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Finding Balance
Typical Tools
There are many ways to keep streams wet. The Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program is seeking innovative and creative alternatives to find efficiencies. The following techniques are common tools for success.
  1. Water Acquisitions
    • Short and long-term leases
    • Permanent purchase
    • Split Season — A portion of a water right is used for irrigation in the spring and the remainder is left instream in late summer/fall
    • Dry Year Option — An opportunity to lease a water right during a particularly dry year
    • Forbearance agreement
    • Diversion reduction agreement

  2. Boosting Efficiency
    • Switching from a flood to sprinkler irrigation system
    • Modernizing headgates
    • Improving ditch efficiency

  3. Conserving Habitat
    • Protecting/restoring stream habitat and changing a portion of the associated water right

  4. Rethinking the Source
    • Changing the point of diversion from a tributary to a main steram in order to improve stream flows
    • Switching from surface to ground water source

  5. Pools
    • Rotational pool — A group of irrigators take turns leaving a portion of their water in stream

  6. Banks
    • Water Banking — Producers in an irrigation district "bank" water they may not need so it can be available for other uses