Use Attainability Analyses Information

UAA Information | Dam Feasibility Guidance Information | To Comment


Use Attainability Analysis Information

Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) is a tool that can be used to support modification of the Water Quality Standards to more accurately designate uses for water bodies. UAAs are gaining interest, both nationally and locally, as one of a suite of tools that can potentially be used to help fine-tune the water quality standards. Ecology is developing UAA guidance because it is important to let people know when and in what circumstance UAAs might be the proper tool to use.

The latest draft guidance (July 2005) contains several areas of expanded information and numerous modifications prompted by public comments made on the first draft. As Ecology worked with the state and federal regulations, other agencies, and the public on questions related to use attainability analysis, it became obvious that we all still have much to learn about how the federal regulations for UAAs will apply among the many different types of waterbodies in Washington. The wide range of comments we received on the first draft illustrate this point.

Ecology does not plan to finalize the UAA guidance until we have the opportunity to actually work on a UAA and gain some experience that will aid us in answering the breadth of questions that were raised during review of the UAA guidance. This latest draft will be used as a framework to work through UAAs in Washington.


Ecology is available to meet with the public to discuss the draft guidance or UAAs in general – please contact Cheryl Niemi to arrange meetings.

Feasibility Analysis Guidance for Dams

The Department of Ecology was awarded assistance from USEPA to develop an economic feasibility guidance for hydrologic modifications (specifically dams) in Washington. The guidance will focus on evaluating economic feasibility for dams in the following contexts:

Ecology held public meetings in Lacey on May 25, 2006 and July 17, 2006 to discuss the development process and policy issues surrounding feasibility analysis. The USEPA presented information on economic feasibility analysis at each of the meetings.

Ecology released a first draft of the economic feasibility guidance for a 30-day public review, which ended September 15, 2006. Ecology held two workshops on the draft guidance during the 30-day public comment period in August.

Ecology received seven comment letters on the draft guidance:
Unless otherwise specified, the following documents are available in Adobe Acrobat (.PDF file) format. To view and/or print PDF files, you first will need to download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader from this link.




American Rivers, Center for Justice, and the Hydropower Reform Coalition


Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission


Dorain Dexter


P.U.D. No. 1 Chelan Co., P.U.D. No. 1 Douglas Co., P.U.D. No. 2 Grant Co., Avista Corporation, Puget Sound Energy, and Seattle City Light


Save our Wild Salmon


Save our Wild Salmon, clarification


U.S. Corps of Engineers


U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation


We will post information about a future meeting, to discuss the feasibility guidance and updates of the economic feasibility guidance, on this website. Updates will also be announced through the Water Quality listserv.

Comments, Questions

Please send any comments or questions on the draft economic feasibility guidance for dams to:

Cheryl Niemi
Department of Ecology
Water Quality Program
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Phone: 360-407-6440


Back to top of page

Last updated June 2012