Washington Water Trust, Water Innovation Intern, Summer 2021
Bill Lane Center for the American West
Applications closed on April 25, 2021
Washington Water Trust (WWT) a nonprofit leader in river and stream flow restoration. We use voluntary, market-based transactions and cooperative partnerships to develop solutions to meet our mission of improving flows in Washington’s most endangered rivers and streams. The Water Innovation Intern joins a talented technical team whose members bring many years of experience in natural resource management, stream flow restoration, multi-stakeholder conservation projects, water banking and implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects.
In Washington state, where commercial agriculture utilizes more than 60% of freshwater resources and generate more than $10.6 billion in revenue, climate change is impacting the water supply security in many basins throughout the state. Adapting to these changed conditions and to insure sustainable agricultural practices in the future which lessen the impact on freshwater resources, will benefit stream flow restoration for listed salmonids.
Two project areas the intern could engage in include:
The Recycled Water Project- where WWT and partners are seeking to make treated recycled water a viable irrigation alternative in the Sammamish River valley and secondly, the Washington Dry Farming Project, which seeks to assess the impact on dry farming practices in specific watersheds, identify best practices, document time/resource cost vs. irrigated agriculture and the potential consumer market reward to producers adopting these practices.
1. Incentivizing Sustainable Forest Management-The intern may participate in the development of a Payment for Watershed Services design project, where private forest owners would be incentivized to have longer harvest rotations, which models forecast will significantly improve late summer instream flows.
2. Identifying Key Restoration Partners-Water Right Assessments are a vital tool for WWT to prioritize streamflow restoration opportunities with willing landowners and the intern may conduct a water right assessment in a small drainage to aid in strategic restoration decision-making as well as assist in the operation of the Dungeness Water Exchange, a mitigation water bank which has integrated streamflow restoration into its operations.
85/15. It is estimated that there will be at least 6-10 field days during the duration of the internship,which will include stream monitoring, outreach, stakeholder meetings and engagement. This ratio is based on an in person internship which will not be possible if there are still Covid restrictions in place.
What you will do
Research and influence design of Payment for Watershed Services ecosystems services framework (How to incentivize different forest management practices which model increased flow where low flows inhibit salmon recovery)
Conduct outreach and research with WWT and Project Team to the food supply chain (producers, consumers, restaurateurs, grocers) on use of recycled water for irrigation
Assist on the development of the Dry Farming Project including: Identify factors for dry farming suitability (ie.soil type, precipitation, climate zone, crop types), coordinate with participating farmers, consumer outreach (farmers markets, CSA members, chefs) and inform recommendations in watersheds for dry farming expansion
Conduct water rights research in support of water rights acquisition in Salish Sea watersheds
Participate in streamflow monitoring with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Eligibility and Requirements:
Based on Stanford's requirements:
Students must have completed two full-time enrolled quarters this academic year by the time their opportunity begins.
Students can only participate by taking a Flex Term during their fellowship experience.
Internship specific requirements:
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Good time management
Knowledge of water resources
Knowledge of water law
Understanding of environmental markets
Understanding of hydrology
Understanding of aquatic ecology
Sophomore or Junior preferred. Natural resources, economics, and environmental studies majors are encouraged to apply.