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Project Summary

Project 2008-608-00 - Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions
Project Number:
2008-608-00
Title:
Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions
Summary:
Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions

The MOA Idaho Water Transactions Program will complement the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP) and will utilize the transaction tracking and procedural aspects of CBWTP to enhance the effectiveness of implementation. The basis of the funding is the MOA signed between the Action Agencies and the state of Idaho for Idaho-specific projects addressed in the Biological Opinion issued in 2008.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) (Govt - State)
Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
2008
Ending FY:
2032
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Mountain Snake Salmon 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Bull
Trout, Interior Redband
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"

To see more detailed project budget information, please visit the "Project Budget" page

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2019 - FY2021)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2019 Expense $300,000 From: Fish Accord - Idaho Accord Extensions (State of Idaho) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2020 Expense $300,000 From: Fish Accord - Idaho Accord Extensions (State of Idaho) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2021 Expense $303,750 From: Fish Accord - Idaho Accord Extensions (State of Idaho) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2020   DRAFT
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
2019
2018 $69,799 5%
2017 $33,793 16%
2016
2015
2014
2013 $21,039 6%
2012 $47,497 13%
2011 $206,881 22%
2010 $205,273 22%
2009 $1,021,556 100%
2008

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
* "Total Contracted Amount" column includes contracted amount from both capital and expense components of the contract.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
76913 REL 15 SOW Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation 2008-608-00 EXP IDAHO MOA/FISH ACCORD WATER TRANSACTIONS Issued $300,000 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020
CR-341903 SOW Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation 2008-608-00 EXP WATER TRANSACTIONS FUND Approved $300,000 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2021



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):11
Completed:11
On time:10
Status Reports
Completed:47
On time:20
Avg Days Late:5

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
39647 43870, 54579, 62904, 69884, 77332, 76913 REL 8, 76913 REL 15 2008-608-00 IDAHO MOA - WATER TRANSACTIONS Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation 09/2008 09/2008 Approved 47 93 8 0 7 108 93.52% 3
Project Totals 47 93 8 0 7 108 93.52% 3


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

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2008-608-00-NPCC-20131126
Project: 2008-608-00 - Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-2008-608-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with condition through FY 2018. Sponsor to address ISRP qualification related to the compliance monitoring protocols. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring. 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 address ISRP qualification related to the compliance monitoring protocols. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Council Condition #2 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring. This

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-608-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 2008-608-00 - Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-2008-608-00
Completed Date: 6/11/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

This is an important project for improving salmonid habitat quantity and quality. The sponsors are thinking strategically on steps needed to maximize benefits for fish. For example, the sponsors demonstrated during the site visit how the water and land transactions were used to leverage additional transactions. When reading the proposal, the ISRP was concerned that unwilling landowners might constrain key water transactions but important water transactions in the recent past and in the near future were described during the site visit. In future proposals, it would be worthwhile to identify key water transactions that would have the greatest benefit for salmonids regardless of landowner cooperation.

It is understood that the IDWR will conduct compliance and flow monitoring and that other project partners, such as IDFG and ISEMP will conduct biological monitoring that will be used to evaluate both local and watershed level responses to this project. The information provided in the proposal is not sufficient to establish the gain in water in terms of aquatic habitat improvement and fish response. This information needs to be developed in future reporting.

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

The project is clearly important to regional programs and strongly guided by RPAs in the 2008 Biological Opinion, the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, and the Salmon Subbasin Management Plan. The problem statement provides a good description of the over-allocation of water issue being faced, and the implications for salmon recovery. It also provides a strong statement about the need for improved monitoring protocols and clearly defined success criteria, and states that protocols for biological monitoring will be developed in 2013. The proposal provides an excellent review of basin-specific issues and collaborative efforts in the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers.

Six objectives are identified, that are the same as the objectives in 2002-013-00, the Columbia Water Transactions project. Since the Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions use the same scoring sheet and use 2002-013-00 as part of the screening process, these identical objectives are appropriate.

The objectives lack quantitative criteria for success; future proposals should include such criteria. For example, the paragraph on the Pahsimeroi states that the improvement goal is 41 percent improvement in egg to smolt ratio, but no assessment is given about how much water is needed. Importantly, the proposal does briefly indicate how the variables of interest would be measured.

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

Since its inception in 2008, this project has reportedly resulted in the completion of over 20 water right transactions that collectively have restored over 60 cfs of flow to key streams in the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers. Two figures show water flow in the Lemhi River watershed including Lemhi L-5 Gage and Little Springs Creek, and a paragraph on monitoring that states that compliance monitoring is in place and compliance reports have been submitted. The proposal describes a process to identify and prioritize water transactions based on criteria approved by the ISRP and an Accounting Framework developed by the CBWTP to track the effectiveness of water transactions; each transaction is categorized by tier (1-4) to determine the appropriate type of monitoring. The proposal also indicates that new compliance monitoring protocols were developed last year, but insufficient detail is provided for an evaluation in this review. Linkages with CHaMP and ISEMP, and their relevance to the adaptive management loop are mentioned, but the design and results to date are not described.

Although flow increases are described in the proposal, the ISRP is unable to confirm that water is being delivered to provide aquatic habitat benefits. The figures are difficult to interpret with regard to additional water owing to water transactions from project 2008-608-00, and at least some actual compliance reporting data needs to be presented along with a graph or text that states how often compliance is assessed and how often standards were met.

For the Lemhi River watershed, the proposal states that the IDWR purchased 8 permanent conservation easements restricting 15 cfs of diversions on the Lower Lemhi River. It is not clear whether these conservation easements are attributable to deliverables for the Accord Water Transaction project 2008-608-00, or the Upper/Lower Lemhi Acquisition Easements project 2010-088-00. The proposal states that these easements provide about half the goal of establishing habitat conditions for passage in the Lemhi, and that the other half are provided by annual flow agreements. The ISRP believes the proposal should elaborate on the sustainability of the annual agreements, and whether these agreements rely on water transaction project funding.

The proposal provides modest details on restoration activities in Big Timber Creek and Little Springs Creek, both in the Lemhi River watershed. There is no specific statement, however, on the actual cfs flow or total volume of water involved in any transactions. For Little Springs Creek there is a statement that water transactions occurred, but no such information is provided for Big Timber Creek. It is not clear to the ISRP which portions of the described accomplishments are attributable to the water transactions (2008-608-00), easement acquisitions (2010-088-00), watershed habitat (2007-394-00), or Lemhi River Restoration (2010-072-00).

A summary of monitoring of water transactions states that the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP) has completed development of compliance monitoring and that biological monitoring protocol development is underway. An evaluation of CBWTP water transactions completed in 2007 (Hardner and Gullison 2007) recommended development of physical habitat and biological response monitoring protocols. The CBWTP reported in the RME&AP categorical review that those protocols were to be completed in FY 2011. Now it is reported those will be available in FY 2014. Why has effectiveness monitoring been delayed?

Adaptive Management: The information provided in the proposal is mostly a repeat of process and integration with other projects in the Upper Salmon River or Columbia River Basin Water Exchange, and does not explain adaptive management with the MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions. The sponsor should provide succinct text directly addressing the points identified in the proposal Adaptive Management question.

Since its inception in 2008, this project has reportedly resulted in the completion of over 20 water right transactions that collectively have restored over 60 cfs of flow to key streams in the Upper Salmon River basin (Accord-funded projects). In the Lemhi River, 8 permanent conservation easements have resulted in minimum flows of 25-35 cfs in the lower mainstem. This is significant because flows in the lower river would otherwise be nil during irrigation periods. In the Lemhi River watershed, Big Timber Creek, Little Springs Creek, and Bohannon Creek have been partially reconnected. In the Pahsimeroi River watershed, the program has developed a number of projects that have increased flow and fish passage. These efforts have increased the quantity and quality of rearing and spawning habitat, though the cumulative increase in habitat quantity and quality was not described in the proposal. Salmonids have rapidly re-entered streams that received additional flow.

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

IDWR staff works closely with federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and soil and water conservation districts to prioritize transactions and integrate restoration efforts. Representatives from all project sponsors participate in the Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Program Technical Team, which meets monthly to identify, plan, and prioritize restoration work. All water transactions are vetted through this technical team. The IDWR relies on project partners, principally IDFG through IMW and ISEMP studies, to conduct biological monitoring such as redd counts, adult counts, and smolt counts. The proposal did not describe details of these monitoring efforts.

The proposal includes the typical discussion of expected climate changes and of the types of restoration work that can attenuate the impacts of climate change on anadromous salmonids. These facts are considered when identifying and prioritizing opportunities for water transactions. Additional consideration of land use and human dimensions relating to agriculture and recreation is needed.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The deliverables are generally well described, but deliverables 1, 2, 3, and 7 should be stated quantitatively. The deliverables are clearly linked to the objectives, but without criteria for success, it would not be possible to demonstrate success or failure after implementation. The specific deliverables do not demonstrate how objectives 3-6 will be monitored to demonstrate success. Presumably other entities, such as ISEMP and IMW, will evaluate these objectives, but this is not stated explicitly.

An observation on DELV-1: Planning and Coordination is that the text for the deliverable states that completing water transactions is challenging because there must be a willing seller. In water transaction and other restoration efforts such as riparian fencing, easements, and acquisitions, the ISRP regularly asks the question of whether the strategy of engagement with only willing sellers is going to get the job done before the fish become extirpated from a particular watershed. This question of the efficacy of using only willing sellers needs evaluation, not just for Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transaction, but across the spectrum of habitat restoration strategies.


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

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1
During the contracting period and for future reviews, the sponsor should develop quantitative criteria for successful fulfillment of its objectives, and it should provide more detail about the recently developed compliance monitoring protocols.
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

This is an important project for improving salmonid habitat quantity and quality. The sponsors are thinking strategically on steps needed to maximize benefits for fish. For example, the sponsors demonstrated during the site visit how the water and land transactions were used to leverage additional transactions. When reading the proposal, the ISRP was concerned that unwilling landowners might constrain key water transactions but important water transactions in the recent past and in the near future were described during the site visit. In future proposals, it would be worthwhile to identify key water transactions that would have the greatest benefit for salmonids regardless of landowner cooperation.

It is understood that the IDWR will conduct compliance and flow monitoring and that other project partners, such as IDFG and ISEMP will conduct biological monitoring that will be used to evaluate both local and watershed level responses to this project. The information provided in the proposal is not sufficient to establish the gain in water in terms of aquatic habitat improvement and fish response. This information needs to be developed in future reporting.

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

The project is clearly important to regional programs and strongly guided by RPAs in the 2008 Biological Opinion, the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, and the Salmon Subbasin Management Plan. The problem statement provides a good description of the over-allocation of water issue being faced, and the implications for salmon recovery. It also provides a strong statement about the need for improved monitoring protocols and clearly defined success criteria, and states that protocols for biological monitoring will be developed in 2013. The proposal provides an excellent review of basin-specific issues and collaborative efforts in the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers.

Six objectives are identified, that are the same as the objectives in 2002-013-00, the Columbia Water Transactions project. Since the Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions use the same scoring sheet and use 2002-013-00 as part of the screening process, these identical objectives are appropriate.

The objectives lack quantitative criteria for success; future proposals should include such criteria. For example, the paragraph on the Pahsimeroi states that the improvement goal is 41 percent improvement in egg to smolt ratio, but no assessment is given about how much water is needed. Importantly, the proposal does briefly indicate how the variables of interest would be measured.

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

Since its inception in 2008, this project has reportedly resulted in the completion of over 20 water right transactions that collectively have restored over 60 cfs of flow to key streams in the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers. Two figures show water flow in the Lemhi River watershed including Lemhi L-5 Gage and Little Springs Creek, and a paragraph on monitoring that states that compliance monitoring is in place and compliance reports have been submitted. The proposal describes a process to identify and prioritize water transactions based on criteria approved by the ISRP and an Accounting Framework developed by the CBWTP to track the effectiveness of water transactions; each transaction is categorized by tier (1-4) to determine the appropriate type of monitoring. The proposal also indicates that new compliance monitoring protocols were developed last year, but insufficient detail is provided for an evaluation in this review. Linkages with CHaMP and ISEMP, and their relevance to the adaptive management loop are mentioned, but the design and results to date are not described.

Although flow increases are described in the proposal, the ISRP is unable to confirm that water is being delivered to provide aquatic habitat benefits. The figures are difficult to interpret with regard to additional water owing to water transactions from project 2008-608-00, and at least some actual compliance reporting data needs to be presented along with a graph or text that states how often compliance is assessed and how often standards were met.

For the Lemhi River watershed, the proposal states that the IDWR purchased 8 permanent conservation easements restricting 15 cfs of diversions on the Lower Lemhi River. It is not clear whether these conservation easements are attributable to deliverables for the Accord Water Transaction project 2008-608-00, or the Upper/Lower Lemhi Acquisition Easements project 2010-088-00. The proposal states that these easements provide about half the goal of establishing habitat conditions for passage in the Lemhi, and that the other half are provided by annual flow agreements. The ISRP believes the proposal should elaborate on the sustainability of the annual agreements, and whether these agreements rely on water transaction project funding.

The proposal provides modest details on restoration activities in Big Timber Creek and Little Springs Creek, both in the Lemhi River watershed. There is no specific statement, however, on the actual cfs flow or total volume of water involved in any transactions. For Little Springs Creek there is a statement that water transactions occurred, but no such information is provided for Big Timber Creek. It is not clear to the ISRP which portions of the described accomplishments are attributable to the water transactions (2008-608-00), easement acquisitions (2010-088-00), watershed habitat (2007-394-00), or Lemhi River Restoration (2010-072-00).

A summary of monitoring of water transactions states that the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP) has completed development of compliance monitoring and that biological monitoring protocol development is underway. An evaluation of CBWTP water transactions completed in 2007 (Hardner and Gullison 2007) recommended development of physical habitat and biological response monitoring protocols. The CBWTP reported in the RME&AP categorical review that those protocols were to be completed in FY 2011. Now it is reported those will be available in FY 2014. Why has effectiveness monitoring been delayed?

Adaptive Management: The information provided in the proposal is mostly a repeat of process and integration with other projects in the Upper Salmon River or Columbia River Basin Water Exchange, and does not explain adaptive management with the MOA/Fish Accord Water Transactions. The sponsor should provide succinct text directly addressing the points identified in the proposal Adaptive Management question.

Since its inception in 2008, this project has reportedly resulted in the completion of over 20 water right transactions that collectively have restored over 60 cfs of flow to key streams in the Upper Salmon River basin (Accord-funded projects). In the Lemhi River, 8 permanent conservation easements have resulted in minimum flows of 25-35 cfs in the lower mainstem. This is significant because flows in the lower river would otherwise be nil during irrigation periods. In the Lemhi River watershed, Big Timber Creek, Little Springs Creek, and Bohannon Creek have been partially reconnected. In the Pahsimeroi River watershed, the program has developed a number of projects that have increased flow and fish passage. These efforts have increased the quantity and quality of rearing and spawning habitat, though the cumulative increase in habitat quantity and quality was not described in the proposal. Salmonids have rapidly re-entered streams that received additional flow.

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

IDWR staff works closely with federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and soil and water conservation districts to prioritize transactions and integrate restoration efforts. Representatives from all project sponsors participate in the Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Program Technical Team, which meets monthly to identify, plan, and prioritize restoration work. All water transactions are vetted through this technical team. The IDWR relies on project partners, principally IDFG through IMW and ISEMP studies, to conduct biological monitoring such as redd counts, adult counts, and smolt counts. The proposal did not describe details of these monitoring efforts.

The proposal includes the typical discussion of expected climate changes and of the types of restoration work that can attenuate the impacts of climate change on anadromous salmonids. These facts are considered when identifying and prioritizing opportunities for water transactions. Additional consideration of land use and human dimensions relating to agriculture and recreation is needed.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The deliverables are generally well described, but deliverables 1, 2, 3, and 7 should be stated quantitatively. The deliverables are clearly linked to the objectives, but without criteria for success, it would not be possible to demonstrate success or failure after implementation. The specific deliverables do not demonstrate how objectives 3-6 will be monitored to demonstrate success. Presumably other entities, such as ISEMP and IMW, will evaluate these objectives, but this is not stated explicitly.

An observation on DELV-1: Planning and Coordination is that the text for the deliverable states that completing water transactions is challenging because there must be a willing seller. In water transaction and other restoration efforts such as riparian fencing, easements, and acquisitions, the ISRP regularly asks the question of whether the strategy of engagement with only willing sellers is going to get the job done before the fish become extirpated from a particular watershed. This question of the efficacy of using only willing sellers needs evaluation, not just for Idaho MOA/Fish Accord Water Transaction, but across the spectrum of habitat restoration strategies.


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

Modified by Dal Marsters on 6/11/2013 1:58:27 PM.
Documentation Links:

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Mike Edmondson Administrative Contact Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation
Amy Hines Administrative Contact Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation
Rankin Holmes Technical Contact National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Cynthia Bridge Clark Supervisor Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR)
Kacy Markowitz Supervisor National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Amy Cassel Project Lead Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR)
Maura Eagan Moody Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Katherine Morgan Project Lead National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Kristen Jule Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Lindsey Arotin Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration