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Wanapum Dam
Wanapum Dam
Official name Wanapum Dam
Impounds Columbia River
Locale Grant / Kittitas counties, Washington
Construction began 1959
Opening date 1963
Construction cost $195,000,000
Reservoir information
Creates Lake Wanapum
Power generation information
Installed capacity 1,038 MW
Geographical Data

Pacific Northwest River System.png
Coordinates 46°52′31″N 119°58′16″W / 46.875213°N 119.971004°W / 46.875213; -119.971004Coordinates: 46°52′31″N 119°58′16″W / 46.875213°N 119.971004°W / 46.875213; -119.971004
Dam viewed from downstream on the west bank.

Wanapum Dam is a hydroelectric project located on the Columbia River downstream (south) from Vantage, Washington where Interstate 90 crosses the Columbia from Grant County into Kittitas County. It is owned by the Grant County Public Utility District. Its reservoir is named Lake Wanapum.

The dam, and its lake, are named after the Wanapum Indians.

The dam has a rated capacity of 1,038,000 kilowatts[1]


Vantage Bridge crossing Wanapum Lake

The Wanapum dam was originally licensed in 1955 for a period of 50 years. Construction was initiated in 1959 with initial beneficial operation in 1963. The initial license expired in 2005, after which the Grant County PUD operated the dam on yearly license extensions while negotiations for license extension proceeded. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a license extension of 44 years for both the Wanapum dam and the downstream Priest Rapids dam on April 17, 2008. The license extension was conditioned upon programs to:

  • modernize the power generation capability of the dam,
  • monitor water quality,
  • improve wildlife habitat,
  • protect nearly 700 Wanapum Tribe archaeological sites in the vicinity, and
  • enhance recreation with new campsites, picnic areas and trails.[2]


  1. ^ Grant County Public Utility District Website
  2. ^ Article titled 'License OK'd for Columbia Dams'; Tri-City Herald published by McClatchy Company; Kennewick, Wa.; April 20, 2008; page A6


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