Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program
Criteria for Evaluating Proposals to Secure Tributary Water
||To increase tributary flows for the primary benefit of ESA listed fish and other depressed fish stocks in accordance with Action 151 from the 2000 NMFS Biological Opinion and Implementation Provision A.8 of the Councilís Fish and Wildlife Program.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the regional entity for the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP), will evaluate and prioritize water transaction proposals for funding by BPA based on the extent to which the proposals submitted by the Qualified Local Entities (QLEs) satisfy the following criteria. To qualify for funding, a proposal need not meet all the criteria below, with the exception of the administrative and accountability criteria.
- The proposal satisfies the following accountability criteria:
- The QLE has provided the necessary documentation including transaction checklist, NEPA checklist, landowner contract and state agency authorization (if applicable).
- The QLE agrees to update the water transaction checklist and forward a final version to NFWF upon implementation of the proposal.
- The proposal satisfies the following administrative components:
- The water rights to be secured are valid and verifiable.
- Landowner/irrigation district agreements are signed or the steps to completion are manageable and timely.
- Agency approval has been received or a plan is in effect to ensure transfer of the water is in accordance with the applicable state agency rules (if applicable).
- The proposal satisfies the following hydrologic components:
- The proposal will secure water for in-stream tributary flows at a location where low flows are a limiting factor to fish survival and/or productivity and for the maximum reach of river legally and physically possible. [Location]
- The water right is of significant seniority to be protected in-stream at a time of year when needed to benefit fish and wildlife or is protectable instream from diversion regardless of priority date (e.g., diversion elimination agreement). [Timing]
- The quantity to be transferred has been properly estimated and will incrementally restore flow in the targeted reach. [Amount]
- The proposal satisfies as many of the following biological components as possible:
- ESA listed species in jeopardized ESUs are expected to benefit from the proposal when implemented.
- ESA listed species or other depressed native fish, wild fish, or wildlife populations are expected to benefit from the proposal when implemented.
- Water quality is expected to improve due to increased quantity.
- The proposal fully explores the innovative components:
- The proposal will develop a new transactional strategy or uses an existing innovative method that increases tributary flows.
- The proposal for securing water demonstrates that it is cost-effective in terms of local and regional markets.
- The proposal is based upon or will develop standardized appraisal and valuation methods.
- The proposal satisfies the monitoring components: 1
- The proposal makes provisions for basic and effective long-term monitoring of water flow, and benefit to fish and wildlife and water quality. The proposal makes provisions for electronic storage and retrieval of monitoring data and metadata (data collection methods) in one of the regionís public database systems such as STREAMNET. Reports analyzing the monitoring data are to be issued on a regular basis. Monitoring and experimental design parameters to be measured, sampling approach, and timing and data analysis are included even if the monitoring design, data collection, and evaluation are to be conducted by another agency, program, or individual.
- The proposal provides documentation and assurance of tributary flow improvements in the short term and the long term.
- The proposal provides a watershed context: 2
- The proposal demonstrates collaborative efforts with other entities.
- The proposal documents how opportunities for cost-sharing and collaboration with other entities were considered and developed.
- The proposal considers synergistic effects with other mitigation actions in the area.
- The proposal is based upon an existing watershed assessment or subbasin plan in a specific, targeted watershed or it describes how a strategic analysis of water acquisition priorities will be developed for that watershed.
- The affected aquatic habitat and adjacent riparian habitat are protected from harmful livestock grazing and other potentially damaging agricultural uses.
- Natural geomorphic and ecological processes are expected to be enhanced.
1 The proposal should describe the monitoring protocols that will be employed to help determine if the proposed flow increase will have the desired benefit.
2 The proposal should summarize the issues related to watershed health, streamflows, fish and wildlife status and factors presently limiting their abundance and productivity, and generally give background description and justification for the critical nature or importance of completing the proposed project. This context should explicitly include demonstration of consistency of the project with the Northwest Power and Conservation Councilís Fish and Wildlife Program and the appropriate subbasin plan, as applicable.