Mail Stop 60189
To: Water Acquisition Committee
From: George Smith, Chairman, Water Acquisition Committee
Subject: Water Acquisition Committee Meeting Notes, July 9, 1998
The Water Acquisition Committee met to review FY-99 Scopes of Work and discuss other water acquisition activities. Present at the meeting were George Smith, Chairman; Bob Norman, Vice Chairman; Tom Pitts; John Shields; Ray Tenney; Randy Seaholm; Sue Uppendahl; Andy Moore; Angela Kantola; and Henry Maddux.
1. Review/modify agenda - The agenda was modified as it appears below.
2. Two items were added to the agenda
a) A status report on the negotiations to implement the Orchard Mesa Check; and
b) A status report of the CWCB Ruedi fish water contract.
3. FY-99 Work plan review - George Smith, WAC Chairman, introduced the draft work plan, and Angela Kantola handed out a revised budget summary sheet and discussed the status of funding. The WAC Chairman led the discussion of the Scope of Work assigned to the WAC.
#8 Operation and Maintenance of The 15-Mile Reach Gage
The Scope of Work was discussed by the WAC Chairman and the out-year budget was changed to reflect an annual increase of $200 inflation adjustment by USGS. The WAC also questioned how often this gage and the Cameo gages are rated. Bob Norman will check with USGS and prepare a letter reporting how often the gages are measured and the shifts that need to be applied. Chairman will distribute the report on the RIP list server.
# 9 Water Right Acquisition Consultant Services
The Scope of Work was discussed, WAC Chairman reported that $7,000 of the funds were used in FY-98 to support upgrading the DCP and the installation of a temperature probe on the Jensen gage. The $ 7,000 was matched by funding from USGS and Reclamations Provo Office. Gene Shawcroft was very helpful in securing the matching fund of this effort.
#19H Water Acquisition Hydrology Support
The Scope of Work was reviewed by the WAC Chairman who pointed out that some of the work associated with the Colorado water right filing may be scaled back. The WAC felt that it was premature to consider scaling back and that work would increase in other areas. Later in the meeting a task was added to this Scope of Work to develop an inventory of gages relied upon by the Recovery Program. The inventory would include location of the gage and the source of funding for the gages, and would make a recommendation of where funding for the gages be obtained in the future.
#67 Steamboat Water Lease
The Scope of Work was approved by the WAC. John Shields questioned increasing the lease from 2,000 acre feet to 3,300 acre feet. The feeling is that any increase would come after the completion of the 5-year lease and a determination of future water needs by the Yampa Work Group.
# 70 Colorado Instream Flow Protection
The Scope of work was approved by Randy Seaholm. The WAC suggested some minor editorial changes for the description of the reaches as well as some clarification of the budget footnote. The WAC identified some dates in the Scope of Work relating to water right filings are in error and needed to be updated. The intent to appropriate Rifle to Grand Valley Project Dam (Roller Dam) was changed to 5/99. Bob Norman requested the cost relative to Colorado's effort be well documented so that Colorado can accurately reflect the amount of work related to the Recovery Program.
#72 Colorado Decision Support System
The Scope of Work was approved by the WAC The Scope of Work was reviewed by Randy Seaholm. The tasks in the Scope of Work reflects the effort to wrap up work on CRDSS project. The water right administration tool for division 5 accounting sheet and extended data set for the hydrology will be completed by July 1999. CRDSS will then go into a maintenance phase going forward. Bob Norman again mentioned that cost related to CRDSS and the Recovery Program needs to be well documented so that Colorado can accurately reflect cost share. Some clarification of the budget footnote needs to be done.
# New Start - CRDSS refinement for the Little Snake.
The Scope of Work was prepared by CWCB staff to refine CRDSS on the Little Snake River to coincide with the Service developing flow recommendations for the lower end of the Little Snake River. Sue Uppendahl pointed out that Wyoming needs to include cost in the Scope of Work and have this resubmitted jointly by Colorado and Wyoming. John Shields felt that most of Wyoming data was already developed and paid for and would only need to be compiled and submitted to Colorado. Henry Maddux noted that timing of the completion of the refinements need to be stepped up so that the 7/99 notice of intent to file could be met by CWCB. After reviewing the dates in the RIPRAP for the flow filing on the Little Snake, Randy Seaholm said it may be possible to move the completion of this task to the end of 1998 to facilitate analysis of the Service Little Snake Flow. Bob Norman noted the need to document cost for cost share purposes.
#New Start Duchesne River Gages
The Scope of Work was reviewed by the WAC Chairman who noted the funding for this Scope of Work may be reduced because the funding for the temperature probe and updating of electronics at the Jensen USGS gage was paid out of funding set aside for the Water Right Consultant.
#4c Gage Below Redlands Dam
The WAC questioned why this gage is not being operated by USGS, so the Recovery Program could get USGS matching funds. The question of who should be paying for this and other gages sparked a discussion of USGS cost share for gages. Ray Tenney felt that this put Recovery Program in competition with local governments for cost share dollars. As a result of the discussion, a task was added to 19H to assess the gaging need of the Recovery Program, which is currently paying for these gages. With this information, a program guidance can be developed for the year 2000 funding cycle. The redland gage O&M will remain at Reclamation until other arrangements are made.
Cap 11 Grand Valley Water Management (GVWM).
Bob Norman mentioned that Brent is optimistic that something will get done on the GVWM the project this year, but if it does not get started, Reclamation will need to begin to reprogram funding early in FY-99. Henry Maddux reviewed the status of Grand Valley Water Management in relation to the status to Colorado Programmatic Biological Opinion. Henry felt that if Grand Valley Water Management does not get moving soon, the Recovery Program should look to the diverting funds to the design and development of fish screens. This triggered a long discussion of the need and cost of fish screens, which was not resolved.
Cap 14 Colorado River Coordinated Reservoirs
Malcolm Wilson reviewed the Coordinated Reservoirs Scope of Work. The review was followed by a discussion of how the work fits into the new proposal for a Facilities Management Option study. The WAC Chairman noted that the Recovery
Program staff recommendation removed $30,000 from this scope and recommended $20,000. After some discussion $10,000 was added to the Scope of Work for the review of pinch point along the river and $5,000 was added to work with the National Weather Service and the CWCB on flood level warning.
Cap 24 Duchesne River Coordinated Reservoirs
The WAC reviewed the Scope of Work and found several inconsistencies between the Scope of Work and the work as described in the RIPRAP. The WAC Chairman noted that the project has gotten off to a slow start and not much has been accomplished to date. The Recovery Program staff recommended was to cut the budget of the project to $50,000 from $100,000 and the WAC supported the cut. Tom Pitts felt that this lack of progress on this project should be brought to the attention of the Management Committee. Henry Maddox said he will draft a letter to Reclamation requesting a status report to the Management Committee and a proposal to staff the project to get things moving. The WAC wants to see this project get moving and has scheduled a meeting in Salt Lake City on September 9 or 11th to address Utah WAC issues, including this Scope of Work.
New Start - Facilities Management Options for Colorado Water District #5
Henry Maddux briefed the WAC on the status for the new study and plans to have a Contractor hired soon to implement the Scope of Work, which is being developed by Dave Little's Committee. The $ 200,000 in the Scope of Work is a place holder so that funds will be available of this fast track study. Tom Pitts questioned whether $200,000 was sufficient to get the study off to a fast start. The funding question was left unresolved until a detailed consultant Scope of Work is reviewed. In the meantime $ 200,000 was left in the FY-98 budget as a placeholder.
#17 Green and Yampa River Channel Monitoring
The Scope of Work was reviewed by the WAC Chairman. The WAC requested that a task be added to the Scope to make the information collected by the channel monitoring program available to researchers and the public. The Biology Committee requested that a thermograph be added at mineral bottoms and temperature collections be standardized. These tasks will be added to project B19 Hydrology Support for Biological Research.
#85 Colorado River Channel Monitoring
The status of this ongoing project was reviewed by the WAC Chairman, the project has been reviewed by the Coordinated Reservoirs Work Group and the matrix approach suggested by Tom Pitts was incorporated into the scope. CROSS approved of the changes to the Scope of Work but had the concern that the budget was not adequate. The Scope of Work will be reviewed by the Geomorphology Peer Review panel.
#86 Peer review of Geomorphology
The WAC Chairman reviewed the progress in setting up the panel and informed the WAC that Bob Strand, Bill Truch, and Richard Marston had agreed to be on the panel. Projects to be reviewed by the panel are the two Channel Monitoring Scope of Work. There were concerns mentioned by the panel that the budget was not adequate, but the WAC has agreed that funds set aside for the Water Right consultant could be used if additional funding is needed.
CAP 9 Yampa Operation and Management Plan
Bob Norman expressed some concerns with some of the items in the Scope of Work, which programs funding for tasks that cannot be accomplished on the schedule laid out. Bob Norman felt that this is an issue that should be discussed at the Management Committee. Bob went on to say that a Scope of Work with a question mark in major budget items makes it very hard to work with when developing agreements to transfer funds to the Service.
OTHER AGENDA ITEMS
5. Malcolm Wilson presented an overview of 1998 Colorado River Coordinated Reservoirs activities. Malcolm indicated that 2500 cfs was added to the peak at Palisade and that Dillon, Williams Fork, Ruedi, Wolford, and Green Mountain had participated in the effort. For a second year, the timing of the peak went well and the peak at Palisade was matched with the help of the National Weather Service and Colorado Water Division 5 staff. Based on comments from the 98 Ruedi public meeting, an expanded Fax and E-mail protocol was established to better inform the public of the pending coordination effort. The details of the coordination are presented in news release sent out by Reclamation and will be further documented in the 1998 coordination report, which will be forthcoming. Karen Fogelquis may be drafted to help prepare the 1998 coordination report.
6. CWCB Instream flow filings: The Service is preparing a letter on their position and the CWCB is considering the status of the filings at their upcoming meeting. Tom Pitts mentioned the problem created by the Service. Some water users have suggested the filings are frivolous and have asked for reimbursement of legal fees. The WAC put off taking any action on revising the RIPRAP until the issues have been studied further.
7. Water Facilities Ground Tour: Henry Maddux noted that the Management Committee is hosting a ground (bus) tour of Colorado River mainstem water management facilities. Water Acquisition Committee members are invited.
8. Price River Water Opportunity: The WAC Chairman informed the WAC that the Recovery Program had been approached with an opportunity to purchase some water on the Price River. The WAC was interested but wanted additional details. The issue will be discussed further at the next WAC meeting in Salt Lake City.
9. Ruedi Contract for 1998: Randy Seahlom mentioned that his contract is on the agenda for the next CWCB meeting. The contract is identical to past years' contracts, which provides 21,600 acre feet of water for endangered fish. Henry Maddux mentioned that the Recovery Program is willing to pay the annual O&M, which should help get the contract approved.
10. Orchard Mesa Check / Green Mountain Delivery Agreement: Randy Seaholm briefed the WAC on the issues and progress relating to getting an agreement that meets the Grand Valley Water Users desire for a perpetual agreement and Reclamation's restriction to a 40-year contract. Reclamation is proposing a perpetual inter-region agreement and the water users are skeptical. Meetings are ongoing on the development of an agreement and Randy will report back to the WAC on progress in developing the agreement.
11. Mc Kinstry Water Right Donation: The WAC Chairman briefed the WAC on the proposed donation and a letter that was sent to the CWCB indicating that the right did not meet the needs of the Recovery Program. The conclusions stated in the letter to the CWCB were affirmed by the WAC.
12. Next meeting: The next meeting of the WAC was set for September 11, 1998, at 9:00 a.m., in Salt Lake City, at the Utah Department of Natural Resources, located at 1594 W. North Temple, Room 2000.
The WAC Chairman will add a task to 19H to get information together on Recovery Program gaging needs before the next budgeting cycle. Ray Tenney and Bob Norman will get a list of gages funded by their agencies and why. The WAC Chairman will compile a comprehensive list of the gages needed by the Recovery Program and make a recommendation for gages to be funded partially or 100% for consideration in the FY-2000 work planning cycle.
The WAC Chairman will contact Ed Vidmar and request he that revise the Scope of Work to coincide with the RIPRAP. Ed will be invited to the WAC meeting in Salt Lake City to discuss the Scope of Work and accomplishments to date.
Henry Maddux will draft a letter to Reclamation's Management committee representatives requesting action on implementing Duchesne Coordinated Reservoirs Program.