Snake River Flows Return Slowly to Normal After Reclamation Responds to Power Demand

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 383-2207
Mike Beus, (208) 678-0461 ext 27

For Release: December 04, 2013

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation responded to an emergency demand from the Bonneville Power Administration to increase generation at Palisades Dam. Flows below the dam were increased to help resolve power problems in Eastern Idaho this morning.

Flows from Palisades Dam were increased from 1200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to approximately 4700 cfs immediately following the early morning power shortage at a substation near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

"We were able to make a large contribution towards resolution of the power problem, but the result is unexpected fluctuations in the river," said Mike Beus, Upper Snake Field Office Water Manager. "People should be cautious near the river as flows increase."

Reclamation will reduce the flow to its initial level slowly over the next 36 hours to reduced adverse impacts to fish and other natural resources.

Palisades Powerplant has four generators with a total capacity of 176,600 kilowatts. This is a multipurpose facility that provides water for irrigation, recreation, hydroelectricity, and flood control.

The dam was completed in 1957 and is located on the Snake River about 55 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.