Nisqually Water Banking Feasibility Study Introduction

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This is the presentation delivered by Amanda Cronin, of Washington Water Trust, on the Nisqually Water Banking Feasibility Study at the January 15 2010 Nisqually River Council Meeting.

This is the presentation delivered by Amanda Cronin, of Washington Water Trust, on the Nisqually Water Banking Feasibility Study at the January 15 2010 Nisqually River Council Meeting.

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  • This is the presentation delivered by Amanda Cronin, of Washington Water Trust, on the Nisqually Water Banking Feasibility Study at the January 15 2010 Nisqually River Council Meeting.
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  • Legislation general discussion with Ryland and Tom.
  • Abiltiy to leverage multiple funding sources, neutral convener, facilitator as well as buyer.
  • Human patterns of use don’t necessary correspond to what’s needed for fish or even recreation. Balancing ag, growth, recreation fish.
  • Water comes out the same as it went in – whatever is transferable stays transferable – new legislation reconfirms that Endangered Species Act ESA Bull Trout and Steelhead Clean Water Act 303(d) listings Bi-State basin Overappropriation of water rights Braided distributary river system Surface and groundwater connection
  • Donations, choose to exercise or not
  • Groups, individuals, basin type Flexibility for fish, people, agricuture. . .
  • 32 ditch participant sharess – all in agreement so at one point you’re working with one entity Solar wells
  • Talking points: Farms STILL farming Split season leases Corners (dry ground from introduction of circle pivot from flood) Rotational farming (Conner – leaves ~20 acres dry each season, rotates around over 30 yr lease)
  • We have a development plan in place to phase in or move water from place to place
  • Banks move water to where it is needed the most, in the Walla Walla the largest volume demand for water is for instream flows, mitigation for growth of new supplies is also in demand. Examples of waterbanks across the west, there are examples in most western states but many of the banks are relatively immature. The States with the most active banking programs are CA, AZ and ID. Yakima Basin waterbanking focuses on drought year leasing and benefit to instream flows. First bank in the state.
  • Endangered Species Act ESA Bull Trout and Steelhead Clean Water Act 303(d) listings Bi-State basin Overappropriation of water rights Braided distributary river system Surface and groundwater connection
  • This slide seems out of place and context – originally this was connected to the Dungeness slides

Transcript

  • 1.
    • WASHINGTON WATER TRUST, WATER BANKS AND THE NISQUALLY BASIN
    • NISQUALLY RIVER COUNCIL
    • Amanda Cronin
    • Washington Water Trust
    • January 15, 2010
  • 2.
    • Washington Water Trust
    • Water Law in WA- context for our work
    • Stream Flow Restoration- examples
    • Groundwater Mitigation and Water Banks
    • Overview of the Nisqually basin water banking feasibility study
    PRESENTATION SUMMARY
  • 3.
    • 501(c)3 independent nonprofit
    • Enhancing stream flows statewide
    • Water acquisition – voluntary, cooperative, market based
      • Work collaboratively with a wide range of partners,
      • Offices in Ellensburg and Seattle
      • Confidential, non-regulatory
      • Columbia Basin- regional effort
      • Working since 1998 with 35 years collective experience
    WASHINGTON WATER TRUST
  • 4. WHY DO OUR STREAMS NEED MORE WATER?
    • Many streams are over allocated
    • Salmon evolved in pre-managed hydrologic regimes over 1000s of years
    • Balance of uses:
      • instream
      • out-of-stream
    • Low flow due to:
      • Surface and Ground water withdrawals
      • Impervious surfaces change flow patterns
      • Climate: reduced snowpack: natural reservoir depletion
      • Natural conditions
    200 cfs of water rights 300 cfs flows overallocated / insufficient flow
  • 5.
    • Water Law Basics in Washington
    • Property rights to “use” public resource (usufructuary)
    • Prior appropriation (senior water uses first)
    • 5-year “use it or lose it” rule ( exception when in “Trust”)
    • All surface and groundwater rights must be permitted except permit exempt -wells
    • Trust Water RCW 90.38 and 90.42
    • Allows “use” of water for instream flow (w/o “lose it”)
    • “ Trust water” managed & protected by WA DOE
    • Retains priority date (seniority)
    • Expedited processing of water right changes (Hillis Rule)
    • Temporary, permanent, short-term, long-term
    WATER RIGHTS & TRUST WATER 101
  • 6. BASIC WATER MARKET OPTIONS
    • Lease (temporary)
      • Yearly compensation
      • Familiarize parties with water market and transfer processes
    • Purchase (in perpetuity)
      • High degree of flexibility
      • Transfer (new place, purpose of use, and new point of diversion)
    • Donation
      • Permanent = eligible for IRS charitable gift
      • Easiest transfer (and process)
  • 7.
    • Split-season leasing
    • Dry-year “options”
    • Source substitution
    • Changing point of diversion
    • “ Pulse flows”
    • Reverse auction
    • Water conservation (efficiencies)
    • Non-diversionary agreements
    • Water banking & mitigation
    • Land conservation
      • CREP
      • Riparian restoration
      • Conservation easements
    FLEXIBILITY & BALANCE
  • 8.
    • Restored 28.8 cfs to Taneum Creek through source substitution
      • Restored access to 21 miles of fish habitat
      • Water users sourced to groundwater
      • Changed 130-yr practice
    • Voluntary agreement with Taneum Canal Company
    • Landowner payments of over $800,000
    TANEUM CREEK – YAKIMA BASIN SOURCE SUBSTITUTION: WINTER WATER FOR FISH & LIVESTOCK
  • 9. TEANAWAY RIVER – YAKIMA BASIN Cumulative and late-season Ten landowner partnerships from North Fork to Mouth Teanaway River
  • 10. COWICHE CREEK- YAKIMA BASIN SNOW MOUNTAIN RANCH
    • Partnership between Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, WWT, landowner, North Yakima Conservation District and WDFW
    • 1.43 cfs transferred permanently to instream
    • 73 acres of restoration
  • 11. CASCADE CREEK, ORCAS ISLAND
    • Most significant salmon-bearing stream in San Juan Islands
    • Purchase 0.25 cfs for summer flow and 0.5 cfs for fall flow
    • Flows threatened by current and future municipal/ domestic
    • Agency support:
      • DOE flow monitoring
      • WDFW fish and habitat surveys
      • WDFW identified dry season target flows for purchase goals
    • Result: Critical flows for fish. Satisfied needs for people.
  • 12. WWT ACQUISITION IN DUNGENESS
    • 2009 Dungeness Leasing with Dungeness Water Users Association
      • Split season (Aug 15 – Sept 15)
      • Mostly hobby farms
      • Jointly with DWUA; 7 district boundary
      • $100/acre maximum bid
      • Must have irrigated in 2008, 5 acres+
      • 2009 Totals:
        • 10 bids received; 9 accepted
        • Acreage leased: 372.6 acres
        • Spent in leases: $32,187
        • Instream flow: 2.42 cfs
    • Open Invite for Bids
    • How much are you
    • willing to ACCEPT
    • for your water?
    • $ _____ / acre
    • _____ acre feet
  • 13. WHAT IS A WATER BANK?
    • A water bank is an intermediary that acquires or leases water from willing sellers and then holds, transfers, and exchanges water rights on behalf of willing buyers
    • Many examples of water banks across the west
    • WA water banks are active in the Yakima and Walla Walla
    • Statewide Trust water rights program is a form of banking and provides the administrative process by which to transfer water rights from one use to another
  • 14. WALLA WALLA BASIN- GROUNDWATER MITIGATION Map: Department of Ecology
  • 15. WHAT IS THE WALLA WALLA INSTREAM FLOW RULE?
    • Amends existing WAC 173-532
    • Sets instream flows
    • Prohibits new summer surface water diversions
    • Limits new water use to flow improvement and environmental enhancement projects
    • Restricts withdrawals from the gravel aquifer
    • New limits on stock watering
    • Conditions use of Exempt Wells
      • Exempt from permitting not regulation
      • RCW 90.44.050
  • 16. EXEMPT WELLS UNDER THE RULE CONDITIONS ON NEW GRAVEL AQUIFER WELLS
    • As of September 5 th , 2007
        • New Commercial and industrial uses not permitted
        • New restrictions on livestock watering
          • This provision applies to the entire WA portion of the watershed
    • Wells must be metered
    • Wells limited to 1,250 gpd
    • Outdoor use must be mitigated May – Nov Beginning May 1, 2008
  • 17. STATE ASSISTED MITIGATION EXCHANGE HOW IT WORKS
    • WWT seeds the exchange for 2 years by acquiring existing water rights and placing into trust program
    • Homebuilders pay WWT $2,000/exempt well
    • Homebuilders receive mitigation certificate from Ecology
    • WWT and Ecology debit the exchange .5 af for each mitigation certificate
    • Homebuilders must meter use, record monthly and report annually to Ecology
    • Monitoring & enforcement by State
  • 18. DUNGENESS BASIN
  • 19.
    • Surface and groundwater rights are fully allocated
    • SW flows insufficient for instream flow needs and economic growth
    • New groundwater requests are threatening existing water users
    • Late season low flows are limiting stream and fish health
    • Economic growth potential is hampered by water scarcity
    DUNGENESS BASIN WATER EXCHANGE THE FUTURE OF REGIONAL WATER PLANNING IN WA
  • 20. FUTURE DUNGENESS INSTREAM FLOW RULE
    • Formally close surface water allocations
    • Sets instream flows
    • Require new GW allocations to offset impact on SW flows
    • Summary - create a cap and trade system
      • Consumptive use cap on water
      • Links GW to SW
      • Allocates rights (and costs)
      • Enables trading
  • 21.
    • Potential Buyers
    • Restoration
    • City
    • PUD
    • Small GW uses
    • Exempt Wells
    SCOPE OF TRADING “WATER EXCHANGE”
    • Potential Sellers
    • Right holders
      • Irrigators
      • GW users
    • Offsets
      • Reclaimed water
      • Recharge
      • Storage
  • 22. DUNGENESS: KEY QUESTIONS FOR DESIGNING A WATER EXCHANGE
    • How do we design a system that provides for some new uses and flow restoration?
    • Who can participate?
    • Who has the authority to create and accept mitigation credits?
    • How are offsets considered? Credits vs. Payments?
      • Option A: Buy an existing right
      • Option B: Create a new right (but offset impact)
        • Offset 1: Develop own offset project
        • Offset 2: Buy offset credits (provided by other)
        • Offset 3: Payment in lieu (of providing offset)
  • 23. Economic Development (new groundwater uses) Restoration Funds Public Sources Watershed Implementation State Appropriation Salmon Recovery Board Federal Grants Puget Sound Partnership Private Sources Individual Donations Corporate Sponsorships Tribal Donations Dungeness Water Exchange Flow Restoration and Groundwater Mitigation Environmental Restoration (Dungeness River flows) Mitigation Funds Private Sources Builders/Homeowners Property Developers Other new GW Users Public Sources City Payments PUD Payments County subsidies (?) Environmental Sustainability Exchange Water Transactions Exempt Well Retirement Conserved Ag Water GW Recharge Reclaimed Water (replace SW diversion) New Surface Storage (replace SW diversion) Instream SW Transfers S/T & L/T Instream Leasing GW Right Retirement Minimum Diversion/Flow Agreements
  • 24. NISQUALLY WATER BANKING FEASIBILITY STUDY
    • Task 1: Basin orientation and key stakeholder interviews
    • Task 2: Research of current and desired conditions
    • Task 3: Present initial findings and water banking concepts
    • Task 4: Write final report
  • 25. TIMELINE Nisqually Basin Feasibility Study Workplan Activities   Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Task 1: Basin Orientation and Key Stakeholder Interviews               Follow Up Interviews               Task 2: Research Current and Desired Conditions             Task 3: Presentations                 Task 4: Draft Report ready for review                 Final report              
  • 26. DISCUSSION /QUESTIONS? Amanda Cronin [email_address] 206.675.1585 x100 Western WA Office 1530 Westlake Ave N, Ste 400 Seattle, WA 98109 206.675.1585 Eastern WA Office 222 East 4 th Ave, Ste 109 Ellensburg, WA 98926 509.925.5600