Water Acquisition Committee

Summary Meeting Notes

July 19, 1999

USFWS Water Resources Conference Room, USFWS Regional Office

Lakewood, Colorado

The Water Acquisition Committee met to review and comment on 2000 Scopes of Work. Present at the meeting were George Smith, Chairman; Bob Norman, Vice Chairman; Tom Pitts; John Shields; Randy Seaholm; Sue Uppendahl; Bob Muth; Angela Kantola; Henry Maddux and Brent Uilenberg.

1. Minutes of the March 1, 1999 meeting: Bob Norman suggested that the minutes be revised to reflect that the WAC had concluded any further effort to protect the 2000-6000 acre feet of water from the Green Mountain HUP was not worth the time and effort. The minutes were approved with a number of minor corrections noted on the draft minutes that were given to the Chairman. Notes will be updated and reported on the Recovery Program web page.

2. Additional agenda items: The status of Colorado effort to file new instream flow for the 15-mile reach and a discussion of the Yampa Management plan was added to the agenda.

3. Randy Seaholm briefed the WAC on CWCB's plan to file new flow filings for the 15-Mile Reach. Rick Anderson at the Colorado Division of Wildlife has been assigned the task of developing a new methodology for identifying flow requirements for Colorado River fish water species. Colorado would then file on instream flows need to support all fish water species. The WAC was very concerned that this would cause significant delays in implementing flow filings for the reach. The WAC ask the Program Director to request CWCB make a presentation at the August 30 Implementation Committee meeting on which flows for Colorado River endangered fish will be protected.

4. Henry Maddux presented an update on the direction of the Yampa Management Plan effort. The effort is switching to an effort similar to the Programmatic Biological Opinion being developed for the Colorado River mainstem. The effort will get underway in mid August and is expected to be completed in about a year. Gerry Roehm will staff the effort for the Service and will draft the Biological Opinion.

5. Review of 2000 Scopes of Work. The WAC reviewed the Scopes of work individually. Key points and modification of the discussion are presented below:


8 Recovery Program Gage O&M: Bob Norman suggested that the Scope needs to clarify how gages are funded. Bob also suggested that all funding should be channeled through the Fish and Wildlife foundation and the WAC concurred. Tom Pitts suggested that the Recovery Program should continue the practice of securing USGS matching funds for the RIP gaging program. The chairman asked for a consensus and in a rare vote it was decided that the RIP should continue to seek matching funds for the operation of key gages. The WAC also agreed to support inclusion of Duchesne River temperature gages in the gage work program for FY-2001 as indicated in the 2001 proposed budget for gaging.

CAP-4c Redlands Gage O&M: Bob Norman reviewed the Scope and mentioned that it was difficult to know precisely how much funding will be needed on a annual basis. During normal to high water years, gage operations are minimal but, during low water years when flows are critical, all of the budget is needed to oversee operations and ratings of the gage. Bob suggested that a statement to the effect that small routine maintenance for the Redlands Fish Passage be covered by this Scope of Work. This would allow the Bureau to plan and undertake routine maintenance that is currently accomplished on a sporadic basis as funds are available. The WAC concurred with this suggestion.

9 Water Acquisition Consultant: The WAC concurred with reallocating $10,000 of the budget to the Geomorphology Peer Review Scope.

19H Water Acquisition Hydrology Support: WAC concurred with the Scope of Work and Budget.

67 Steamboat Springs Water Lease: Bob Norman questioned the need for the lease since the Biology Committee has decided that augmentation is not needed. The issue was discussed at length and it was decided that, until the Yampa Plan was completed and the management committee had reviewed all of the facts, the lease would be maintained. Bob Norman pointed out that this activity needs to be Capital funds, not Section 7 funds. The Scope will be revised accordingly.

70 Colorado Instream Flow Protection: The WAC discussed the Scope in light of the current state of the Colorado River flow filings and decided that the Scope will need to be revised after metrologies are developed and presented to the Implementation Committee on August 30.

71 Colorado Decision Support System: The WAC concurred with the Scope of Work and Budget.

71a Refinement of Colorado CRDSS model: Update Scope of Work to include Wyoming's $10,000 contribution in the Expected Funding Source section.

CAP-14 Coordinated Reservoirs Operations: The WAC requested that the Scope be streamlined to reflect how the program is currently being operated with only one public meeting that was held in conjunction with the Ruedi Operations meeting in May. The WAC concurred with reducing the budget to $30,000 as recommended by the Program Director. The Scope of work needs to be revised to reflect these changes.

CAP-24 Duchesne Coordinated Reservoirs: Bob Muth presented a short, status report that highlighted the lack of performance on this Scope. Bob mentioned that we will be getting a report soon but, the WAC concurred with reducing the budget to $0, as recommended by the Program Director, until some progress is demonstrated.

CAP-25 Coordinated Facilities Study: The WAC concurred with the Scope of Work and Budget which contained no new funds for FY-2000. Randy Seaholm reported that the study had been delayed several months when Leo Eisel changed firms. Bob Norman requested that the WAC and the Recovery Program adopt a standard nomenclature for the Coordinated Reservoirs Program and the Coordinated Facilities water Availability Study for the Endangered Fish in the Colorado River. Bob suggested the WAC adopt Coordinated Reservoirs Project and Coordinated Facilities Study as standard nomenclature to avoid confusion. The WAC concurred with Bob's recommendation. The Scope will be revised to show the project is being funded for two years with FY-99 Capital funds.

17 Basin wide Channel Monitoring: The WAC concurred with the Scope of Work and Budget.

19b Biology Hydrology Support: Bob Norman questioned why 19a & b were not consolidated into a Consolidated Scope. Angela explained that the Scopes were broken out separately for budget tracking and accountability to the WAC and Biology Committees.

85 Colorado River Channel Monitoring: The WAC requested that the Scope of Work be modified to insure that the Recovery Program get copies of any air photographs that are secured under this Scope of Work. FWS, Water Resources Division, will include the photos in the Recovery program physical data being developed as a part of the FY-99 channel monitoring program.

86 Geomorphology Peer Review: The Chairman discussed the problem he is having getting timely reviews from the current reviews. The WAC suggested that panel will be expanded in the upcoming year, based upon past years experience where peer reviewers have not been able to prepare timely reviews because of other commitments. With an expanded panel, the Recovery Program will be less dependant on any one reviewers and hopefully timely comments can be produced. Joe Lions, Bob Millhouse and firm of Mussetter Associates were suggested and discussed as a possible addition to the panel. The Chairman will contact potential reviewers, determine their availability, and report back to the WAC. The Scope of Work will be revised to reflect expanding the panel. Suggestions for additional qualified reviewers would be given serious consideration by the WAC.

CAP-9 Yampa Management Plan: The plan was discussed earlier in the meeting and the Scope of Work and Budget was concurred on, as written by the WAC.

CAP9(12) Sediment Monitoring: Chairman will look into the quality and expense of the report to be produced. The WAC felt that a high quality peer-reviewed report may not be necessary.

CAP-27 Ruedi Reservoir Water Lease: The Scope of Work needs to be modified to reflect that FY-2000 will be the third year of the lease.

Other Business: The Chairman presented an unsolicited proposal from a Canal Company on the Gunnison River soliciting bids on senior water rights for 7 cfs. The Water Acquisition Committee considered the solicitations and concluded that until the Aspinall Unit Biological Opinion is completed, Gunnison River flow needs for endangered fish are unknown. The WAC instructed the Chairman to respond to the offer, thanking the Canal Company for their solicitations and informing them that the Recovery Program is not interested in the water at this time.

Next Meeting: October 21, 1999, 9:00 a.m. at FWS, Lakewood, Colorado.