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“Normal” Water Year So Far In The Northwest

Bonneville Power Administration

Thanks to a wet winter, the Bonneville Power Administration says this will be a “normal” water year for the northwest. That’s an improvement over last year.

Last year’s water supply was below average in the Columbia Basin.  The BPA says the water supply forecast for this January through July is slightly above normal. That’s based on water volume measured at The Dalles Dam. Erik Pytlak is with BPA.
Pytlak: “This year has been a little warmer than normal but the snowpack was able to build pretty well especially in the Columbia Basin away from the Cascades up into Montana, Idaho and Canada. So things are looking pretty good from that standpoint.”
BPA provides power and sets prices for northwest utilities.
The warm winter has driven down the price of natural gas. That affects the amount of money BPA can get for its surplus electricity, which means a rate hike for local utilities.


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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