Willamette Basin Minimum Perennial Streamflow Conversions

Minimum Streamflow Discussion
August 23, 2012
Background & Current Authorities
Conversion Process
– Methodology
– Contract
– Change of Character of use
Adopted - Coast Fork & Calapooia
Comparisons MPSF / BiOp flow /
mean monthly flows
Next Steps
Willamette Basin Minimum
Perennial Streamflow Conversions
Live stream flows without stored
water components have been
Of the 23 Minimum Perennial
Streamflows with stored water
components; two have been resolved
– Coast Fork Willamette River 1997
– Calapooia River 1991
Minimum Perennial Streamflows
ORS 536.300 & 536.340
Information required by ORS
537.346 for Conversion of stored
water MPSF
Identified method to determine the
specific quantity of water released
from storage to satisfy the stored
water component of the in-stream
water right.
Contract for the release of the stored
Example options for methodology
Water management using fixed flows
– BiOp Flows
Flows identified for beneficial use
according to habitat needs for life
stage of target species for example:
– Instream Flow Incremental Methodology
– Physical Habitat Simulation (PHABSIM)
Goals of Basin Review
(Reservoir Study)
Authorize a full range of beneficial uses (including
anadromous fishery and water quality needs,
municipal and industrial water supply,
Develop an operational agreement for low-flow
Determine appropriate institutional
Investigate options to improve reservoir refill and
reduce downstream erosion during reservoir
Address municipal and industrial water demands
and constraints.
Willamette River BiOp
Willamette Fish Recovery Plan
Both list conversion of MPSF
Several of the Willamette Action Team
for Ecosystem Restoration technical
teams have flow, fish passage and
habitat as responsibilities
The North and South Santiam Rivers
have had a flow assessment for fish
Conversion Process
Gather information and develop a draft
Proposed Final Order as required by ORS
537.343 (needs methodology)
Review by Water Resources Commission
as required by ORS 537.346 Conversion of
MPSF to in-stream water rights; special
provisions for Willamette Basin
Allow for a contested case under ORS
Issue Final Order
Issue Instream Water Rights Certificate
(needs transfer & contract)
Implications for Operations
Timing of reservoir fill
Recreation facilities
Power production
Need for greater coordination
Live stream flow rights junior to the
MPSF 6/22/64 priority date
Conservation Pool Certificates
R 29397 (1954
Senior to MPSF)
Cottage Grove
Fern Ridge
Lookout Point
R 49396 (1968
Junior to MPSF)
Hills Creek
Blue River
Fall Creek
Green Peter
Other issues to address
Existing water right certificates
– A change of character of use will be
Pending reservations of water
– Agriculture
– Municipal & Industrial
Analysis of potential injury to
existing water rights
Would a contract for the instream
water right require a NEPA process?
Next Steps
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