReservoirOxbowdam.jpg
Hells Canyon Dam7002330000000000000330 ft (100 m)[42]450[43]Oregon / Idaho border45°14′34″N 116°42′05″W / 45.24278°N 116.70139°W / 45.24278; -116.701391967Idaho Power CompanyHells Canyon ReservoirHells Canyon Dam - 2.jpg
Lower Granite Dam7002181000000000000181 feet (55 m)[44]932[45]Washington46°39′40″N 117°25′41″W / 46.66111°N 117.42806°W / 46.66111; -117.428061975 / 1987 [n 9]USACELower Granite LakeLwrGrDam2.jpg
Little Goose Dam7002253000000000000253 ft (77 m)[47]932[48]Washington46°35′13″N 118°01′40″W / 46.58694°N 118.02778°W / 46.58694; -118.027781970USACELake BryanLGLandDam2.jpg
Lower Monumental Dam7002152000000000000152 ft (46 m)[49]930[50]Washington46°33′48″N 118°32′20″W / 46.56333°N 118.53889°W / 46.56333; -118.538891969USACELake Herbert G. WestLwrMnDam2.jpg
Ice Harbor Dam7002213000000000000213 ft (65 m)[51]693[52]Washington46°14′58″N 118°52′47″W / 46.24944°N 118.87972°W / 46.24944; -118.879721961 / 1976 [n 10]USACELake SacajaweaIcHrbrDam2.jpg

Kootenay River[edit]

NameHeightPurpose(s)Capacity (MW)YearOwner nameReservoir nameComments
Libby Dam422 feet (129 m)Hydroelectric, flood control, storage6001975USACELake KoocanusaColumbia River Treaty
Duncan DamFlood control, storage1967BC HydroDuncan LakeDuncan River, flows into Kootenay Lake
Corra Linn Dam52 feet (16 m)Hydroelectric, flood control, storage441932FortisBCKootenay Lakeraised lake 2m
Kootenay Canal276 feet (84 m)Hydroelectric5721975BC Hydro "see Corra Linn Dam
Upper Bonnington Falls DamHydroelectric621907FortisBC "
Lower Bonnington Falls DamHydroelectric49.51925FortisBC "
South Slocan Dam60 feet (18 m)Hydroelectric531928FortisBC "
Brilliant Dam140 feet (43 m)Hydroelectric2651944Columbia Power Corporation "
Total1,645.5

Pend Oreille-Clark Fork–Flathead[edit]

NameHeightPurpose(s)Capacity (MW)YearOwner nameReservoir nameComments
Pend Oreille
Waneta Dam249 feet (76 m)Hydroelectric450 MW1954Teck Resources
Seven Mile Dam213 feet (65 m)Hydroelectric848 MW1979BC Hydro
Boundary Dam340 feet (100 m)Hydroelectric1,050 MW1967Seattle City Light
Box Canyon Dam62.4 feet (19.0 m)Hydroelectric69 MWPend Oreille Public Utility District
Albeni Falls Dam90 feet (27 m)Hydroelectric55 MW1955USACE
Clark Fork
Cabinet Gorge Dam111 feet (34 m)Hydroelectric231 MW1953Avista Corp.Cabinet Gorge Reservoir
Noxon Rapids Dam179 feet (55 m)Hydroelectric466 MW1960Avista Corp.Noxon Reservoir
Flathead
Kerr Dam205 feet (62 m)Hydroelectric196 MW1938PPL/TribalFlathead LakeRaised Flathead Lake 10 feet (3.0 m) over its natural level
Hungry Horse Dam564 feet (172 m)Hydroelectric, flood control, irrigation428 MW1953Bureau of ReclamationHungry Horse ReservoirOn South Fork Flathead River
Total3,735 MW

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dam was initially completed in 1941; third power plant was begun in 1967 and completed in 1974.[9]
  2. ^ The original dam was completed in 1911. In 1917, the dam was raised 17.5 feet to increase storage. Later, safety concerns were addressed and the new, modified dam was completed in 1989.[24]
  3. ^ Original dam was completed in 1927. Due to deterioration, a replacement dam was commissioned and completed in 1978.[27]
  4. ^ Initially completed in 1935, updated in 1995 with diversion structure and two powerhouses[31]
  5. ^ Constructed with two power plants - A & B. Upper Salmon A was completed in 1937, Upper Salmon B, located a mile upriver from A, was completed in 1947.[31]
  6. ^ Initially constructed by Greater Shoshone and Twin Falls Water Power Company in 1910, bought by Idaho Power in 1916 and updated in 1949.[31]
  7. ^ A new power plant was built in the 1990s; this one was decommisioned and turned into a historical display[37]
  8. ^ Dam and units one to four completed in 1959, unit five completed in 1980.[39]
  9. ^ Dam and first three powerhouses were completed in 1975. Three further powerhouses, as well as modifications to Lewiston's water intake, were completed in 1987.[46]
  10. ^ Dam was initially completed in 1961 with three generators online. Powerhouse units four through six were later added and online in 1976.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Energy Information Administration (2014-11-14). "Renewable Energy Explained". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  2. ^ Idaho Transportation Department (2005). "Inside the Idaho Transportation Department". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  3. ^ U.S. Department of Energy (1994). "A REVIEW OF THE EFFECTS OF DAMS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENT, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SALMONIDS.". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  4. ^ Center for the Columbia River History. "Dams of the Columbia Basin & Their Effects on the Native Fishery". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  5. ^ a b BC Hydro (2014). "Columbia Region". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  6. ^ Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas (2012-12-05). "A Review of the Range of Impacts and Benefits of the Columbia River Treaty on Basin Communities, the Region and the Province". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  7. ^ BC Hydro (2014). "Hugh Keenleyside Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  8. ^ Columbia Basin Trust (2012). "Columbia River Basin: Dams and Hydroelectricity". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  9. ^ a b c United States Bureau of Reclamation (2012). "Grand Coulee Dam and Statistics". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  10. ^ Fundamentals of Renewable Energy. "Chief Joseph Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  11. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Chief Joseph Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  12. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Wells Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  13. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Rocky Reach Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  14. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Rock Island Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  15. ^ a b Grant PUD (2015). "WANAPUM DAM". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  16. ^ Grant PUD (2015). "PRIEST RAPIDS DAM". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  17. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Priest Rapids Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  18. ^ United States Army Corps of Engineers. "McNary Lock and Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  19. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "McNary Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  20. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "John Day Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  21. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "The Dalles Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  22. ^ United States Corps of Engineers. "The Bonneville Lock and Dam Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  23. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Bonneville Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  24. ^ a b United States Bureau of Reclamation (2012-10-29). "Jackson Lake Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  25. ^ a b United States Bureau of Reclamation (2012-10-25). "Palisades Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  26. ^ Idaho Falls Power. "Idaho Falls Power Hydroelectric Project". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  27. ^ a b United States Bureau of Reclamation (2012-10-25). "American Falls Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  28. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (1994). "Resource Management Plan". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  29. ^ a b c United States Bureau of Reclamation (2012-11-26). "Mindoka Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  30. ^ Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series (1985). "Milner Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Idaho Power. "Decision Support Systems". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  32. ^ Idaho Power. "Hydroelectric Plants". Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  33. ^ "The History of Shoshone Falls Dam". 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  34. ^ a b Idaho Power (August 2005). "Initial Consultation Document: Shoshone Falls Hydroelectric Project". Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  35. ^ a b Hydropower Reform Coalition & River Management Society (April 2013). "Hydropower Project Summary - Mid-Snake River, Idaho". Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  36. ^ a b Idaho Power. "C. J. Strike Project". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  37. ^ Idaho Power. "Swan Falls". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  38. ^ Idaho Power. "Decision Support Systems". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  39. ^ a b Columbia Basin Research. "Brownlee Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  40. ^ Idaho Power. "Decision Support Systems". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  41. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Oxbow Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  42. ^ Idaho Power. "Decision Support Systems". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  43. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Hells Canyon Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  44. ^ United States Army Corps of Engineers. "Lower Granite Lock and Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  45. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Lower Granite Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  46. ^ United States Corps of Engineers. "Lower Granite Lock and Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  47. ^ United States Army Corps of Engineers. "Little Goose Lock and Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  48. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Little Goose Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  49. ^ United States Corps of Engineers. "Lower Monumental Lock and Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  50. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Lower Monumental Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  51. ^ a b United States Corps of Engineers. "Ice Harbor Lock and Dam". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  52. ^ Columbia Basin Research. "Ice Harbor Dam - Hydroelectric Project Information". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 

External links[edit]