Growing Small in Rural Southern Idaho: Small-Scale Hydropower Development in Agriculture-Based Communities
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The aim of the research presented in this capstone is to determine whether the relative impacts of hydropower projects of different sizes reveal if larger numbers of smaller hydropower projects are preferable to a smaller number of larger projects, and whether they interfere to a greater extent with water security for irrigation of land or have negative environmental impacts. Small and large capacity projects located in Southern Idaho agricultural areas around the Snake River to be examined according to impact analysis via the collection of indicators include installed capacity, installed units, annual power generation, rate of diversion, reservoir surface area, storage capacity, connection to irrigation infrastructure, and inclusion of flood regulation. By collecting this information and comparing results, relationships between project size and power production, functions which support irrigation/agricultural activities, and impacts to local hydrology and environments, may be recognized in order to determine possible future development of hydropower projects in the region.