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200738000 - Keeping Irrigators Whole in the Event of Reservoir Removal

Sponsor: bluefish.org

Budgets: FY07: $10,000 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Short description: Proposed here is a review of ACOE plans that would allow irrigation to continue in its present state if Lower Snake Reservoirs were removed. A pipeline along the current shoreline of Ice Harbor reservoir will be considered and compared to the ACOE plan

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable

Comment:

This is an inadequately written proposal to compare costs of irrigation alternatives under dam breaching. It proposes to do work that would be a routine component of a NEPA analysis conducted by federal agencies if dam breaching were proposed. No explanation or itemization of the $10k budget is provided. The background section duplicates information presented in other proposals from this sponsor. This proposal is to review the US Army Corps of Engineers’ report "Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility" for its consideration of irrigation effects of dam breaching in the event that the Ice Harbor reservoir were removed, do a cost comparison of alternative means of providing irrigation, and consider a 30-mile irrigation pipeline. The premise appears to be that the Corps’ isn't considering a full range of alternatives with regard to the irrigation effects of dam breaching. The rationale for the work is in citations of Court findings and the 2000 BiOp RPAs 147 and 148 describing the Corps’ responsibilities for developing project management plans and engineering and design work. This section actually contains some discussion of job loss that the jobs survey proposal does not. This proposal objective is to "expand the list of alternatives" by seeking to clarify the economic costs of changes in the irrigation delivery system. Methods are described in inadequate detail. Methods for developing cost estimates of the various components are not described. Reference is made to a series of equations that will represent the costs and benefits of a proposed irrigation system, but these are not described. A paragraph following the work elements appears to present the sponsor's view that a gravity-fed system will be superior to what the Corps’ will propose.

State/province recommendation: MS: Do Not Fund

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: This is a FY 2007-2009 funding cycle. Currently there is no pending legislation for authorization of dam removal. Some of these questions were addressed in the Lower Snake River Feasibility Study. If authorization was granted for dam removal, the most likely funding source for this type of activity would be through Congressional appropriations to the USACE. Review of this type of work would more appropriately be performed by the IEAB.