Sustainable Funding for the Nisqually Watershed Planning


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This is the presentation given by Mark Swartout, Natural Resources Program Manager for Thurston County, at the February 19 Nisqually River Council meeting.

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  • The Legislature finds that the local development of watershed plans for managing water resources and for protecting existing water rights is vital to both state and local interests. The law is meant to develop a more thorough and cooperative method of determining the status of water resources in each Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) of the state, and to provide local citizens the maximum possible input in managing local water resources. Funding comes from Ecology
  • Phase 1 – could include water quantity (required), water quality, instream flow, and habitat – we chose all categories. Phase 2 – assessment includes collecting and reviewing existing information of their watersheds, such as stream flows, groundwater sources, fish habitat, water rights, water use, and water quality.
  • Level 1 storage assessment – took a preliminary look at the feasibility of storing water during periods of high flow and using it later during periods of low flow. Example is Eatonville has a grant to do groundwater storage and recovery on the Mashel. Pump water into the ground during high flow and drawing out during low flow. Refer to report for details if asked.
  • The purpose of the Special Purpose Districts section of the report is to take a general look at different property owner supported districts to help fund the implementation of the watershed plan. The Interlocal Cooperation Act allows counties, cities, and special purpose districts to spend up to 10% of their water-related revenues on watershed management activities through interlocal agreement. The 10% limit does not apply to Public Utility Districts.
  • This is the current organization Dotted are communication lines Solid lines with arrows are the funding pathway Notice that the NRF only provides support to the NRC Please note that there are only Federal / State / Private funding sources To clarify no private sources are funding the Nisqually Watershed Planning Unit
  • This possible organization puts the NRF in the middle of all the organizations The McAllister / Yelm Stewardship Coalition would be formed according to the adopted watershed plan and financially supported by its members through the authority of the Interlocal Cooperation Act. The NRF would provide the funding and administrative support for all the groups This example includes all governments which means that local governments could be asked to provide financial support through an interlocal agreement along with grants from state and federal governments. If the Tribe wants to continue as the lead agency then funding sources could go directly to them for watershed planning and not through the NRF
  • Sustainable Funding for the Nisqually Watershed Planning

    1. 1. Sustainable Funding for Nisqually Watershed Planning
    2. 2. History of Watershed Planning <ul><li>1998 Legislature approved HB 2514 </li></ul><ul><li>Legislature and Governor wanted local involvement in managing water resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Local interests benefit because they have the greatest stake in protecting their watersheds. </li></ul><ul><li>State benefits when water resources are used wisely. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Watershed Planning <ul><li>Phase 1 – Organize and scope project – Nisqually Indian Tribe is Lead Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 2 – Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 3 – Develop watershed plans </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 4 – Implementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First 3 year full funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last 2 years half funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nisqually is currently in the last 2 years ending in June 2011. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Mission <ul><li>“to maximize the ability of the Nisqually Watershed to produce high quality groundwater and surface water, while protecting and managing the related resources to support environmental, social, economic, and cultural values </li></ul>
    5. 5. Accomplishments <ul><li>Level 1 Technical Assessment – Upper and Lower Nisqually River Watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Level 1 Storage Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Instream Flow Assessment – Mashel River </li></ul><ul><li>Water Quality Monitoring Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Nisqually Watershed Management Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Nisqually Watershed Implementation Plan </li></ul>
    6. 6. Funding Options <ul><li>Special Purpose Districts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flood Control and Drainage Districts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean Water Districts – e.g. Nisqually Reach Shellfish Protection District – Thurston County </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aquifer Protection Districts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stormwater Utilities – Pierce and Thurston </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Utility Districts - Thurston </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interlocal Agreements – Use of water related revenues </li></ul>
    7. 7. Yes – Interlocal Cooperation Act Yes – Interlocal Cooperation Act Yes – Interlocal Cooperation Act Fund implementing watershed plans? Approves a Maximum fee No Yes initially - not in subsequent years Voter approval of fees? Voters approve County legislative authority Voters approve Creation Aquifer Protection District Clean Water District Flood Drainage Districts Special Purpose Districts
    8. 8. Planning Organizations in the Nisqually Watershed <ul><li>Nisqually River Council </li></ul><ul><li>Nisqually River Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Nisqually Watershed Planning Unit </li></ul><ul><li>McAllister / Yelm Stewardship Coalition </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly a Mashel / Ohop Coalition </li></ul><ul><li>All 4 (5) organizations are faced with long-term financial sustainability therefore potential for collaboration </li></ul>
    9. 9. Nisqually River Council Nisqually River Foundation Federal State Private sources Nisqually Watershed Planning Unit McAllister / Yelm Subcommittee Current Organization Communication / Administration Funding
    10. 10. Possible Organization Nisqually River Council Nisqually River Foundation Governments Private sources Nisqually Watershed Planning Unit McAllister / Yelm Stewardship Coalition Coalition Members Communication / Administration Funding