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Draining a Reservoir

Explosive Breach of Condit Dam

This is phenomenal video; I had to share it. Every time I’m out hiking around a reservoir (which, here in the West are primarily our only large bodies of water) I end up trying to imagine the land before the dam—as a pristine valley or canyon. What would happen if you could remove the dam and drain the water? How would nature shape the valley again?

Last week, on the White Salmon River in Washington state, we can answer part of that question. A hole was blown in the 125 foot Condit Dam and the water—in only about two hours—drained from the reservoir and the river began the process of reshaping the former lakebed. It’s an amazing explosion followed by an even more amazing time-lapse.

I’d love to see another time-lapse of the valley as nature begins to re-assert itself.