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SB 839 Economic Sub Task Force

Final Report

In this document, the economic subgroup examines the associated economic realities of developing and operating water storage projects and makes recommendations to the Seasonally Varying Flows Task Force.

Click here to view this report.

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This sub-group will be comprised of economists, policy, and engineering staff from The Bureau of Reclamation, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, Oregon State University, Amali Consulting, and Tualatin Valley Water District.

Richard Whitman from the Governor’s Office will be the convener of this group and Dr. Brenda Bateman from the Oregon Water Resources Department will staff these efforts.

Eventually a few members of this sub-task force will be asked to carry the resulting report into the broader SB 839 Task Force.
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Purposes and Outcomes

Purpose:  This group is the sub-task force designed to examine the economic realities of building water storage projects.  Participants include a small group of economic, policy, and engineering professionals with on-the-ground expertise in making projects pencil out, while also meeting instream and out-of-stream needs. 

Outcome:  This group will produce a report by February 1, 2014, describing:  1) the potential benefits of developing additional storage capacity to meet instream needs (including both ecological and economic benefits), 2) the potential cost of this additional capacity, the 3) the viability of building such additional capacity, and 4) the potential logistics / costs associated with leaving some elevated flows instream.
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Below is the schedule of meeting dates:


​Oct. 11 – ​Introductory Meeting: intros, purpose, fundamental definitions, cost-benefit literature review
​Oct. 25 – ​Lit Review, Continued: What communities have had economic success building instream capacity into water storage projects?
​Nov. 8 – ​Drafting the Report: Quantify potential ecological and economic benefits of additional storage to meet instream needs.  Quantify potential costs of such additional storage.
​Nov. 22 – ​Drafting, Continued:  Draw conclusions about the economic viability of storage, including capacity to meet instream needs.  Document potential logistics / costs associated with leaving key elevated flows instream.  Report requires group consensus.  Note any outliers or disagreements.
​Dec. 13 – ​Wrap Up:  finalize report, signing logistics, decide who carries report to larger task force - This meeting is scheduled from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
All meetings will be held in Salem at WRD HQ (725 Summer St., NW, 3rd Floor Rogue Conference Room), with a conference line / video option available as well.


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General Resources:
​Senate Bill 839 (2013): https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/SB839/Enrolled
Bureau of Reclamation, Funding of Loans Appendices 11-13
2013 Tualatin Valley Water District Technical Memos (See TM3)
​2013 The Family Farm Alliance, The Economic Importance of Western Irrigated Agriculture
2010 Oregon IWRS Open House Map Gallery
2008 Oregon Statewide Water Needs Assessment
1983 USACE Water Resources Council. “Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies."
​Other States:
​2013 California Draft Guidelines for Funding Public Benefits
​2013 California Draft Regulations for Quantifying Public Benefits
2013 State of Montana Loans and Grants for Irrigation Development
​2013 Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board Evaluation Form
2012 State of California. “Tools and Methods to Quantify Public Benefits of Water Storage Projects”
2012 Yakima River Basin IWRM Plan: Four Accounts Analysis of the Integrated Plan
​2012 Yakima River Basin IWRM Plan: Framework for Implementation Report
​2011 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Forecast
​​2009 Washington Dept. of Ecology Columbia River Water Management Program Grant Application
2008 State of California.  Economic Analysis Guidebook.”
2008 Irrigation in Montana: A Programs Overview and Economic Analysis
1999 Layton, D, G. Brown, M. Plummer.  “Valuing Multiple Programs to Improve Fish Populations.”  Washington State Dept. of Ecology.


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