We are spending the money to build a new dam each and every year in order to keep these poor performing dams that kill all of our salmon. I really hate to repeat myself, but just as it is insane for people in western Oregon and Washington to drive their boats at birds who they suspect may be dipping the beak in the water for an estuary smolt, this is insane for people to spend more money each year than we spent to build one of these gigantic wastes of sand, gravel, cement and water (yeah, yeah I forgot all the rebar).
The only reason this is acceptable is because the BPA is using ratepayer money to pay this. There are roughly 6.8 million people in Washington, 3.9 million in Oregon and 1.6 million in Idaho (roughly). Pacific Northwest population is basically 12.3 million people. That means each Pacific Northwest citizen pays $52.85 for those salmon runs that consist of 80 percent hatchery fish and 20 percent wild fish and never reach sustainable levels due to the lower Snake River dams. I'm going to give the Bonneville Power Administration a break and I'm going to use today's Pacific Northwest Population as the divider into the larger $16.2 billion figure since 1978. The Pacific Northwest power using person (and we all use their power except those off the gridders still waiting for some apocalypse cuz they's think they's special) has spent about $1,317 and change (unwittingly) toward various things like paying anglers to kill pikeminnow, moving bird colonies, killing and harassing sea lions, and driving boats at birds. And for that investment of some 34 years they basically have nothing to show for it.
I would continue on about this, but this one's quite clear, isn't it? It's not a huge amount of money per citizen, but it is definitely wasted money and for that money we could have some 34 more dams. I bet the Corps of Engineers will be pissed when they read this.