The Marginalization of Federal Hydropower
McMahon, George F.
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Multipurpose federal reservoirs, and the competing and complementary purposes they serve, constitute a water resource infrastructure that invariably changes over time, reflecting not only changing economic benefits and beneficiaries, but the evolution of social and environmental concerns as well. This research investigates changes in National Economic Development (NED) benefits of a specific purpose commonly encompassed in federal water resource development-hydropower--due to exogenous and endogenous factors, among them the increasing value of water and storage to non-power uses. The objectives of this investigation are ( 1) to reveal some of the interdependencies between hydropower and other cardinal uses of storage in federal reservoirs, (2) to ascertain, in specific cases, the potential for sustainability improvements by modifying the operation of existing federal projects, and (3) to gauge the overall effectiveness of existing federal policy as a guide to implementation of sustainability concepts and measures in managing the nation's water resources.