FY07-09 proposal 200728800

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Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleTouchet Eastside and Westside Irrigation District Piping
Proposal ID200728800
OrganizationWalla Walla County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Short descriptionImprove passage for adult mid-Columbia steelhead returning to the Touchet R. headwater spawning area by increasing instream flows in the lower mainstem. This will be accomplished by converting from open ditch to piped conveyance on 2 irrigation districts
Information transfer
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
Form submitter
Rick Jones Walla Walla County Conservation District consvdist@wwics.com
All assigned contacts
Rick Jones Walla Walla County Conservation District consvdist@wwics.com

Section 2. Locations

Province / subbasin: Columbia Plateau / Walla Walla

[none] Touchet Eastside and Touchet Westside Irrigation Districts have 10 mi of open ditch conveyance and encompass 2060 irrigated acres

Section 3. Focal species

primary: Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
secondary: Chinook All Populations

Section 4. Past accomplishments


Section 5. Relationships to other projects

Funding sourceRelated IDRelated titleRelationship
PCSRF - WSRFB 04-1606 Hofer Dam Fish Passage and Screening Project Design Phase 1. Passage on the lower Touchet R. is obstructed by physical barriers at Hofer Dam and by channel dewatering as a result of legal irrigation. SRFB 04-1606 provided $141K for completing an engineered design for the modication of Hofer Dam improve adult steelhead passage and juvenile fish screening while continuing to provide adequate irrigation withdrawals. We have Anchor Environmental under contract for this work and have a conceptual design that has been approved by the federal and state fisheries agencies. Design will be completed by May 2006.
Other: EFSEC Resolution 313 Hofer Dam Construction Phase 2. We received $400K from Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (per letter of intent dated 13 Jul 2005) to be used as cost share with other funds for construction of Hofer Dam project designed by SRFB 04-1606. Construction is planned for 2006.
PCSRF - WSRFB [no entry] Hofer Dam Construction Phase 3. We have been notified by the Snake River Lead Entity that our application for $512K from SRFB for construction of the Hofer Dam project designed by SRFB 04-1606 has been approved. We have $912K available for construction which is scheduled for 2006.
Other: WA DOE [no entry] Hofer Dam / Touchet Eastside and Westside Pumping Station Phase 4. We received $239K from Dept of Ecology for a pumping station to be installed on the new Hofer Dam diversion which is currently being designed with funds provided by SRFB 04-1606. This pumping station will deliver irrigation water to a pressurized pipeline conveyance system for the Touchet Eastside and Westside Irrigation Districts. The pumping station will constructed in FY 2007. The pipeline will be constructed in multiple stages the first of which will be completed in FY 2007.
Other: WA DOE [no entry] Touchet Eastside & Westside Irrigation Districts Piping Phase 5. We received $1.0 mil. from Dept of Ecology for improving conveyance infrastructure and irrigation efficiency. Engineering of the Touchet Eastside & Westside Irrigation District pipelines is underway and we are currently collecting topographic survey data. We plan to have the design complete by mid-CY2006. We plan to construct a 3 mile section of pipeline in FY2007.

Section 6. Biological objectives

Biological objectivesFull descriptionAssociated subbasin planStrategy
Increase Instream Flows in the Lower Touchet R. Improve adult steelhead passage in the lower Touchet River (and downstream) by reducing the quantity of legally diverted irrigation water lost in conveyance due to seepage and evaporation. This will be done by replacing the existing gravity feed, open ditch conveyance system of the Touchet Eastside and Westside Irrigation Districts with pressurized piping. The saved water will be transferred to WA Dept of Ecology's Trust program where it will be permanently protected as instream flow. Walla Walla "IMMINENT THREATS AND PASSAGE BARRIERS ...conditions that...cause immediate mortality... We identified three areas that fit this category: passage obstructions, ... areas of the stream that seasonally go dry.... should be a priority for funding"

Section 7. Work elements (coming back to this)

Work element nameWork element titleDescriptionStart dateEnd dateEst budget
Install Pipeline Touchet Eastside and Westside Irrigation Districts Piping Install approximately 3miles of pressurized pipeline on the Touchet Eastside and Westside Irrigation Districts. 7/1/2007 12/31/2007 $1,000,000
Biological objectives
* Estimated # of miles of primary stream reach improvement: 4.1 miles of Lower Touchet River
* Estimated # of miles of total stream reach improvement: 25 miles to the mouth of the Walla Walla River

Section 8. Budgets

Itemized estimated budget
Personnel proj mgmt, contract mgmt, and technical $7,400 $23,000 $21,237
Fringe Benefits 11% of personnel $550 $2,090 $1,896
Supplies as needed $200 $450 $300
Travel mileage ($.45/mi) and per diem $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Capital Equipment [blank] $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Overhead 23% of personnel $1,702 $5,290 $4,885
Other Contract for Cultural Resources $5,000 $0 $0
Other Contract for Construction of Pipeline $0 $460,000 $460,000
Totals $16,852 $492,830 $490,318
Total estimated FY 2007-2009 budgets
Total itemized budget: $1,000,000
Total work element budget: $1,000,000
Cost sharing
Funding source/orgItem or service providedFY 07 est value ($)FY 08 est value ($)FY 09 est value ($)Cash or in-kind?Status
Dept of Ecology Pump Station $239,000 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
Dept of Ecology Conveyance Infrastructure $400,000 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
Dept of Ecology Irrigation Efficiency $600,000 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
Tri-State Steelheaders Revegetation $0 $3,500 $0 Cash Confirmed
Totals $1,239,000 $3,500 $0

Section 9. Project future

FY 2010 estimated budget: $0
FY 2011 estimated budget: $0

Future O&M costs:

Termination date:

Final deliverables:

Section 10. Narrative and other documents

Sponsor Response to the ISRP for proposal 200728800 Jul 2006

Reviews and recommendations

FY07 budget FY08 budget FY09 budget Total budget Type Category Recommendation
NPCC FINAL FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS (Oct 23, 2006) [full Council recs]
$0 $0 $0 $0 Expense ProvinceExpense Do Not Fund
NPCC DRAFT FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS (Sep 15, 2006) [full Council recs]
$0 $0 $0 $0 ProvinceExpense


Recommendation: Response requested

NPCC comments: This is an essentially good proposal. The central question about the proposed work is whether the amount of water returned to the stream is sufficient to positively affect fish and habitat. The sponsors need to provide some sort of estimate of the potential benefit to habitat and focal species. Is the proposed project part of a larger plan or project to restore flow in the Touchet? Technical and scientific background: The problem is clearly defined. Instream flow in the Touchet River is considered to be limiting adult migration and juvenile rearing habitat. The Touchet is completely dewatered in the summer months over part of its length. The sponsors propose to install a pipe to carry irrigation water away from the stream. Installation of about three miles of pressure pipe will replace a seeping ditch used for irrigation withdrawal. Transport by pipe will reduce evaporative loss and so make additional water available to increase flow. This effort is estimated to return 1.5cfs of flow in trust for salmon. The total piping job will lead to a 4.5cfs increase in instream flow. It would useful for the sponsors to make a realistic estimate of the fishery benefits expected from the project including the basis for that estimate. For example, if the river is dewatered, will the flow increase from the pipe installation be sufficient to create high quality habitat and improve passage? Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The project addresses the problem of dewatering the Touchet, which is identified in several plans including the Walla Walla subbasin plan. Relationships to other projects: The project is a component of a large partnership including tribal, private, and state entities seeking to improve salmon runs in the Touchet River. The project is related to other projects associated with pump and passage construction at Hofer Dam. Objectives: The objectives are straightforward and involve installation of 2.5 miles of pipe that will convey irrigation water and dedicate conserved water to instream flow. Conserved flows will remain in trust to state. This proposal should be linked to the Columbia Basin Water Transaction Program (proposal 200201301) and address the criteria for water transactions under that program that are relevant to the proposed actions. Tasks (work elements) and methods: The project entirely involves construction. The sponsors have already engaged consultants to plan the project and a timeline is set forth. Monitoring and evaluation: There are no provisions for monitoring. The proposal needs a description of how flows will be monitored and how the water "savings" will benefit steelhead and salmon populations. The proposal would benefit from a quantitative estimate of expected fishery benefit. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: Facilities seem adequate to manage the project. Construction equipment and personnel will be secured through contract. Information transfer: No mention was made of how any water savings or population response data will be conveyed. Benefits to focal and non-focal species: It is unclear how much benefit will be accrued from this project. The uncertainty derives from the lack of a clear explanation of how much habitat conditions for migration and rearing will be improved and how much those improvements might benefit fish. The flow increment increase seems small. The sponsors indicate that instream flow of the fully retrofitted (9+ miles) system will fall short of the 6 cfs minimum flow needed for salmon. There is no mention of where the other 1.5cfs needed to meet the 6 cfs flow minimum will come from or how the remaining six miles of pipe will be secured. If the project was successful it could benefit non-focal species by improving habitat conditions.

ISRP FINAL REVIEW (Aug 31, 2006)

Recommendation: Not fundable

NPCC comments: The proposed work is part of a larger effort to restore flows to the Touchet River. This larger effort is supported by significant funds from multiple sources. The fisheries benefits accrued from the proposed project are uncertain. Apparently no EDT or any other type of analysis was done to estimate amount of flow increases needed to significantly increase fish production. The scientific credibility of this project depends on development of a hypothesis regarding the magnitude of fisheries and habitat benefits expected and strategies to obtain data to test it. The results of the larger effort to provide flows could provide important benefits to fish over the longer term, but again specific estimates of these benefits were not provided by the sponsors. The response of the sponsors of project #200733000 is an example of how fisheries and habitat benefits from increased flow could be estimated. The sponsors did not provide additional background on the project area as requested by the ISRP. This proposal should be linked to the Columbia Basin Water Transaction Program (# 200201301) and address that program’s criteria for water transactions that are relevant to the proposed actions.