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Columbia River Basin Agencies Release Draft 2016 Water Management Plan
Posted on Friday, October 23, 2015 (PST)

An annual plan that guides operations at Columbia River dams for fiscal year 2016 is available for review by fish and dam managers at


The draft 2016 Water Management Plan outlines how the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, also known as the action agencies, will operate the Federal Columbia River Power System to protect salmon and steelhead listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The plan covers the federal fiscal year from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.


The actions the agencies will take have been identified in the NOAA Fisheries 2008 FCRPS BiOp, as supplemented in 2010 and 2014 (the 2014 NOAA Fisheries Supplemental BiOp), and the USFWS 2000 FCRPS BiOp and 2006 Libby BiOp, according to the draft plan.


While the action agencies are the final authorities on the content of the water management plan, they are coordinating with the interagency Technical Management Team to complete the final water management plan review and they will consult with TMT in-season as they implement the actions within the plan. TMT consists of representatives from the action agencies, NOAA Fisheries, USFWS, the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and Tribal sovereigns.


The action agencies will prepare seasonal updates to the 2016 WMP that will be posted for regional review through the TMT at


The system operations may be adjusted according to water year conditions based on coordination with the TMT, the draft plan says.


According to the draft plan, the operations are designed to:


1. Implement water management measures consistent with actions considered in their respective BiOps.

2. Assist in meeting the biological performance standards specified in the BiOps in combination with other actions or operations identified in the 2014 NOAA Fisheries Supplemental BiOp.

3. Meet other FCRPS project requirements and purposes such as flood risk management, hydropower, irrigation, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife not listed under the ESA.

4. Take into account recommendations contained in the applicable Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program and amendments.


The WMP also includes any special operations planned for the year (e.g., special tests, required maintenance, construction activities, etc.) known at the time the WMP is developed.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin, Bend, Oregon. For information or comments call 541-312-8860.
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