What’s happening to Barber Dam?

The Boise River is one of Boise’s most precious resources. It supplies Boiseans with 30% of our drinking water, is a recreational draw, and provides habitat for fish and wildlife.

The Boise River also generates power. Many of us have heard of Arrowrock or Lucky Peak Dam – but have you heard of the Barber Dam? The Barber Dam is a small run-of-river project located just above Eckert Bridge in Boise. It is operated by Enel Green Power – North America.

In February, the Barber Dam failed when an electrical outage shut down the plant, causing river flows to drop to nearly zero for over eight hours. This meant that fish and insects might have been critically exposed, perhaps mortally.

Hundreds of you took action to tell Enel that this was unacceptable and to ask that they make a significant contribution to rehabilitate the river’s ecosystem. Thanks to you, Enel has agreed to take part in a river restoration project to help the area.

Yet, the Barber Dam failed again on September 17, once again threatening the fish and wildlife that depend on it. Read more here.

CVI sits on the Ada County Environmental Advisory Committee that was formed to create a solution to this problem and others like it that affect Ada County. We will continue to work to ensure that the Boise River is protected and enhanced.