variety of benefits. But after several decades of human and technological interventions on the river and across the basin, the river system has fundamentally changed. In particular, salmon are at a critical point with regard to their long-term survival. If salmon habitat and populations are to be meaningfully protected and restored, people and organizations with stakes in Columbia Basin water may be required to make fundamental adjustments.
This report’s organization reflects its multiple perspectives. Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 discusses the basin’s broad physical, biological, and social features; Chapter 3 discusses hydrology and water management; Chapter 4 discusses environmental influences on salmon; Chapter 5 discusses laws and institutions; Chapter 6 discusses economics and water management alternatives; Chapter 7 discusses risks and water withdrawals; and Chapter 8 is a brief concluding epilogue. The target audience for this report is broad and includes science and policy experts, public- and private-sector officials, and individual citizens and stakeholder groups in the Columbia River basin in the western United States and Canada. This group includes Canadian and U.S. governors and legislators, tribal leaders, state-level water managers and staff (which includes the State of Washington Department of Ecology), federal agency staff (the Bonneville Power Administration, the Corps of Engineers, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and its Independent Science Advisory Board, the Columbia Basin Project, NOAA Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), other operators of dams and water diversion structures, Columbia River basin municipalities, farmers, commercial and recreational fishers, foresters, and tourism, recreational, and environmental organizations. Summaries are given at the end of each chapter. The report’s principal conclusions and recommendations are printed in boldface in the Executive Summary and in Chapter 8.