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Alaska’s Reservation of Water Opportunities:Why Reserve Water?&Class HighlightsChristopher Estes, Chalk Board Enterprises, LLCPresentation for BLM Alaska Water Rights WorkshopOctober 27, 2016Anchorage, AK


WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?Past, Present, Future-
CONTEXT1960sto2016
Science(Hydrologic,Biologic, Socioeconomic,etc. Components)
PublicInvolvement

Legal/Institutional
Elements That Affect Reservation of Water Opportunities/Outcomes in Alaskaunder State & Federal Laws (interdisciplinary)
Primary Water Rights Options
Federal Reserved Water RightsWinters DoctrineMcCarren AmendmentCappaert v. United States, etc.State Related Water Statutes/ProcessesAS 46.15 (all appropriation uses)AS 46.15.165, 166 (basin-wide)Other Tools (covered at end of overview)

ALASKA’S WATER MANAGEMENTOPPORTUNITIESAREUNIQUE!-
Water Management Challenges
- Size of AK versus the Lower 48 States- Abundance of Existing Clean Water &Intact Habitat versus ElsewhereExtreme Weather(including cold, limited seasonal daylight)Limited Road & Seasonal AccessLimited Biologic InformationLack of Lower 48 Water Allocation History
T
THE GOOD NEWS!
Challenges(continued)
Limited Hydrologic Information~500 or less USGS continuous flow gages~1 Gage/6 or 7,000 Square Miles~100 or Less Gages Operating Annually: < 500 Historically~ $50k/year+ for USGS Gaging~ QAA +/- 50% errorThousands of River Reaches & Millions of Lake FishBearing Water Reaches with Clean Abundant Water- ~400 Filed/~150 Adjudicated-
Summary of Alaska’s Water Law(Reservation of Water Emphasis)
Alaska’s Constitution – 1959Water Use Act – 1966, 1980, 1986, 1992,2001Regulations (reservation 1983)Administrative (Agreements)Case Histories & ExamplesOther Reservation Types of Opportunities- Discussed at End!!!

Alaska Water Resources Board
State Infancy Historical Challenges
Limited Experiences Using the Legal/InstitutionalToolbox - no one size fits all - DYNAMICVariety & Changing Land Ownership Status(subject to change)Institutional Memory/Lobotomy ChallengesLimited Case Law--
Historical Challenges(continued)
Socioeconomic Shifts (Booms/Busts/Stable)Political/Philosophical Shifts (2, 4, 6, 8 years)Long-term Time/$ Investments(Filing/Adjudication)Small Proportion of Water Bodies Reserved to Date & Limited to Subset of Purposes--

ELEMENTS/CONSIDERATIONS!-
Hydrologic Cycle
Hydrologic Cycle (Water Budget)
Hydro-illogic Cycle Challenges
Rain
Apathy
Drought
Concern
Alaska Water Law Use Examples
Instream:Water needed* in the water body to support vital ecological functions and uses(includes lakes/wetlands)Examples:*Fish & Wildlife/HabitatRecreationCultural/AestheticNavigation/TransportationWater Quality-----------* Ice Conditions, too
Out of Stream/Traditional:Water removed from the system or flow regime/water volume/stage altered*(subsurface/groundwater too)Examples:*Power Generation(hydro/fossil fuels/solar)Industrial/ManufacturingPublic/Personal WaterSupplyIrrigation/AgricultureWater Export/TransferHatcheriesResource Extraction(Minerals, Timber, Oil, Gas, etc.)Ice Roads, Snowmaking, etc.

Why Did Alaska Establish a Reservation of Water Law?(.080 Limitations)
(USGS 1996)
4 Categories of Instream Flow Uses
Robert Angell, AK Div. Of Tourism
(USGS 1996)
John Hyde ADF&G

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIESAPPROPRIATE WATER TO MAINTAIN WATER QUALITY, FISH, WILDLIFE, RECREATION/AESTHETICS, & NAVIGATION IN ADDITION TO WITHDRAW, IMPOUND AND DIVERT PURPOSESAUTOMATIC RESERVATIONS OF WATER ARE ESTABLISHED FOR WATER EXPORTS FROM LARGE HYDROLOGIC BASINS

ANYONECAN FILE FOR A WATER RIGHT(APPROPRIATION OF WATER)TOWITHDRAW, DIVERT, IMPOUND & RESERVEWATER THAT IS IN THE BEST PUBLIC INTEREST-

SURFACE/SUBSURFACE WATER BODIES ARE SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION(CONSIDERED 1 SOURCE IF HYDROLOGICALLY CONNECTED)

10- Year Review-

APPROPRIATIONS MUST BEDETERMINED TO BE IN THE BESTPUBLIC INTEREST (AS 46.15.080)-

Critical Water ManagementLife and Human Safety-

IMPORTANT!DNR decides if all, a portion or none of the amount of water requested in an application for an appropriation (withdrawal, diversion, impoundment and reservation) will be granted and any conditions that may apply.
Know Definitions
AS 46.15.26011 AAC 93.970
Interdisciplinary
Geomorphology
Biology
Hydrology
Connectivity
WaterQuality


Flow/Water Levels
Scientific Elements
RECOMMENDATIONS
Develop Statewide & RegionalLong-termWater Uses and Needs Plans & PrioritizeCollect & Analyze Long-term Seasonal BaselineWater Quantity & Quality Availability Information & Define Relationships (SW/GW)Collect & Analyze Data Required to BetterUnderstand Seasonal & Long-termWatershed Ecological Functions & OtherRelationships to Human SocioeconomicNeeds/Values
RECOMMENDATIONS -continued
Joint Funding Requests (Federal, State, Academic, Local, Private (including Tribal)Public/Stakeholder Education/InvolvementParticipate in State/Regional/National Initiatives and International(e.g. Drought Action Plan Implementation, USGS Water Smart/Census, LCC, NFHP, SSSF, other watershed scale efforts)Use Graphics that Display AppropriateGeographic Information and Scale forAlaska
RECOMMENDATIONS -continued
Expand Upon/Mimic ADF&G MOU Agreement with ADNRReview References (publications, links, dvd)- Train & Maintain Dedicated InterdisciplinaryStaff Expertise- Integrate Land & Water Management
RECOMMENDATIONS -continued
Have More Interagency Classes – all disciplinesHave Regional Internal ClassesMake it Routine to Periodically Go Over Processes with DNRDocument Good, Bad, and Ugly (forever)
RECOMMENDATIONS -continued
Remember to Take Snapshots in Time(bridge, past, present, & future)- Get Notified,Use AS 46.15.080Think Long-term!!!!! Establish Priorities!Crawl before you Walk!
RECOMMENDATIONS -continued
File Reservation of Water Applications under AS 46.15.145 (Other)WHY?It is the Best Public Interest to Define Baseline Water Availability to Establish Certainty How Much Water isAvailable For Which Purposes(long-term)Its Common Sense!
OTHER OPTIONS
AS 16.05.841 & .871AS 16.10.400(g)5 AAC 40.220 (5)5 AAC 40.220 (7)
Other (continued)
-Additional Water Related ADF&G Authorities:AS 16.10.400(g)5 AAC 40.220 (5)5 AAC 40.220 (7)- Area Plans (Rec Rivers)- Anadromous Catalog/Regional Guides- Public Trust Doctrine- Federal Authorities/Initiatives
Take Home Points

Summary:Protecting Rivers and Lakesin the Face of Uncertaintywww.instreamflowcouncil.org
National Drought Initiative
State Examples

www.westernstateswater.org


www.westernstateswater.org/westfast/

www.icwp.org/http://www.icwp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ICWP-Commitment.pdf
Drought-
www.fishhabitat.gov
President’s March 2016Drought Action Plan&Related Federal InitiativeExamples

https://www.whitehouse.gov/campaign/drought-in-americaMarch 22, 2016 White House Action Plan

www.usgs.gov/drought

www.drought.gov/drought/home
Drought-
Science(Hydrologic &Biologic, Socioeconomic,etc. Components)
PublicInvolvement

Legal/Institutional
Elements That Affect Reservation of Water Opportunities/Outcomes in Alaskaunder State & Federal Laws (interdisciplinary)
QUESTIONS?
Christopher EstesAquatic Habitat and Resources ScientistChalk Board Enterprises, LLC907-227-9549christopher@chalkboardllc.com

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Primary Water Rights Options - arlis.org