The thirteen federal reservoirs in the middle and upper Willamette Basin were authorized for
construction beginning in the late 1930s. The combined conservation storage capacity is over 1.6 million acre-feet. The projects provide important benefits of flood control, generation of electricity and water storage. Recreational use at many of the reservoirs is significant and releases provide instream benefits for fish, wildlife, navigation and water quality. Only a small percentage of the total storage is currently under contract for irrigation.
Population growth, increasing development, agriculture, and listings under the Endangered Species Act will place new demands on the reservoirs and could affect project operations. The Willamette Basin Review (Reservoir Study) will determine to what extent the reservoirs may help to meet future water demands in the valley and if changes in project authorizations are necessary to meet those needs.