FY07-09 proposal 200203600

Jump to Reviews and Recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleRestore Walla Walla River Flow
Proposal ID200203600
OrganizationWalla Walla Basin Watershed Council
Short descriptionIrrigation efficiency and shallow aquifer recharge will improve Walla Walla River flows on flow -impaired priority restoration reaches at times of the year that are critical for steelhead, spring Chinook, and bull trout passage and habitat use.
Information transferInformation on the success of this collaborative project will be shared with other subbasins seeking solutions for fisheries restoration where agricultural irrigation withdrawals from streams create limiting factor for fish production. This project will also demonstrate the utility of shallow aquifer recharge to mitigate for irrigation efficiency and as a tool to restore spring branch flows and, over time, base flows.
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
Form submitter
Brian Wolcott Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council brian.wolcott@wwbwc.org
All assigned contacts
Gina Massoni Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council gina.massoni@wwbwc.org
Brian Wolcott Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council brian.wolcott@wwbwc.org

Section 2. Locations

Province / subbasin: Columbia Plateau / Walla Walla

West Little Walla Walla River Little Walla Walla Diversion on the Walla Walla River.

Section 3. Focal species

primary: Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
secondary: Chinook Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
secondary: Pacific Lamprey
secondary: Bull Trout
secondary: Interior Redband Trout
secondary: Mountain Whitefish

Section 4. Past accomplishments

2005 Final on farm irrigation efficency project installed. Initial water conservation water rights confirmation completed, initial mapping completed. Conserved water rights materials submitted to Oregon Water Resources Department for initial review.
2004 On farm irrigation efficiency upgrades installed. 11 flowmeters installed. Smaller ditch piping projects completed. Water conservation planning continued.
2003 On farm irrigation efficiency upgrades installed (6 of the 10). Smaller ditch pipeline projects installed. Water Conservation planning work initiated on water conserved to date, include water rights confirmation, mapping, transfer paperwork.
2002 Eastside Ditch piping Flow meter and inlet structure purchased and installed, including radio telemetry equipment. Eastside ditch pipe (15,625 feet) installed.

Section 5. Relationships to other projects

Funding sourceRelated IDRelated titleRelationship
BPA 199601200 Anad Fish Passage Walla Walla Provides additional flows during low flow periods to assist with attraction and passage at mainstem Walla Walla River Fish Passage Projects
BPA 199601201 Nursery Bridge Local Cost Shar Provides additional river flow during low flow periods to assist with fish attraction and pasage at Nursery Bridge Fishway
BPA 199604601 Walla Walla River Basin Fish H Provides additional flows along habtiat project sites and to assist fish in migrating through low flow reach to uper river habtiat sites.
BPA 200003300 Walla Walla River Fish Passage Provides additional flow for fish passage at passage sites
BPA 200003800 Walla Walla River Hatchery Provides flows to move smolts out and attract adult salmonids
BPA 200107500 Enhance Walla Walla Basin Flow Will provide additional flows to epand upon the results of this lower Walla Walla River flow enhancement project.
OWEB - State 204-244 Hudson Bay Aquifer-Spring Rest Will provide cost sahare funding for construction, monitoring, and reporting.
OWEB - State 206-148 HY-LINE Canal Piping - Walla W Will provide cost share funding for Piping the canal.
OWEB - State 206-128 Powell/Pleasantview Piping Will assist with cost share funding for piping the ditch.

Section 6. Biological objectives

Biological objectivesFull descriptionAssociated subbasin planStrategy
Objective MC7.1- Increase summer flows by 10-15%(o This project will restore adequate streamflow to the Walla Walla River for steelhead, bull trout, and spring chinook passage and habitat needs for a severely flow reduced section of river. SPCK and STS life histories affected are: the following impacted life stages for Steelhead and Spring Chinook in this reach as: incubation, fry, sub-yearling, pre-spawning(SPCK only), overwintering (STS only). Walla Walla 1)Strategy MC7.1.13-Identify and implement various opportunities (e.g. CTUIR/USACE feasibility study, Conservation District programs, WWBWC programs, BPA National Fish & Wildlife Program, etc.) to augment instream flows through water storage, conservation

Section 7. Work elements (coming back to this)

Work element nameWork element titleDescriptionStart dateEnd dateEst budget
Other Shallow Aquifer Recharge Use existing shallow aquifer recharge spreading basins to actively recharge shallow aquifer to improve spring branch flows and base river flow, and monitor chages to water table, and surface flow volumes. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $174,944
Biological objectives
Install Pipeline Powell-Pleasantview, Lydell, Hyline, and White Canal Piping Four ditches totalling 13,710 feet of pipe and associated turnouts and fittings. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $1,066,486
Biological objectives
* Amount of unprotected water flow returned to the stream by conservation in cfs: approximately 11 cfs
Install Sprinkler On- Farm irrigation efficiency 140 acres upgraded to more efficient water application on 15 farms 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $114,618
Biological objectives
* Amount of unprotected water flow returned to the stream by conservation in cfs: approximately 1-1.5 cfs
Develop and Negotiate Water Right Transaction Transfer Conserved Water to Instream Water Rights Conserved Water from Irrigation ditch piping and on farm sprinkler upgrades will use the Oregon Conserved Water Program to enroll saved water into instream rights with original priority dates plus one minute. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $52,327
Biological objectives

Section 8. Budgets

Itemized estimated budget
Personnel fringe benefits included $45,167 $45,167 $45,167
Capital Equipment Irrigation pipelines/fittings/turnouts $346,424 $346,424 $346,424
Supplies [blank] $33,667 $33,667 $33,667
Travel mileage $1,523 $1,523 $1,523
Overhead [blank] $42,678 $42,678 $42,678
Totals $469,456 $469,456 $469,456
Total estimated FY 2007-2009 budgets
Total itemized budget: $1,408,368
Total work element budget: $1,408,375
Cost sharing
Funding source/orgItem or service providedFY 07 est value ($)FY 08 est value ($)FY 09 est value ($)Cash or in-kind?Status
Hudson Bay District Improvement Company pipe installation $228,804 $0 $0 In-Kind Confirmed
landowners on farm installation $140,000 $0 $0 In-Kind Under Development
NRCS/alliance pipe/install and recharge construction $299,135 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
OWEB pipe/install/recharge construction/monitoring $179,224 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
OWEB Recharge site expansion $226,171 $0 $0 Cash Under Review
US Fish and Wildlife Service Pipe and installation $243,991 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
Walla Walla River Irrigation District design, permitting $29,111 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
Totals $1,346,436 $0 $0

Section 9. Project future

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

Future O&M costs:

Termination date: none

Final deliverables:

Section 10. Narrative and other documents

Response to ISRP Re 200203600 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]
$1,152,000 $0 $0 $1,152,000 Capital ProvinceCapital Fund
NPCC FINAL FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS (Oct 23, 2006) [full Council recs]
$30,000 $30,000 $30,000 $90,000 Expense ProvinceExpense Fund
NPCC DRAFT FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS (Sep 15, 2006) [full Council recs]
$469,333 $469,333 $469,333 $0 ProvinceExpense
Comments: WA recommendation is to fund as much as possible from capital, and any saved expense funds stays within the Walla Walla subbasin. Combine the Walla Walla Juvenile and Adult passage Improvement project (199601100) with Gardena Irrigation Project and Walla Walla Flow.


Recommendation: Response requested

NPCC comments: This project is part of a major thrust by governmental and non-governmental entities to restore habitat and fish in the Walla Walla basin. The project addresses the very important problem of restoring flows to the streams in this basin. To date, the project appears to have been highly successful in enlisting private landowners in water conservation efforts. The approach used in this project should be widely adopted in the Columbia Basin. The sponsors need to discuss whether an effectiveness monitoring plan is in place that will evaluate quantitatively improvements in habitat attributes and fish use in the project reach following restoration actions. Such a plan would demonstrate the value of the fine effort to conserve water undertaken so far by the sponsors. Technical and scientific background: The problem is well defined and technically justified. The project would ensure increased flow through a normally dewatered reach preventing stranding and improving migratory and juvenile rearing habitat and replenishing subsurface water storage. The technical analysis has led to innovative approaches that have proven to be effective in restoring flows to the Walla Walla River. This should serve as a model for action throughout the Basin. The sponsors need to provide information on run sizes in the river in which the project is located. They also need to explain why the EDT analysis did not rank the targeted springbrooks as high priority. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: This project would be a part of an apparently successful restoration program for the Walla Walla basin with good cooperation from landowners. The project area is identified as a priority in the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan and the proposal addresses priority strategies. The project could benefit anadromous as well as resident ESA listed species. It also addresses objectives in the Fish and Wildlife Program. Relationships to other projects: The project is related to several BPA funded project as well as to numerous other state, federal, and privately funded projects. A major strength of the proposal is the collaboration with private landowners who have worked closely with the sponsors to provide increased flow to benefit fish. Project history: The project history documents the success of the approach used by this project but provides no data documenting improved instream flows relative to pre-project conditions. Objectives: The project has one objective, which is to increase summer flows by 10-15%. Does this flow increase pertain to the three-mile reach north of Milton-Freewater? Is the percent increase over and above the 25 cfs already provided? Quantitatively (as well as possible), how much habitat improvement can be expected from such a small increase in flow? Should there be an objective for aquifer recharge? 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: Strategies for accomplishing the objectives rather than specific methods are given. This is understandable given the nature of the project. The sponsors should explain the methods by which aquifer recharge will be accomplished. Monitoring and evaluation: The major drawback of this proposal is the lack of a consolidated monitoring program to assess the effectiveness of the water conservation strategies in improving flows, aquifer recharge and springbrook flows, fish habitat characteristics (e.g. pool depth, stream temperature) and fish use. Some monitoring activities are discussed at various points in the proposal but the total program (design, methods, metrics, etc.) is not presented. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: Facilities are adequate, and personnel are well qualified. Have the sponsors been receiving advice from a fisheries biologist? Information transfer is not discussed. Benefits to focal species: The benefits of increasing instream flow could be significant for a number of focal species, but the sponsors provide no estimate of how flow improvements will affect habitat attributes (other than flow and temperature) and fish use. Effectiveness monitoring would help to address these questions. Benefits to non-focal species: The project could benefit non-focal species by improving habitat. The sponsors have already demonstrated an increase in macroinvertebrates, an important food resource for juvenile salmon.

ISRP FINAL REVIEW (Aug 31, 2006)

Recommendation: Fundable

NPCC comments: The sponsors adequately addressed the ISRP’s comments. The details provided by the sponsors are helpful in evaluating this proposal and are much appreciated. The project, however, requires more data to show that the expanded habitat is producing fishery benefits.