The Klamath Tracking and Accounting Program (Klamath TAP) defines a consistent accounting system that links conservation actions to watershed needs by quantifying ecosystem benefits from conservation projects. The Klamath TAP goal is to increase the pace and reduce the cost of improving Klamath Basin water quality to support all beneficial uses, including, but not limited to recovery of native fish. The Klamath TAP aligns investment with opportunities that produce the greatest possible ecosystem improvement. Specific objectives are to:
- Increase the effectiveness of conservation projects and investments in the Klamath watershed to restore water quality by providing a framework to (a) identify opportunities to improve water quality, (b) facilitate basin-wide prioritization and implementation of those opportunities, and (c) coordinate funding to address large-scale opportunities.
- Create a framework that is applicable basin-wide, links benefits from restoration actions to eutrophic pollutant and temperature goals defined in Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), is uniformly implemented in California and Oregon, and is consistent with Oregon water quality trading policy.
- Enable public and private funders to efficiently invest in restoration projects with confidence, knowing the Klamath TAP transparently tracks water quality benefits from projects implemented (a) to meet regulatory requirements, (b) through government funded restoration and voluntary incentive programs, and (c) by private conservation initiatives.
- Provide a transparent process and robust tools that produce consistent results, are routinely adapted to incorporate the best available scientific information, and inform decisions ranging from individual project design to basin-wide policy.
- Enable water quality trading whereby regulated entities can purchase water quality offsets from entities capable of cost-effectively creating water quality improvements.
- The Klamath TAP is undertaking a phased development approach to maintain momentum and adaptively learn from initial implementation. The pilot phase, which will occur from 2013-2015 is an opportunity to engage with a broad set of stakeholders in the Klamath Basin including producer groups, tribes, conservation groups, and many others. Initial benefit quantification method and field methods will be implemented and tested during the pilot implementation. The Protocol and supporting tools and forms will be updated before the program is fully implemented.
The Klamath Watershed Partnership has received a CA 319 grant “Accelerating Water Quality Improvements in the Klamath Basin” to implement the pilot phase.
Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (Clean Water Act Section 319).