Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
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Project Summary

Project 2008-206-00 - Instream Flow Restoration
Project Number:
2008-206-00
Title:
Instream Flow Restoration
Summary:
CTUIR will work with CBWTP to help provide local planning and coordination to identify instream flow project opportunities in the Umatilla and Walla Walla Basins. This represents an expanded administrative function for the existing project # 200201301 Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program. CTUIR will assist CBWTP QLEs and the National F&W Foundation (current BPA contractor) in researching and establishing water right purchase opportunities. CTUIR will work with CBWTP for water transaction activities for the Umatilla/Walla Walla Basins and Grande Ronde priority areas under the tribal accords agreement for purposes of increasing tributary streamflows. The focal species for this work element is ESA-listed steelhead and reintroduced spring Chinook will also be benefited.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2008
Ending FY:
2032
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Blue Mountain Grande Ronde 34.00%
Columbia Plateau Umatilla 33.00%
Walla Walla 33.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Local Coordination
Focal Species:
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Coho - Unspecified Population
Lamprey, Pacific
Lamprey, Western Brook
Other Resident
Pikeminnow, Northern
Shad, American
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Brook
Trout, Bull
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:

No photos have been uploaded yet for this project.

Summary of Budgets

To view all expenditures for all fiscal years, click "Project Exp. by FY"

Expense SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2018 (Previous) $1,169,667 $800,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $266,596

Post 2018 – Umatilla $800,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $266,596
FY2019 (Current) $167,250 $167,250 $167,250 $0

Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla $167,250 $167,250 $167,250 $0
FY2020 (Next) $167,250 $167,250 $0 $0 $0

Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla $167,250 $0 $0 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Sep-2018

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2018 - FY2020)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2018 Expense $1,218,403 From: Post 2018 – Umatilla FY18 Initial Planning Budgets (WS, CTUIR, YN, CRITFC, CCT, ID) 2/10/2017 02/13/2017
FY2018 Expense $48,736 To: Post 2018 – Umatilla CTUIR Establish FY18 budget for 2012-010-00 Accord Administration 08/21/2017
FY2018 Expense $169,667 To: Post 2018 – Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR) 12/11/2017 12/11/2017
FY2018 Expense $200,000 To: Post 2018 – Umatilla Accord Budget Transfer (CTUIR, CCT) 7/30/2018 07/30/2018
FY2019 Expense $167,250 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2020 Expense $167,250 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Extensions (Umatilla Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2019
Cost Share Partner Total Proposed Contribution Total Confirmed Contribution
There are no project cost share contributions to show.
Previous Fiscal Years
Fiscal Year Total Contributions % of Budget
2017 $134,726 (Draft) 6 % (Draft)
2016 $38,128 2 %
2015 $104,401 5 %
2014 $167,960 13 %
2013 $97,634 13 %
2012 $67,796 11 %
2011 $92,442 17 %
2010
2009
2008

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
77376 SOW National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 2008-206-00 EXP CBWTP CTUIR WATER TRANSACTIONS INSTREAM FLOW Issued $1,000,000 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018
CR-322879 SOW National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 2008-206-00 EXP CTUIR INSTREAM FLOW RESTORATION ADMIN Pending $167,250 10/1/2018 - 9/30/2019



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):9
Completed:7
On time:7
Status Reports
Completed:35
On time:17
Avg Days Late:12

Earliest Subsequent           Accepted Count of Contract Deliverables
Contract Contract(s) Title Contractor Start End Status Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
43973 49754, 54578, 58604, 62513, 66068, 69776, 73920, 77376 200820600 EXP CBWTP CTUIR WATER TRANSACTIONS INSTREAM FLOW National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 10/2009 10/2009 Pending 35 400 25 0 17 442 96.15% 0
Project Totals 35 400 25 0 17 442 96.15% 0


The table content is updated frequently and thus contains more recent information than what was in the original proposal reviewed by ISRP and Council.

Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-206-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 2008-206-00 - Instream Flow Restoration
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-2008-206-00
Completed Date: 6/12/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

Inadequate stream flow is a major factor limiting salmon survival and growth, and impeding migration in interior Columba River basin streams. This proposal is to support the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP), a partnership between BPA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The CBWTP works through Qualified Local Entities (QLEs) to acquire or lease water rights to enhance instream flow, especially during critical low flow periods in late summer, for the benefit of threatened and endangered anadromous and resident fishes. The focus of the project is the Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde subbasins. If done properly, this effort can yield important benefits for ESA listed salmon and resident fish.

The proposal describes the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program's project goals, objectives, means of acquiring water rights, and accomplishments. The priority of the Program is acquiring or leasing senior water rights. The CBWTP program seems to be well organized and managed. The project is clearly significant to regional programs and is strongly guided by the subbasin plans and ESA recovery plans for the Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde subbasins, and other federal, state, and tribal recovery plans. It appears to be well-coordinated with other regional programs and, therefore, is an important component of the regional restoration strategy.

The Problem Statement provides a good description of the issues being faced. The fourth paragraph implies that low water flow currently delays steelhead migration upstream into the Touchet River. Is there evidence that they previously were able to migrate upstream earlier, or that earlier migration would be beneficial?

While all the Objectives are relevant, only the first three are adequately addressed. Objective 4 (Improve egg to smolt survival ratio), Objective 5 (Improve species diversity and abundance), and Objective 6 (Address Limiting Factors), while vitally important, basically are not addressed by the work elements and deliverables in the proposal. They should be important parts of the proposal and, as such, need to be fully developed with quantifiable deliverables.

The challenges to achieving Objectives 4 and 5 are significant and are not well explained. Multiple factors can influence egg-smolt survival and species diversity and abundance. An important consideration is whether immigration and emigration can be estimated or ruled out as factors confounding estimates of egg-to-smolt survival. Also, why would the challenge of controlling for environmental variability and biophysical changes, for example requiring control streams, be greater for Objective 5 than for Objective 4? Objectives 3 and 6 appear to be much the same except that temperature is mentioned in Objective 6 but not in Objective 3. If there is a difference between these objectives, more explanation is required; if not, they should be combined.

As the sponsors clearly recognize, M&E is crucial for accomplishing Objectives 4, 5, and 6 via Deliverable 3. However, the current status of the RM&E program is unclear. On the one hand, the sponsors imply that a monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of water transactions in improving habitat and fish survival and growth was developed in 2011 (for example, see the Executive Summary) and therefore currently is in place. If an M&E program is in place, the sponsors should provide details of that program. While the sponsors cite methods and metrics for monitoring in MonitoringMethods.org, for example CHaMP, they do not provide critical elements essential for a successful monitoring program such as its objectives, a sampling design, how sample sites will be selected, and the scale of the monitoring program, that is, will monitoring occur at the site, reach, or watershed scale. Will there be uniformity of monitoring design and methods among all transactions or will it be adapted to local conditions?

On the other hand, the sponsors also imply that a comprehensive habitat and biological monitoring program currently is not in place but will be developed or at least implemented as part of the current project. The proposal states that the CBWTP will be working with QLEs to establish the baseline information needed to increase monitoring of biological response to enhanced instream flow. If an M&E program is not in place, the approaches and strategies for developing one need to be described in reasonable detail. Developing and implementing a comprehensive M&E program for habitat and fish is a large and complex undertaking, and likely will require participation of partners such as ODFW. The sponsors should clearly define the roles of these partners and ensure that they will participate to the fullest extent in development of the M&E program.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

This project has completed an impressive number of water transactions to enhance flows. Although it is reassuring to see continuing improvements through the years, the accomplishments seem to pre-date the initiation of this project.

The sponsors appear to have a well-defined process for selecting and implementing water transaction projects. The projects are selected using criteria approved by the ISRP. A link is provided that discusses the criteria in detail. Once projects have been implemented, an Accounting Framework will be used to track the effectiveness of the flow enhancement projects. This framework will be implemented in 2013.

The program's responsiveness and ability to deliver large quantities of information in a timely manner are key strengths. It is reassuring to note that increasingly more of the annual budget is going towards transactions as the program develops (19% in 2010, 24% in 2011, and 28% in 2012), and that correspondingly greater amounts of water volume and flow have been secured. It is difficult to understand the ecological importance of acre-feet of water and cubic feet per second of flow by themselves. What percentage of the flow expected to occur naturally or historically is being conserved? A comparison to historical flow estimates during the low flow months would be more meaningful. The figures on pages 8, 11, and 12 would provide greater perspective if the amount of water secured by transactions was also expressed as a proportion of the total water volume, and if targets were indicated. Also, more explanation is needed of the forecasted amounts of water reserved for instream flow (2013-2030 and perpetuity) in the figures on page 8; presumably the decline in forecasted amounts is due to past transactions expiring over time. Have forecasts of reduced flow due to climate change been incorporated, or could they be an additional scenario? Some effort in this direction is needed to reassure reviewers that the program is gaining or at least maintaining flow.

While it is encouraging to see improvement in flows, are there quantifications of what the ideal flow for fish would be? Considering the costs and efforts involved in flow restoration, having an ideal target flow that can be ecologically defended, is essential. Further, these streams probably are ecologically important for mussels, fishes other than salmonids, and for other organisms. What are the E-flow requirements for these species? After all, the ultimate goal is to establish vibrant ecological systems.

The figures on page 10 and 11 that show an increase in adult steelhead abundance in the Touchet River after water transactions began in 2010 are out of date. What has happened since 2010? What mechanism is proposed to account for the increased abundance and the relatively greater increase in wild than hatchery adults?

The sponsors should avoid statements that cannot be statistically supported. For example, the proposal states that “In 2010, when transactions were implemented on the Touchet River, the number of adult fish went up dramatically. Thus providing a correlation between the importance of instream flows and fish population numbers.” This increase is only for one year. It is not clear if these were hatchery or wild fish, or resulted from natural year-to-year variations in stock strength.

Adaptive management appears to be a strong aspect of this program as evident in the diversity of approaches being tried, including the novel experiment to store spring runoff in underground aquifers so that it could be pumped into Catherine Creek as needed later in the season. Sustainability is enhanced by these deliberate efforts to experiment because they generate new ideas and options, thereby increasing cultural adaptability. Following an ISRP recommendation, the CBWTP has instituted an improved process for selecting and implementing project and coordinating with state, federal, and tribal entities. Nevertheless, adaptive management could be practiced more effectively. Perhaps, because of the nature of the activities conducted by the CBWTP, adaptive management may not be fully appropriate. In that case, it might be better to employ Structured Decision Making, which the sponsors seem to be doing already.

Evaluation of Results

This project facilitates a partnership between the CTUIR and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) enabling funds from the Accords agreement to be used by the NFWF’s Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP; BPA project 2002-02-301) to acquire or lease water rights to improve instream flow. The CTUIR will work with the CBWTP and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to identify flow restoration opportunities, purchase water rights, and implement flow enhancement projects. The core of the CBWTP is the Qualified Local Entities (QLE), which include state water agencies and nonprofits. In coordination with the NFWF and CTUIR, the QLEs work in local communities to identify, develop, and negotiate water transactions.

This project has completed an impressive number of water transactions since its inception and appears to have a well-defined process for selecting and implementing water transaction projects. It has enacted over 340 water transactions that returned over 1000 cubic feet per second of flow to subbasin tributaries, has secured over 4.9 million acre-feet of water, and enhanced flow for over 1500 miles of stream. Since CTUIR partnered with the CBWTP in 2010, 20 transactions have been funded through the Accords agreement.

The sponsors recognize that RM&E is critical for evaluating the effectiveness of water transactions in enhancing instream flow and improving fish survival and growth. Objectives 4, 5, and 6 in the proposal pertain to biological responses to water transactions, but they are not addressed adequately by the work elements and deliverables. It is clear that a robust and well-designed M&E program is crucial for accomplishing these Objectives.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

The project appears to be well coordinated with the QLEs and other partnering entities. It is clear that the success of a program like this one depends on the capacity of the sponsors to find willing partners by undertaking extensive outreach, planning, and coordination with the community at large and other QLEs. The record of success to date suggests that project relationships have been a strong aspect of the program.

This work, understandably, appears to be done in isolation of other limiting factors such as temperature, toxic agricultural chemicals, sediment delivery, beaver, and riparian conditions. What is the longer term view on how these factors will be integrated with E-flows?

The implications of climate change are discussed in some detail. Nevertheless, climate change effects could be addressed more effectively. More quantitative projections of the effect on water flow and timing under a variety of scenarios would be useful to demonstrate that this approach has a reasonable probability of achieving its ultimate objectives (4 and 5 in the proposal). There are approaches in use to gain insights into future flows. These include scenario analyses to inform and improve existing instream flow restoration projects (see Donley et al. 2012, Global Change Biology (2012), DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02773.x). It is important to assess the sensitivity of late summer (July, August, and September) flows to the following scenario simulations singly or in combination: climate change, changes in the quantity of water used for irrigation and possible changes to existing water resource policy. As the sponsors are aware, flows can be modeled using the Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP; as well as other modeling platforms) under historical and projected conditions, for example 2020 and 2040, for each scenario. It is surprising that models to perform these analyses were not mentioned in the proposal.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

Deliverables one and two are crucial to the success of the water transaction program. Adequate Deliverables are required for Objectives 4, 5, and 6. These Objectives are essential for determining whether water acquisitions are effectively improving instream conditions and fish growth and survival. The Deliverables are far too general, make simple assumptions about the relationships between water transactions and biological responses, and lack detail concerning the proposed M&E program. The Deliverables will not, by themselves, be sufficient to achieve, or even to monitor progress to achieving the success of Objectives 4 and 5. No Deliverables are given for Objective 6 (Address limiting factors).

Work elements should include scenario modeling for the target streams to assess vulnerability to climate change, agricultural water withdrawals, and policy change. If WEAP is not being used or is inappropriate, then a statement is needed as to why it is not employed.

One or two professional publications in a refereed journal should be listed as a Deliverable. It is important for large scale projects, like this one, to provide leadership in the broader restoration community.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

No comments.


===========QUALIFICATIONS FOLLOW================

The Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program can point to numerous successes in acquiring or leasing water rights to improve stream flow. The sponsors have developed what appears to be a sound approach for selecting and monitoring projects. A particular strength of this project is the outreach and education provided by the QLEs that both inform and encourage landowners to participate in the water transaction program.

The following qualifications should be addressed during contracting and in future proposals and reports:

 

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1
Ensure that the sponsors provide appropriate Deliverables for Objectives 4, 5, and 6; or delete them from the proposal as stated objectives.
Qualification #2 - Qualification #2
Ensure that the sponsors provide defensible biological targets for late summer flows in the targeted streams.
Qualification #3 - Qualification #3
Ensure that the sponsors provide a long-term strategy for integrating the suite of "emerging" factors with the E-flow program.
Qualification #4 - Qualification #4
Ensure that the sponsors provide an integrated scenario analyses for targeted streams into the work plan.
Qualification #5 - Qualification #5
Ensure that an appropriate M&E program is in place or will be developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the water transactions. Include more explanation of how monitoring will conducted to evaluate progress towards objectives 4 ("Improve egg to smolt survival") and 5 ("Improve species diversity and abundance").
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

Inadequate stream flow is a major factor limiting salmon survival and growth, and impeding migration in interior Columba River basin streams. This proposal is to support the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP), a partnership between BPA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The CBWTP works through Qualified Local Entities (QLEs) to acquire or lease water rights to enhance instream flow, especially during critical low flow periods in late summer, for the benefit of threatened and endangered anadromous and resident fishes. The focus of the project is the Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde subbasins. If done properly, this effort can yield important benefits for ESA listed salmon and resident fish.

The proposal describes the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program's project goals, objectives, means of acquiring water rights, and accomplishments. The priority of the Program is acquiring or leasing senior water rights. The CBWTP program seems to be well organized and managed. The project is clearly significant to regional programs and is strongly guided by the subbasin plans and ESA recovery plans for the Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde subbasins, and other federal, state, and tribal recovery plans. It appears to be well-coordinated with other regional programs and, therefore, is an important component of the regional restoration strategy.

The Problem Statement provides a good description of the issues being faced. The fourth paragraph implies that low water flow currently delays steelhead migration upstream into the Touchet River. Is there evidence that they previously were able to migrate upstream earlier, or that earlier migration would be beneficial?

While all the Objectives are relevant, only the first three are adequately addressed. Objective 4 (Improve egg to smolt survival ratio), Objective 5 (Improve species diversity and abundance), and Objective 6 (Address Limiting Factors), while vitally important, basically are not addressed by the work elements and deliverables in the proposal. They should be important parts of the proposal and, as such, need to be fully developed with quantifiable deliverables.

The challenges to achieving Objectives 4 and 5 are significant and are not well explained. Multiple factors can influence egg-smolt survival and species diversity and abundance. An important consideration is whether immigration and emigration can be estimated or ruled out as factors confounding estimates of egg-to-smolt survival. Also, why would the challenge of controlling for environmental variability and biophysical changes, for example requiring control streams, be greater for Objective 5 than for Objective 4? Objectives 3 and 6 appear to be much the same except that temperature is mentioned in Objective 6 but not in Objective 3. If there is a difference between these objectives, more explanation is required; if not, they should be combined.

As the sponsors clearly recognize, M&E is crucial for accomplishing Objectives 4, 5, and 6 via Deliverable 3. However, the current status of the RM&E program is unclear. On the one hand, the sponsors imply that a monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of water transactions in improving habitat and fish survival and growth was developed in 2011 (for example, see the Executive Summary) and therefore currently is in place. If an M&E program is in place, the sponsors should provide details of that program. While the sponsors cite methods and metrics for monitoring in MonitoringMethods.org, for example CHaMP, they do not provide critical elements essential for a successful monitoring program such as its objectives, a sampling design, how sample sites will be selected, and the scale of the monitoring program, that is, will monitoring occur at the site, reach, or watershed scale. Will there be uniformity of monitoring design and methods among all transactions or will it be adapted to local conditions?

On the other hand, the sponsors also imply that a comprehensive habitat and biological monitoring program currently is not in place but will be developed or at least implemented as part of the current project. The proposal states that the CBWTP will be working with QLEs to establish the baseline information needed to increase monitoring of biological response to enhanced instream flow. If an M&E program is not in place, the approaches and strategies for developing one need to be described in reasonable detail. Developing and implementing a comprehensive M&E program for habitat and fish is a large and complex undertaking, and likely will require participation of partners such as ODFW. The sponsors should clearly define the roles of these partners and ensure that they will participate to the fullest extent in development of the M&E program.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

This project has completed an impressive number of water transactions to enhance flows. Although it is reassuring to see continuing improvements through the years, the accomplishments seem to pre-date the initiation of this project.

The sponsors appear to have a well-defined process for selecting and implementing water transaction projects. The projects are selected using criteria approved by the ISRP. A link is provided that discusses the criteria in detail. Once projects have been implemented, an Accounting Framework will be used to track the effectiveness of the flow enhancement projects. This framework will be implemented in 2013.

The program's responsiveness and ability to deliver large quantities of information in a timely manner are key strengths. It is reassuring to note that increasingly more of the annual budget is going towards transactions as the program develops (19% in 2010, 24% in 2011, and 28% in 2012), and that correspondingly greater amounts of water volume and flow have been secured. It is difficult to understand the ecological importance of acre-feet of water and cubic feet per second of flow by themselves. What percentage of the flow expected to occur naturally or historically is being conserved? A comparison to historical flow estimates during the low flow months would be more meaningful. The figures on pages 8, 11, and 12 would provide greater perspective if the amount of water secured by transactions was also expressed as a proportion of the total water volume, and if targets were indicated. Also, more explanation is needed of the forecasted amounts of water reserved for instream flow (2013-2030 and perpetuity) in the figures on page 8; presumably the decline in forecasted amounts is due to past transactions expiring over time. Have forecasts of reduced flow due to climate change been incorporated, or could they be an additional scenario? Some effort in this direction is needed to reassure reviewers that the program is gaining or at least maintaining flow.

While it is encouraging to see improvement in flows, are there quantifications of what the ideal flow for fish would be? Considering the costs and efforts involved in flow restoration, having an ideal target flow that can be ecologically defended, is essential. Further, these streams probably are ecologically important for mussels, fishes other than salmonids, and for other organisms. What are the E-flow requirements for these species? After all, the ultimate goal is to establish vibrant ecological systems.

The figures on page 10 and 11 that show an increase in adult steelhead abundance in the Touchet River after water transactions began in 2010 are out of date. What has happened since 2010? What mechanism is proposed to account for the increased abundance and the relatively greater increase in wild than hatchery adults?

The sponsors should avoid statements that cannot be statistically supported. For example, the proposal states that “In 2010, when transactions were implemented on the Touchet River, the number of adult fish went up dramatically. Thus providing a correlation between the importance of instream flows and fish population numbers.” This increase is only for one year. It is not clear if these were hatchery or wild fish, or resulted from natural year-to-year variations in stock strength.

Adaptive management appears to be a strong aspect of this program as evident in the diversity of approaches being tried, including the novel experiment to store spring runoff in underground aquifers so that it could be pumped into Catherine Creek as needed later in the season. Sustainability is enhanced by these deliberate efforts to experiment because they generate new ideas and options, thereby increasing cultural adaptability. Following an ISRP recommendation, the CBWTP has instituted an improved process for selecting and implementing project and coordinating with state, federal, and tribal entities. Nevertheless, adaptive management could be practiced more effectively. Perhaps, because of the nature of the activities conducted by the CBWTP, adaptive management may not be fully appropriate. In that case, it might be better to employ Structured Decision Making, which the sponsors seem to be doing already.

Evaluation of Results

This project facilitates a partnership between the CTUIR and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) enabling funds from the Accords agreement to be used by the NFWF’s Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP; BPA project 2002-02-301) to acquire or lease water rights to improve instream flow. The CTUIR will work with the CBWTP and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to identify flow restoration opportunities, purchase water rights, and implement flow enhancement projects. The core of the CBWTP is the Qualified Local Entities (QLE), which include state water agencies and nonprofits. In coordination with the NFWF and CTUIR, the QLEs work in local communities to identify, develop, and negotiate water transactions.

This project has completed an impressive number of water transactions since its inception and appears to have a well-defined process for selecting and implementing water transaction projects. It has enacted over 340 water transactions that returned over 1000 cubic feet per second of flow to subbasin tributaries, has secured over 4.9 million acre-feet of water, and enhanced flow for over 1500 miles of stream. Since CTUIR partnered with the CBWTP in 2010, 20 transactions have been funded through the Accords agreement.

The sponsors recognize that RM&E is critical for evaluating the effectiveness of water transactions in enhancing instream flow and improving fish survival and growth. Objectives 4, 5, and 6 in the proposal pertain to biological responses to water transactions, but they are not addressed adequately by the work elements and deliverables. It is clear that a robust and well-designed M&E program is crucial for accomplishing these Objectives.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

The project appears to be well coordinated with the QLEs and other partnering entities. It is clear that the success of a program like this one depends on the capacity of the sponsors to find willing partners by undertaking extensive outreach, planning, and coordination with the community at large and other QLEs. The record of success to date suggests that project relationships have been a strong aspect of the program.

This work, understandably, appears to be done in isolation of other limiting factors such as temperature, toxic agricultural chemicals, sediment delivery, beaver, and riparian conditions. What is the longer term view on how these factors will be integrated with E-flows?

The implications of climate change are discussed in some detail. Nevertheless, climate change effects could be addressed more effectively. More quantitative projections of the effect on water flow and timing under a variety of scenarios would be useful to demonstrate that this approach has a reasonable probability of achieving its ultimate objectives (4 and 5 in the proposal). There are approaches in use to gain insights into future flows. These include scenario analyses to inform and improve existing instream flow restoration projects (see Donley et al. 2012, Global Change Biology (2012), DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02773.x). It is important to assess the sensitivity of late summer (July, August, and September) flows to the following scenario simulations singly or in combination: climate change, changes in the quantity of water used for irrigation and possible changes to existing water resource policy. As the sponsors are aware, flows can be modeled using the Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP; as well as other modeling platforms) under historical and projected conditions, for example 2020 and 2040, for each scenario. It is surprising that models to perform these analyses were not mentioned in the proposal.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

Deliverables one and two are crucial to the success of the water transaction program. Adequate Deliverables are required for Objectives 4, 5, and 6. These Objectives are essential for determining whether water acquisitions are effectively improving instream conditions and fish growth and survival. The Deliverables are far too general, make simple assumptions about the relationships between water transactions and biological responses, and lack detail concerning the proposed M&E program. The Deliverables will not, by themselves, be sufficient to achieve, or even to monitor progress to achieving the success of Objectives 4 and 5. No Deliverables are given for Objective 6 (Address limiting factors).

Work elements should include scenario modeling for the target streams to assess vulnerability to climate change, agricultural water withdrawals, and policy change. If WEAP is not being used or is inappropriate, then a statement is needed as to why it is not employed.

One or two professional publications in a refereed journal should be listed as a Deliverable. It is important for large scale projects, like this one, to provide leadership in the broader restoration community.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

No comments.


===========QUALIFICATIONS FOLLOW================

The Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program can point to numerous successes in acquiring or leasing water rights to improve stream flow. The sponsors have developed what appears to be a sound approach for selecting and monitoring projects. A particular strength of this project is the outreach and education provided by the QLEs that both inform and encourage landowners to participate in the water transaction program.

The following qualifications should be addressed during contracting and in future proposals and reports:

1) Ensure that the sponsors provide appropriate Deliverables for Objectives 4, 5, and 6; or delete them from the proposal as stated objectives.

2) Ensure that the sponsors provide defensible biological targets for late summer flows in the targeted streams.

3) Ensure that the sponsors provide a long-term strategy for integrating the suite of “emerging” factors with the E-flow program.

4) Ensure that the sponsors provide an integrated scenario analyses for targeted streams into the work plan.

5) Ensure that an appropriate M&E program is in place or will be developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the water transactions. Include more explanation of how monitoring will conducted to evaluate progress towards objectives 4 (“Improve egg to smolt survival”) and 5 (“Improve species diversity and abundance”).

Modified by Dal Marsters on 6/12/2013 9:25:31 AM.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2008-206-00-NPCC-20131126
Project: 2008-206-00 - Instream Flow Restoration
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-2008-206-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement through FY 2018 with condition. Sponsor to revise proposal as suggested by ISRP (qualifications #1-4), through contracting. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring (ISRP qualification #5). This project coordinates with the CBWTP and utilizes the process and criteria developed by CBWTP to review and prioritize transactions; see Council recommendations for project # 2002-013-01 of June 2011.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #1—Sponsor to revise proposal as suggested by ISRP (qualifications #1-4), through contracting.
Council Condition #2 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #2—Sponsor to revise proposal as suggested by ISRP (qualifications #1-4), through contracting.
Council Condition #3 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #3—Sponsor to revise proposal as suggested by ISRP (qualifications #1-4), through contracting.
Council Condition #4 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #4—Sponsor to revise proposal as suggested by ISRP (qualifications #1-4), through contracting.
Council Condition #5 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #5—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring (ISRP qualification #5).
Council Condition #6 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring (ISRP qualification #5).

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Gary James Interested Party Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Kacy Markowitz Project Lead National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Rankin Holmes Technical Contact National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Maura Eagan Moody Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Brenda Aguirre Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Colleen Walters Project Lead National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration