Economic Feasibility Assessment of Winter Cloud Seeding in the Boise River Drainage, Idaho
AbstractThe Boise River Drainage, located in Central Idaho, is productive in terms of annual streamflow, a large majority of which is derived from accumulated winter snow pack. There are three dams in the upper river: Anderson Ranch, Arrowrock and Lucky Peak. Capacities of the three reservoirs are: 413,000, 272,000 and 306,000 acre feet, respectively. Both Anderson Ranch and Lucky Peak have hydroelectric production capabilities. Lucky Peak is located below the first two dams. North American Weather Consultants, Inc. conducted winter cloud seeding programs over the Boise River Drainage above Lucky Peak Reservoir during the water years of 1993-1996. A target/control analysis of these four seasons of seeding indicated an average increase in target area April 1st snow water content of 12% (an average additional 2.50" of snow water content per season). Additional analyses were performed to estimate the potential economic benefit that might be derived from the seeding program based upon the value of the estimated increased hydro-power production from Lucky Peak Dam. Lucky Peak has an installed turbine capacity of 100 MW. It was estimated that a 12% increase in April 1st snow water content would result in an average 16,409 MWh of additional electricity production per year. This amount of additional electricity was estimated to have a value of $820,182. The average annual cost of the cloud seeding program during the four seasons of operations was $85,000. These values result in an average estimated benefit/cost ratio of 9.7/1. This analysis does not consider the value of the additional electricity produced from the Anderson Ranch Dam, which is a Bureau of Reclamation facility, or the value of the enhanced streamflow to irrigation interests downstream of the Lucky Peak Dam.
Authors that submit papers for publication agree to the Journal’s copyright and publication terms. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the manuscript’s authorship and initial publication in Journal of Weather Modification. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the Journal of Weather Modification. Authors are permitted to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process to encourage productive exchanges and greater citation of the published article.
Articles are published online using restricted access for the first year. After the first year, articles are made freely available online. Immediate open access for an article may be obtained by the author paying an open access fee which is in addition to the normal page changes. Authors are expected to honor a page charge in order to support publication and distribution of the journal. After the author approves the gallery formatted version for publication, the Weather Modification Association’s Secretary will invoice the corresponding author for the page charges and payment is due within 30 days.