Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits
EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.Find Out More
Planning for a Future of Reliable, Affordable, Environmentally Responsible Energy
The challenges revealed by Eugene Water & Electric Board’s integrated resource planning process mirror those facing the Northwest.Find Out More
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
EWEB’s heat driven call to conserve energy yields major savings
EWEB is likely to implement similar, formalized “demand response” programs in the future.Find Out More
How does EWEB recover the costs of serving customers
Here’s an overview of the three primary ways EWEB recovers the costs of serving customers and generates the funds needed to keep the power on and the water flowing.Find Out More
Please join your neighbors in reducing energy use today
With excessive temperatures and wildfire conditions affecting power generation across the region, EWEB is encouraging customers to safely conserve power.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet our servant leader and maker of tough decisions
Karen Kelley, Chief Operations Officer at EWEB, describes herself as a "servant leader," offering support and mentoring to four division managers at EWEB.Find Out More
Planning for a Reliable, Affordable, Green Energy Future
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson publishes an op-ed in the Eugene Weekly about EWEB's IRP.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the woman responsible for managing our wholesale energy agreements to ensure we meet our customers energy needs
Megan Capper, the Energy Resource Manager at EWEB, began her career working in economics at BPA before joining the power planning department EWEB, ensuring we can meet the energy needs of our our customers today, tomorrow and 20 years from now.Find Out More
Substations – The resilient spine of EWEB’s electric system
The substation redundancy ensures reliable power continues to flow to homes and businesses despite unexpected equipment failures and routine maintenance.Find Out More
EWEB charts energy supply choices for next 2-3 years
After 18 months of study to assess Eugene’s future electricity needs, EWEB has identified next steps to pursue in the next two to three years.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the water quality specialist who ensures the safety of Eugene's drinking water
Brenda Casarez began working at EWEB in 2009, collecting samples from all over the water system testing for different contaminants.Find Out More
Wildfire season is here – tips and safety precautions
Temperatures are heating up with weather forecasts anticipating temperatures up to 99 degrees in Eugene and the surrounding areas on the 4th of July.Find Out More
EWEB will close College Hill Reservoir site for Fourth of July
EWEB will continue the annual closure of its College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday. For the past several years, EWEB has restricted access to the reservoir surface around the Fourth of July to ensure people do not set off fireworks which can damage the roof and potentially impact drinking water quality.Find Out More
EWEB, Partners Receive $7.5M Grant from NOAA
EWEB, McKenzie Watershed Council, McKenzie River Trust and the U.S. Forest Service are working to improve major tributary for water quality, wildfire resiliency and fish habitat.Find Out More
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EWEB Taking Steps to Protect McKenzie River During Below Average Summer Stream Flows
May 12, 2020
The beautiful McKenzie River not only supports diverse recreation, vibrant farms, and abundant fish and wildlife, but it is also the sole source of drinking water for Eugene residents and a source of clean, reliable and affordable energy.
Hydropower is a form of renewable energy that uses water stored in dams, or flowing in rivers, to create electricity. Falling or flowing water spins a turbine, activating a generator that converts the energy into carbon-free electricity, which is then fed into the electrical grid to be used by Eugene homes and businesses. Nearly 80 percent of Eugene's power comes from hydroelectric projects throughout the Pacific Northwest.
EWEB owns three local, McKenzie River hydroelectric projects: Leaburg, Walterville and Carmen-Smith.
Under operating licenses issued by the Federal government, EWEB is permitted to divert a portion of the McKenzie River for power generation. The Walterville hydroelectric project is allowed to divert 2,577 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the Walterville canal and EWEB is required to maintain minimum instream flows in the bypassed reach of the McKenzie River of 1,000 cfs at all times.
However, in 2018 EWEB made an operational decision to voluntarily adjust the flow going into the Walterville canal during low flow years in order to maintain an additional 10 percent more flow in the river during the summer. Maintaining more flow in the river than in the canal improves fish migration and enhances water quality and recreational use during the summer months.
In mid-April, EWEB conducted our annual evaluation of snowpack data and summer stream forecasts and projected the McKenzie Basin will experience below-median stream flows during the upcoming summer. Data available at that time indicated that snowpack in the basin was roughly 94 percent of median. McKenzie River streamflow forecasts for the April to September period at Vida (the closest forecast station) were 92 percent of average.
Based on these forecasts, EWEB will begin adjusting flows into the Walterville canal following the annual Walterville Project maintenance outage that is currently scheduled for June 13-26, and will maintain the adjusted flows through October 2020.
"Our community's hydro projects place EWEB in a unique position to safeguard this valuable community resource," said EWEB generation manager Mike McCann. "Whether it's managing stream flows or partnering with community members to keep pollutants out of the river, we're always working to create a balance between watershed health and human use."
The Walterville powerhouse, located off Camp Creek Road northeast of Springfield, can generate up to 8.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 4,000 homes or roughly equal to about 3 percent of Eugene's average daily consumption of electricity.