Deschutes River Basin Pilot Opportunity Assessment

Wednesday, August 20, 2014: 8:20 AM
304B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Kenneth Ham , Ecology Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
Simon Geerlofs , Integrated Coastal Ocean Modeling, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Seattle, WA
Jerry Tagestad , Ecology Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
James Saulsbury , Environmental Analysis Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
The Deschutes River Basin in central Oregon was selected as the pilot for the Basin Scale Opportunity Assessment, an action item of the March 24, 2010 Sustainable Hydropower Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation.  The Department of Energy’s Water Power Program funded Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory to develop an assessment approach, create an analytical toolbox, and conduct a pilot assessment in the Deschutes River Basin in central Oregon.  The pilot assessment solicited input from stakeholders, conducted interviews, evaluated water resources infrastructure for hydropower feasibility, and reviewed in-basin water resource planning documents.  Opportunities to increase hydropower and improve environmental conditions were identified and combined into scenarios that were then simulated using a hydrologic model of the basin to evaluate alternative basin-wide approaches to managing water resources, hydropower, and environmental performance.  A web-based data visualization and decision support interface allowed managers and stakeholders to visualize scenario results in the context of user-defined metrics representing stakeholder values.  Initial scenarios allowed the exploration of boundaries and conflicts that may occur, so that refined scenarios are better able to help inform formal planning processes