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  • Hood River Water

    Conservation Strategy: achieving long-term water resource

    reliability for agriculture & local fish

    populations

    Ed Salminen & Niklas Christensen

    Watershed Professionals Network

    Cindy Thieman

    Hood River Watershed Group

  • Hood River Water Conservation Planning

    Elements: Analysis of water supply & demand, streamflow impacts from predicted climate change, water conservation potential, and effects on salmon & steelhead habitat

    Partners: Hood River County, Irrigation Districts, Confederated Tribes of the Warms Springs, Hood River Watershed Group, ODFW, DEQ, OWRD

    Grants: U. S. Bureau of Reclamation- Basin Study grant ($250,000 in-kind work from Reclamation) and WaterSMART grant ($100,000 cash for final water conservation planning and outreach)

    Oregon Water Resource Department- $250,000 cash for Water Use Assessment, Water Conservation Assessment, IFIM study

  • Overview of

    Water Planning Study Climate Change Models

    Water Resources

    Alternatives

    Groundwater Model

    (MODFLOW)

    Surface Water

    Model (DHSVM)

    Water Conservation

    Assessment

    Water Use

    Assessment

    Water Storage

    Assessment

    Fish Habitat

    Analysis (IFIM)

    Impacts &

    Recommendations

  • Water Use - Irrigation

    0

    20

    40

    60

    80

    100

    120

    Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept

    Wate

    r D

    ivers

    ion

    (c

    fs)

    Average Monthly Diversion

    DID EFID FID MFID MHID

  • Water Use - Hydropower

    0

    10

    20

    30

    40

    50

    60

    Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept

    Flo

    w (

    CFS)

    MFID

    Plant 1

    Plant 2

    Plant 3

  • Water Use - Instream

    Threatened Species:

    -Spring & fall Chinook

    -Winter & summer

    steelhead

    -Coho

    -Bull trout

    Key Limiting Factors:

    -Summer flows

  • Water Use - Instream

    0

    100

    200

    300

    400

    500

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    Str

    eam

    flow

    (cf

    s)

    East Fork above Middle Fork

    Mean Flow Instream Right (1983)

  • Water Use - Instream

    0

    2000

    4000

    6000

    8000

    10000

    12000

    14000

    16000

    18000

    0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700Flow cfs

    East Fork Hood River (below EFID diversion)- spring Chinook

    Spawning WDFW HSC

    Fry Rearing

    Juvenile Rearing

    Adult Holding

    Am

    ount

    of

    Sui

    tab

    le H

    ab

    ita

    t

  • Climate & Future Water Management

    How is climate predicted to change in Hood River

    County? (Modeling for 2030 2060)

    How will water availability for irrigation be

    affected?

    What are the alternatives?

    What will fish habitat availability look like under

    these alternatives?

  • Projected Temperature Increase 2.3F (range of 1.7F - 3.0F)

    Projected Precipitation Increase 2.4 % (range of -2.8% - 4.7%)

    Projected Climate Change

    Historic Future

    Mt. Hood Glaciers Historic & Future Temperature

    Projected Climate Change (2030- 2060)

  • Streamflow (average)

    0

    200

    400

    600

    800

    1,000

    1,200

    1,400

    1,600

    Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep

    Flo

    w (

    cfs)

    Hood River At Tucker Bridge, Monthly Mean Flows

    Historic

    Future

    ~55 cfs less

  • 0

    20

    40

    60

    80

    100

    120

    140

    160

    180

    June July Aug Sept

    Flo

    w (

    cfs)

    East Fork Above Middle Fork, Monthly Mean Flows

    ~30 cfs less

    Streamflow

  • Options to Increase Water Availability

    Using more Groundwater (currently evaluating potential impact & recharge possibilities)

    Increasing Reservoir Storage

    Potable Water Conservation (comparatively low impact)

    Irrigation Water Conservation conveyance, on-farm, fallowing of annual crops

    Hydropower- reduce summer diversions, off-set with winter diversions

  • Water Conservation - Irrigation

    Impact sprinklers on handline Solid set micro sprinkler

    Open canal New pipe project

  • Water Conservation Irrigation

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    35

    DID EFID FID MFID MHID

    Po

    ten

    tial

    Wate

    r S

    avin

    gs (

    cfs

    )

    Sprinkler /Soil Moisture Sensor

    Pipe /Operational

  • Average Crop Demand (AgriMet)

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    35

    Alfalfa Pasture Lawn Apples Pears Cherries WineGrapes

    Blueberries

    Apri

    l -

    Septe

    mber

    Cro

    p D

    em

    and

    (in

    ches)

    Irrigation demand of 16 - 20 ~6 growing season precipitation

  • Water Use of Different Application Methods

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    35

    40

    Wheel line Impact Rotator Drip

    Typ

    ical A

    pp

    lica

    tion

    per

    Year

    (inch

    es/

    sea

    son)

    11 36 range

  • Effects of Sub-optimal Irrigation Practices

    Poor crop performance due to insufficient or uneven application of water (Ex. application rate exceeds absorption rate of soil, some trees get too much, some not enough)

    Leaching fertilizer out of root zone; washes into ground water or surface water- waste of money

    Surface runoff leads to soil erosion on slopes

    Higher labor cost

  • Benefits of Improved Irrigation Practices

    Optimize fruit yield and quality (reduce incidence of cork

    spot & alfalfa greening in pears)

    Optimize canopy development and efficiency: avoid excessive

    shade, promote return bloom & fruit set

    Optimize inputs & minimize costs (nitrogen, water, pruning)

    Ability to adequately water in a low-water year- maintain fruit

    size and profit margin

  • Improving Irrigation Management

    Design and maintain

    irrigation systems for uniform

    and efficient watering

    Use soil moisture monitoring

    and evapotranspiration

    estimates to optimize water

    availability to crops (Match

    irrigation application to crop

    demand)

  • Future Management Scenarios under

    Median Climate Change

    Historic: Reflects current management practices, infrastructure, and average stream flows (1980- 2010)

    Future: Climate change but no management, infrastructural, or demand changes

    Increased Demand: Climate change + increased demand

    Increased Conservation: Climate change + increased demand + increased conservation

    Increase Storage: Climate change + increased demand + increased conservation + increased storage

  • 0

    100

    200

    300

    400

    500

    600

    Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep

    Flo

    w (

    cfs)

    East Fork Above Middle Fork, Monthly Mean Flows

    Impacts from Alternatives in an Average Year

  • Impacts from Alternatives in an Average Year

    0

    20

    40

    60

    80

    100

    120

    140

    160

    180

    June July Aug Sept

    Flo

    w (

    cfs)

    East Fork Above Middle Fork, Monthly Mean Flows

  • Improved Fish Habitat

    0

    2,000

    4,000

    6,000

    8,000

    10,000

    12,000

    14,000

    0 50 100 150 200

    Am

    oun

    t of

    Ha

    bitat

    Streamflow (cfs)

    East Fork Chinook Spawning

    35 65

  • Historic/Existing (WY 1980-2010)

  • No Change in Water Use or Conservation

    (WY 2031-2060)

  • Conservation (WY 2031-2060)

  • Conservation & Storage (WY 2031-2060)

  • Basin Water Conservation Potential

    Actions Total

    Potential

    Savings

    Most likely

    in next 20

    years

    Cost per CFS Next 20

    years cost

    On-farm irrigation: sprinkler

    upgrades, soil moisture

    monitoring

    32 cfs 26 cfs $ 0.4 M/cfs $10.4 million

    Conveyance system upgrades

    (main & distribution lines)

    27 cfs 27 cfs $ 1 1.3

    M/cfs

    $35 million

    Expanded water storage in

    existing reservoirs

    4 cfs 4 cfs $0.2-0.6

    M/cfs

    ~$2.4 million

    New water storage 22 cfs $1.4 M/cfs

    Hydropower rebalancing 13 cfs (varies) 13 cfs $0 $0

    Voluntary fallowing of annual

    crops/pastures (Waterbank)

    Up to 17 cfs 8 cfs $50 K/cfs

    (dry years)

    $400,000/yr

    (dry years)

    115 cfs 76 cfs $47.8 million*

  • Next Steps

    Continue to Explore Innovative Ways to Increase Water Availability

    Water Bank- mechanism for temporary leasing of water rights

    Shallow Ground Water Recharge-need to conduct feasibility study

    Fund Raising

    State & Regional funding sources: 4 local irrigation districts recently applied for approximately $7 million from OWRD for distribution piping & reservoir expansion

    Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS): federal $ can cover 50% of on-farm irrigation upgrades; OWEB small grants

    Local sources? (Example- MFID has a cost-share program)