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Henry's Fork Watershed Council Annual Watershed Conference Jon Bowling, P.E. December 9, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Henry's Fork Watershed Council Annual Watershed Conference Jon Bowling, P.E. December 9, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Henry's Fork Watershed Council Annual Watershed Conference Jon Bowling, P.E. December 9, 2014

2 Idaho Power Hydro System 17 Plants

3 Swan Falls Agreement Pioneer Thermal Plant – Orchard area early ‘70’s Rater payer’s initiated legal action against IPC Claimed Pioneer would not have been necessary if IPC had better protected water rights Question as to whether IPC subordinated hydropower water rights during HCC licensing Idaho Supreme Court said only at HCC not Swan Falls Supreme Court decision forced IPC to file water right claim against 7,000+ junior water rights 3

4 Swan Falls Agreement Shutting off irrigated acreage would have economic impact Legislation was being proposed to subordinate all IPC hydropower rights to upstream beneficial uses Idaho Power, Idaho Attorney General and Idaho Governor entered into settlement discussions Swan Falls Agreement and Settlement signed in 1984 Idaho Power agreed to subordinate to upstream beneficial uses (Trust Water) and State agreed to maintain minimum flows for hydro generation at Swan Falls Dam of 5,600 cfs (non-irrigation season) and 3,900 cfs (irrigation season) Several statutes, including Snake River Basin Adjudication ( ) came out of settlement 4

5 Swan Falls Agreement Reaffirmed In 2009, the SRBA Court (Snake River Basin Adjudication) reaffirmed the Swan Falls Agreement Swan Falls Reaffirmation collaboration– – Policy and Technical Workgroups formed to work out remaining Swan Falls/Snake River Basin Adjudication issues ls/swan_falls_agreement.htm ls/swan_falls_agreement.htm 5

6 Swan Falls Minimum Flows 2014 Policy/Technical Workgroup – Membership – Idaho Power, Idaho Department of Water Resources, Idaho Attorney General, Snake River Basin Stakeholders (Idaho Ground Water Appropriators and City of Pocatello) Development of method to calculate actual flow conditions at the Snake River near Murphy gage (remove effect of Idaho Power operations, which includes company hydro project fluctuations and release of company storage and rental water from upstream of Swan Falls). Oversight of real time flow measurement and monitoring

7 Swan Falls Minimum Flows 2014 If Flows Drop Below Minimum Technical Workgroup notifies Swan Falls Policy Group Short-term remedy – release additional flow at Milner to prop up the State’s minimum flow at Snake River near Murphy Gage Potential trust water right curtailment if additional water is not available (not desirable) Long-term remedy – manage Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer/spring discharge to insure flow does not drop below minimum with zero flow at Milner (best solution)

8 Idaho Water Management Post Adjudication ESPA Management Plan – Idaho Power, stakeholders and State of Idaho collaborative development of Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer/minimum flow management plan Importance of maintaining minimum flows Hydropower Water quality ESA obligations Recreation 8

9 Idaho Water Management Post Adjudication Increasing supply and reducing declines Collaborative management approach Persistence 9


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