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Title: Water Quality Projects Summary for the Mid-Columbia and Cumberland River Systems

Abstract

Scheduling and operational control of hydropower systems is accompanied with a keen awareness of the management of water use, environmental effects, and policy, especially within the context of strict water rights policy and generation maximization. This is a multi-objective problem for many hydropower systems, including the Cumberland and Mid-Columbia river systems. Though each of these two systems have distinct operational philosophies, hydrologic characteristics, and system dynamics, they both share a responsibility to effectively manage hydropower and the environment, which requires state-of-the art improvements in the approaches and applications for water quality modeling. The Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed tools for total dissolved gas (TDG) prediction on the Mid-Columbia River and a decision-support system used for hydropower generation and environmental optimization on the Cumberland River. In conjunction with IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering, The University of Iowa and University of Colorado s Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES), ORNL has managed the development of a TDG predictive methodology at seven dams along the Mid-Columbia River and has enabled the ability to utilize this methodology for optimization of operations at these projects with the commercially available software package Riverware. ORNL has alsomore » managed the collaboration with Vanderbilt University and Lipscomb University to develop a state-of-the art method for reducing high-fidelity water quality modeling results into surrogate models which can be used effectively within the context of optimization efforts to maximize generation for a reservoir system based on environmental and policy constraints. The novel contribution of these efforts is the ability to predict water quality conditions with simplified methodologies at the same level of accuracy as more complex and resource intensive computing methods. These efforts were designed to incorporate well into existing hydropower and reservoir system scheduling models, with runtimes that are comparable to existing software tools. In addition, the transferability of these tools to assess other systems is enhanced due the use of simplistic and easily attainable values for inputs, straight-forward calibration of predictive equation coefficients, and standardized comparison of traditionally familiar outputs.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1352762
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2016/545
WC0100000; CEWW099
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Water Quality; Total Dissolved Gas; Computer Modeling; Fish; Hydropower Generation; Hydropower Optimization; Environmental; CE-QUAL W2; Neural Network; Surrogate Model; Competing Demands; Mid Columbia River; Cumberland River

Citation Formats

Stewart, Kevin M., Witt, Adam M., and Hadjerioua, Boualem. Water Quality Projects Summary for the Mid-Columbia and Cumberland River Systems. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1352762.
Stewart, Kevin M., Witt, Adam M., & Hadjerioua, Boualem. Water Quality Projects Summary for the Mid-Columbia and Cumberland River Systems. United States. doi:10.2172/1352762.
Stewart, Kevin M., Witt, Adam M., and Hadjerioua, Boualem. Sat . "Water Quality Projects Summary for the Mid-Columbia and Cumberland River Systems". United States. doi:10.2172/1352762. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1352762.
@article{osti_1352762,
title = {Water Quality Projects Summary for the Mid-Columbia and Cumberland River Systems},
author = {Stewart, Kevin M. and Witt, Adam M. and Hadjerioua, Boualem},
abstractNote = {Scheduling and operational control of hydropower systems is accompanied with a keen awareness of the management of water use, environmental effects, and policy, especially within the context of strict water rights policy and generation maximization. This is a multi-objective problem for many hydropower systems, including the Cumberland and Mid-Columbia river systems. Though each of these two systems have distinct operational philosophies, hydrologic characteristics, and system dynamics, they both share a responsibility to effectively manage hydropower and the environment, which requires state-of-the art improvements in the approaches and applications for water quality modeling. The Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed tools for total dissolved gas (TDG) prediction on the Mid-Columbia River and a decision-support system used for hydropower generation and environmental optimization on the Cumberland River. In conjunction with IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering, The University of Iowa and University of Colorado s Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES), ORNL has managed the development of a TDG predictive methodology at seven dams along the Mid-Columbia River and has enabled the ability to utilize this methodology for optimization of operations at these projects with the commercially available software package Riverware. ORNL has also managed the collaboration with Vanderbilt University and Lipscomb University to develop a state-of-the art method for reducing high-fidelity water quality modeling results into surrogate models which can be used effectively within the context of optimization efforts to maximize generation for a reservoir system based on environmental and policy constraints. The novel contribution of these efforts is the ability to predict water quality conditions with simplified methodologies at the same level of accuracy as more complex and resource intensive computing methods. These efforts were designed to incorporate well into existing hydropower and reservoir system scheduling models, with runtimes that are comparable to existing software tools. In addition, the transferability of these tools to assess other systems is enhanced due the use of simplistic and easily attainable values for inputs, straight-forward calibration of predictive equation coefficients, and standardized comparison of traditionally familiar outputs.},
doi = {10.2172/1352762},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report describes the application of an unsteady, one-dimensional water-quality model to the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam, Kentucky. A hydropower upgrade of Wolf Creek Dam and construction of a reregulation dam, located approximately 10 miles below Wolf Creek Dam, are under consideration. Simulations were conducted under unreregulated conditions and projected conditions following impoundment to provide information concerning the effect of the reregulation dam on water quality in the Cumberland River. Under the conditions simulated, the reregulation dam was predicted to have little impact on temporally averaged water temperatures or dissolved-oxygen concentrations. Temporal variations in water temperatures were retardedmore » under reregulation conditions.« less
  • This study investigates predation by piscivorous waterbirds on juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) from throughout the Columbia River Basin. During 2006, study objectives in the Columbia River estuary, work funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, were to (1) monitor and evaluate previous management initiatives to reduce Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) predation on juvenile salmonids (smolts); (2) measure the impact of double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) predation on smolt survival, and assess potential management options to reduce cormorant predation; and (3) monitor large colonies of other piscivorous waterbirds in the estuary (i.e., glaucous-winged/western gulls [Larus glaucescens/occidentalis]) to determine the potential impacts on smoltmore » survival. Study objectives on the mid-Columbia River, work funded by the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were to (1) measure the impact of predation by Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants on smolt survival; and (2) monitor large nesting colonies of other piscivorous waterbirds (i.e., California gulls [L. californicus], ring-billed gulls [L. delawarensis], American white pelicans [Pelecanus erythrorhynchos]) on the mid-Columbia River to determine the potential for significant impacts on smolt survival. Our efforts to evaluate system-wide losses of juvenile salmonids to avian predation indicated that Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants were responsible for the vast majority of smolt losses to avian predators in the Columbia Basin, with most losses occurring in the Columbia River estuary. In 2006, East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary supported the largest known breeding colonies of Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants in the world. The Caspian tern colony on East Sand Island consisted of about 9,200 breeding pairs in 2006, up slightly (but not significantly so) from the estimate of colony size in 2005 (8,820 pairs). There has not been a statistically significant change in the size of the Caspian tern colony on East Sand Island since 2000. Tern nesting success averaged 0.72 fledglings per breeding pair in 2006, significantly higher than in 2005 (0.37 fledglings per breeding pair), a year of poor ocean conditions. Despite the presumably higher availability of marine forage fishes in 2006, the proportion of juvenile salmonids in diets of Caspian terns (32% of prey items) averaged higher than in 2005 (23% of prey items) and 2004 (18% of prey items). Steelhead smolts were particular vulnerable to predation by East Sand Island terns in 2006, with predation rates as high as 20% on particular groups of PIT-tagged fish reaching the estuary. Consumption of juvenile salmonids by terns nesting at the East Sand Island colony in 2006 was approximately 5.3 million smolts (95% c.i. = 4.4-6.2 million), significantly higher than the estimated 3.6 million smolts consumed in 2005, but still roughly 7 million fewer smolts consumed compared to 1998 (when all terns nested on Rice Island in the upper estuary). Caspian terns nesting on East Sand Island continue to rely primarily on marine forage fishes as a food supply, even in 2005 when availability of marine forage fishes declined due to poor ocean conditions. Further management of Caspian terns to reduce losses of juvenile salmonids would be implemented under the Caspian Tern Management Plan for the Columbia River Estuary; the Records of Decision (RODs) authorizing implementation of the plan were signed in November 2006. The ROD lists as the management goal the redistribution of approximately half of the East Sand Island Caspian tern colony to alternative colony sites in interior Oregon and San Francisco Bay, California (USFWS 2006). Implementation of the management plan is stalled, however, because of the lack of appropriated funds.« less
  • This report describes investigations into predation by piscivorous colonial waterbirds on juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) from throughout the Columbia River basin during 2008. East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary again supported the largest known breeding colony of Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia) in the world (approximately 10,700 breeding pairs) and the largest breeding colony of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in western North America (approximately 10,950 breeding pairs). The Caspian tern colony increased from 2007, but not significantly so, while the double-crested cormorant colony experienced a significant decline (20%) from 2007. Average cormorant nesting success in 2008, however, was downmore » only slightly from 2007, suggesting that food supply during the 2008 nesting season was not the principal cause of the decline in cormorant colony size. Total consumption of juvenile salmonids by East Sand Island Caspian terns in 2008 was approximately 6.7 million smolts (95% c.i. = 5.8-7.5 million). Caspian terns nesting on East Sand Island continued to rely primarily on marine forage fishes as a food supply. Based on smolt PIT tag recoveries on the East Sand Island Caspian tern colony, predation rates were highest on steelhead in 2008; minimum predation rates on steelhead smolts detected passing Bonneville Dam averaged 8.3% for wild smolts and 10.7% for hatchery-raised smolts. In 2007, total smolt consumption by East Sand Island double-crested cormorants was about 9.2 million juvenile salmonids (95% c.i. = 4.4-14.0 million), similar to or greater than that of East Sand Island Caspian terns during that year (5.5 million juvenile salmonids; 95% c.i. = 4.8-6.2 million). The numbers of smolt PIT tags recovered on the cormorant colony in 2008 were roughly proportional to the relative availability of PIT-tagged salmonids released in the Basin, suggesting that cormorant predation on salmonid smolts in the estuary was less selective than tern predation. Cormorant predation rates in excess of 30%, however, were observed for some groups of hatchery-reared fall Chinook salmon released downstream of Bonneville Dam. Implementation of the federal plan 'Caspian Tern Management to Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary' was initiated in 2008 with construction by the Corps of Engineers of two alternative colony sites for Caspian terns in interior Oregon: a 1-acre island on Crump Lake in the Warner Valley and a 1-acre island on Fern Ridge Reservoir near Eugene. We deployed Caspian tern social attraction (decoys and sound systems) on these two islands and monitored for Caspian tern nesting. Caspian terns quickly colonized the Crump Lake tern island; about 430 pairs nested there, including 5 terns that had been banded at the East Sand Island colony in the Columbia River estuary, over 500 km to the northwest. No Caspian terns nested at the Fern Ridge tern island in 2008, but up to 9 Caspian terns were recorded roosting on the island after the nesting season. There were two breeding colonies of Caspian terns on the mid-Columbia River in 2008: (1) about 388 pairs nested at the historical colony on Crescent Island in the McNary Pool and (2) about 100 pairs nested at a relatively new colony site on Rock Island in the John Day Pool. Nesting success at the Crescent Island tern colony was only 0.28 young fledged per breeding pair, the lowest nesting success recorded at that colony since monitoring began in 2000, while only three fledglings were raised at the Rock Island tern colony. The diet of Crescent Island Caspian terns consisted of 68% salmonid smolts; total smolt consumption was estimated at 330,000. Since 2004, total smolt consumption by Crescent Island terns has declined by 34%, due mostly to a decline in colony size, while steelhead consumption has increased 10% during this same period. In 2008, approximately 64,000 steelhead smolts were consumed by Caspian terns nesting at Crescent Island. Based on smolt PIT tag recoveries on the Crescent Island Caspian tern colony, the average predation rate on in-river migrants from the Snake River (all species and run types combined based on interrogations at Lower Monumental Dam) was at least 1.4%. Predation rates on PIT-tagged steelhead smolts were greater than those for other salmonid species; 6.0% of wild steelhead smolts from the Snake River were consumed by Crescent Island terns. The double-crested cormorant colony on Foundation Island in the mid-Columbia River consisted of at least 360 pairs nesting in trees in 2008. The proportion of juvenile salmonids in stomach samples collected from cormorants nesting on Foundation Island during the peak of the smolt out-migration was about 45% of prey biomass.« less
  • The purpose of this report is to describe the water-quality conditions in the lower Columbia River and major tributaries to the extent possible, by (1) Examining seasonal variations in concentrations of water-quality constituents in water (filtered and unfiltered) and suspended sediment; (2) Portraying spatial variations in historical water-quality data; (3) Determining trends in concentrations of water-quality measurements (for example, water temperature) for sites with adequate historical data; (4) Analyzing the suitablity of surface water for maintenance of aquatic life and protection of human health; (5) Determining instream loads for selected water-quality constituents and comparing instream loads in major subbasins tomore » instream loads in major subbasins to instream loads in the Columbia River; and (6) Listing point sources and, to the extent possible, the associated discharges.« less
  • This report has been prepared in support of the remedial investigation of Hanford Site Releases to the Columbia River and describes the 2008/2009 data collection efforts. This report documents field activities associated with collection of sediment, river water, and soil in and adjacent to the Columbia River near the Hanford Site and in nearby tributaries.