Frasier, W. Marshall

July, 1998

By: Willis, David B.; Caldas, Jose Vaz; Frasier, W. Marshall; Wittlesey, Norman K.; Hamilton, Joel R.
Three species of salmon in the Snake River Basin have been listed as endangered. Recovery efforts for these fish include attempts to obtain increased quantities of water during smolt migration periods to improve habitat in the lower basin. Agriculture is the dominant user of surface flows in this region. This study investigates farmer cost of a contingent water contract requiring the agricultural release of stored irrigation supplies in low flow years during critical flow periods. Results show that contingent contracts can provide substantial quantities of water at a relatively modest cost without significantly affecting the agricultural base of the area.