Water Resource Collections and Archives


The First Annual California Water Symposium

The First Annual California Water Symposium

Millerton Lake is popular for boating swimming, and picnic parties

US Department of Interior. 1949. Our Rivers: Total Use for Greater Wealth: Central Valley Basin. Senate Document 113, 81st Congress, First Session.

Saturday 24 April 2004
112 Wurster Hall
University of California, Berkeley

The symposium is free and open to the public.Sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Beatrix Farrand Fund, and the Water Resources Collections and Archives.


08:30  Introduction

08:40-11:20 Student Research Presentations

  • Channel incision in Rodeo Ck, Marin County / Phoebe Bass and Janny Choy
  • Salinity distribution in Rodeo Lagoon / Christine Waljeski and John Williams
  • Post-restoration changes in bed material and channel form, Redwood Ck, Marin County / Mike Matz and Alison Purcell
  • Channel morphology in restored tidal marshes, SF Bay / Meredith Hall
  • Continued monitoring the Tassajara Ck restoration project, Alameda County / Aurel Dehollan and Matt Oden
  • Runoff from green roofs: lessons from three sites / Ted Steinemann and Ron Dean
  • Cost-effectiveness of concrete drainage channels and vegetated swales / Jeff Williams and Miki Kuroda
  • Stormwater detention and infiltration designs for two sites along the Los Angeles River / Kathryn Gaffney and Anchi Mei
11:40 Panel discussion: John Roberts, Mike Napolitano, Jennifer Vick
12:30 Lunch
13:30-16:40  Student Research Presentations
  • Steelhead trout habitat assessment, Lower San Pablo Ck, Contra Costa County / Shannah Anderson and Lorraine Maldague
  • Fall-run chinook salmon habitat assessment, Marsh Ck, Contra Costa County / Jessie Levine and Rosalyn Stewart
  • Steelhead trout habitat assessment, Sinbad Ck, Alameda County / Kristen McDonald, Mary Ann King, and Christy Herron
  • Post-project appraisal of Lower Ritchie Ck Dam Removal, Napa County / Jubilee Daniels and Laura Pagano
  • Post-project appraisal of Miller Creek compound channel, Marin County / Jan Ting and Caitlin Pope-Daum
  • Post-Project monitoring of Wildcat Ck, North Richmond / Ashley Holt and Charlie Battaglia
  • Streambed conditions below two vineyards, Napa County / Paul Roge
  • Influence of large woody debris on channel form in upper Scott Ck, Santa Cruz County / Luis Garcia and Rodrigo Orduña
  • Upland groundwater pumping and streamflow, San Jose Ck, Monterey County / Alexander Ford
  • Hydrologic characteristics of a flood control channel, Richmond Field Station / Patrick Nichols and Courtney Davis
17:00  Panel discussion: Bruce Orr, Jonathan Owens, Laurel Collins
17:45 Reception


Channel Incision in Rodeo Creek, Marin County  / Phoebe Bass and Janny Choy
Rodeo Creek is a small coastal stream that drains 1.2 mi2 in Marin County, California. We studied Rodeo Creek to observe and describe the current incision pattern because accelerated stream incision can lower the adjacent water table and dessicate the native wetland community, allowing non-native vegetation to become established. We described eight cross sections along the length of Rodeo Creek by using measuring tape and a stadia rod to measure top of bank, thalweg, high water marks, and inflection points along the banks. Detailed cross sectional sketches of channel morphology were made at each cross section using these measurements. The most severe incision in Rodeo Creek was less than 7 ft compared to an average of 18 ft in Walker Creek, a nearby coastal stream. The incision in Rodeo Creek is still cutting through the alluvial fill of clays and silts as no evidence of bedrock was seen in any of the cross sections. Rodeo Creek may still be in the initial stages of incision. Because it is not severely incised, Rodeo Creek may be used to guide wetland restoration in adjacent Gerbode Valley.

Salinity Distribution in Rodeo Lagoon / Christine Waljeski and John Williams
The salinity of the water in Rodeo lagoon ranges from less than 2ppt near the input of Rodeo Creek at the Eastern most boundary of the lagoon to more than 9ppt in bottom waters near the western or beach side of the lagoon. During most of the year the only input of water into the lagoon is fresh from Rodeo Creek and other small streams discharging into the lagoon. Occasionally a channel will connect the lagoon to the ocean during storms and periods of high flow. The lagoon however maintains areas of relatively high salinity even when this channel is not available. It might be expected that with constant flow of freshwater into the lagoon the saline waters would become diluted.The distribution of salinity within the lagoon is such that the surface waters at the eastern most edge of the lagoon exhibit the lowest salinities. Average salinity in the lagoon is about 3.2ppt. This level of salinity is maintained almost constantly over the entire surface of the lagoon except near Rodeo creek. The source of the salinity does not seem to be related to groundwater flow . The head gradient of groundwater through the beach strip separating the lagoon from the ocean suggests that the water table is oriented such that the flow is from the lagoon to the ocean, therefore groundwater flow from the ocean cannot account for the highly saline bottom waters. The areas of highest salinity are located just at the bottom of the lagoon which suggests that extremely high salinities may be due to solid matter such as organic matter and sediments resting on the bottom of the lagoon and being mixed with the bottom layer or lagoon water.

Post-restoration Changes in Bed Material and Channel Form, Redwood Creek, Marin County / Mike Matz and Alison Purcell
Stream alterations and human disturbances over time have reduced salmonid fish populations in Redwood Creek (Marin County, California). A restoration project in fall 2003 sought to increase the number of juvenile fish rearing pools along an 1800-foot reach of Redwood Creek. To evaluate the success of this project, we characterized changes in channel morphology through feature and facies mapping and photo-documentation in a 432-foot sub-reach of the restoration site. Our post-project evaluation found that the installation of large woody debris weir structures was successful in creating pools and increasing the overall habitat complexity of this sub-reach.

Channel Morphology in Restored Tidal Marshes / Meredith Hall
I examined the channel morphology of two marshes near the mouth of the Napa River in Solano County, California - one natural marsh approximately 100 years old (Napa centennial marsh) and one restored from a salt evaporation pond in 1995 (Pond 2a) - using mapping techniques in ArcView GIS. I followed the techniques of a previous analysis done by Phil Williams and Associates (PWA) on four other restored and natural marshes in the North San Francisco Bay and examined channel sinuosity, bifurcation ratios, length ratios, and drainage density. By combining my results with the results of the other four marshes, I have found that the data no longer fully conforms with the trends found by PWA. Both studies found that bifurcation ratios and length ratios of first order channels tend to be larger for younger marshes. However, the contribution of my data shows that PWA’s observation that drainage density decreases with age is not entirely true. Instead, with the addition of data from the Napa centennial marsh, drainage density conforms more closely with the findings of Steel and Pye (1997) that indicated drainage density increases with age up until about 150 years old and then decreases. Combining all of the data reveals that sinuosity tends to increase for 2nd order channels with the age of the marsh.

Continued Monitoring of the Tassajara Creek Restoration Project, Alameda County / Aurel DeHollan and Matt Oden
Monitoring the ensuing morphological and vegetative change of river restoration projects has become evermore important as an increasing number of communities embrace such efforts. Numerous projects have succeeded in the short run and failed in the long run, but the success of a project can only be assessed through post-project monitoring efforts. A section of Tassajara Creek in Dublin California stretching roughly one mile was restored in 1999. The generalized goals of the project were to reconstruct the highly incised channel to stop further incision and to restore riparian habitat. A monitoring plan to document the effects of the implemented project was developed in 2001 accompanied by a series of eight cross-sections, a longitudinal profile, and photographs to begin the post-project evaluation. Between 2002 and 2003 three additional studies were conducted to continue the monitoring effort. All of these projects found some localized incision and aggradation. We resurveyed four of the cross-sections in the southern part of the restoration area and found evidence of aggradation of the thalwegs ranging from 0.25ft and 3.07ft at all sites following the first year of substantial flows, thus indicating that incision has been halted hitherto. We also found evidence of erosion. These findings combined with our observations of riparian vegetation, as well as comparisons to historical photographs, allow us to conclude that the project has been successful hitherto.

Green Roofs for Stormwater Runoff Control: Experiences from Two Sites / Ronald Dean, Edward Steinemann
As cities expand and encroach onto rural lands, large impervious surfaces in the form of buildings, parking lots and roads cover the landscape. These impervious surfaces generate increased quantities of stormwater runoff which flow rapidly into municipal conveyance systems bypassing the natural infiltration processes resulting in polluted water and altered natural hydrologic systems. By replacing the footprint area of a building with a rooftop garden, green roofs may offer an opportunity to control runoff and remove pollutants from rainwater. In this report we examined two green roofs, one in Petaluma, California and the other in Portland, Oregon to determine their hydrological characteristics and how they perform as stormwater management techniques. We found that both roofs reduce the volume of stormwater runoff by an average greater than 60% while also reducing peak flows and increasing runoff time. Our results show that green roofs are viable on-site stormwater control devices.

Cost-effectiveness of Concrete Drainage Channels and Vegetated Swales / Miki Kuroda and Jeff Williams
The Zone 7 Water Agency uses concrete V-ditches to manage stormwater runoff from access roads near creeks. We attempted to find a way to manage runoff that would filter the stormwater as well as convey it. Using Tassajara Creek in Dublin, California, as a case study, we designed a low-maintenance vegetated strip that would be capable of filtering pollutants from runoff, even while conveying the expected Q100 flow. Zone 7 could adopt this design without changing any of its guidelines for building V-ditches. However, the new design is significantly wider than a concrete V-ditch, which could make it difficult to retrofit existing sites.

Stormwater Detention and Infiltration Designs for Two Sites Along the Los Angeles River / Kathryn Gaffney and Angie (Anchi) Mei
We propose installation of a detention basin in a small neighborhood (0.07 square miles) as a management technique to lower peak flows in the Los Angeles River and its tributaries by reducing urban and stormwater runoff. Reducing urban and stormwater runoff is a key factor in eventual improvements, such as removing concrete and planting native vegetation, that could be made to the Los Angeles River as part of the proposed Los Angeles River National Urban Wildlife Refuge (LARNUWR). Based on GIS data layers, county hydrology data, and on-site reconnaissance, we propose a design treatment that would help to reduce peak flows given a one-inch design rainfall. Our main goal is to determine the amount of space needed to capture the urban and stormwater runoff coming from a typical single-family-home neighborhood in the LARNUWR.

Steelhead Trout Habitat Assessment, Lower San Pablo Creek, Contra Costa County / Shannah Anderson and Lorraine Maldague
The San Pablo Creek Watershed is a large and geographically diverse stream located East of the San Francisco Bay. San Pablo Creek historically provided habitat for an abundant population of steelhead trout, a federally listed threatened species. However, in 1919, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) constructed a dam and reservoir on San Pablo Creek. Since the 1950’s, residents and regulators have noticed a decline in anadromous fish. Our study assesses San Pablo Creek’s current viability for anadromous fish, by examining the input of water from perennial tributaries of San Pablo Creek and the mainstem’s habitat characteristics. By analyzing flow patterns and features including pool-riffle sequences, embeddedness, and cover, we determined that San Pablo Creek provides adequate rearing habitat for steelhead trout, but limited spawning habitat.

Fall-Run Chinook Salmon Habitat Assessment: Lower Marsh Creek, Contra Costa County / Jessie Levine and Rosalyn Stewart
Although lower Marsh Creek, in eastern Contra Costa County, CA, is heavily impacted by human activities on adjacent and upstream lands, scientists and community members have observed fall-run Chinook salmon in the channel. A grade control structure four miles from the mouth of the creek prevents Chinook from migrating to a more natural, unchannelized upstream segment that may contain suitable spawning habitat. We assessed whether a 1.2-mile reach of Marsh Creek, upstream of the grade control dam, contains suitable spawning habitat to warrant removal of the dam. We determined (1) if framework gravel sizes are likely to be movable by spawning fish, (2) if gravel sizes are within identified spawning ranges for fall-run Chinook, (3) if fine sediment contents in gravels are low enough to permit successful incubation and emergence of fry,(4) if surface areas of potential spawning gravel bars are large enough for redd construction, (5) if the channel bed gradient is acceptable for spawning, (6) if water velocities during fall flows are suitable for spawning, and (7) if water depths during fall flows are sufficient for spawning. We performed pebble counts, measured channel depth and width in the study reach, evaluated historic streamflow data, and analyzed a previously completed long profile and cross-sections. Based on our analyses of substrate, gradient, and fall water velocity and depth, we conclude that this reach of lower Marsh Creek contains satisfactory habitat to support fall-run Chinook spawning in years with large fall storms. Based on these findings, we recommend removal of the grade control structure on lower Marsh Creek to allow salmon migration to the unchannelized section of lower Marsh Creek for spawning.

Preliminary Assessment of Steelhead Habitat in Sinbad Creek, Alameda County / Christy Herron, Mary Ann King, Kristen McDonald
Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) historically inhabited Alameda Creek and its tributaries, including Sinbad Creek. Currently the Alameda Creek Fisheries Restoration Working Group is working to restore steelhead habitat throughout the watershed by removing barriers to fish migration on the main stem of Alameda Creek. Once steelhead are able to migrate upstream past barriers on Alameda Creek, Sinbad creek may provide habitat for spawning and rearing. This study assesses the suitability of Sinbad Creek for steelhead based on three parameters: gravel, flow, and migration barriers. Representative stream reaches had gravel suitable for steelhead spawning, but Sinbad Creek’s flow regime is likely to only intermittently support steelhead migration during the November to April in-migration period. Low flows during dry seasons cause sections of the creek to dry up, potentially limiting Sinbad Creek’s suitability as year-round habitat for juveniles. Further, there are 11 potential steelhead migration barriers along the lower 4.5 miles of Sinbad Creek, including five concrete box culverts and five low check dams. Additional flow studies and more detailed analyses of each potential barrier would help planners decide whether or not to prioritize restoring Sinbad Creek for steelhead, as opposed to other parts of the Alameda Creek watershed.

Post Project Appraisal of Lower Ritchie Creek Dam Removal, Napa County / Jubilee Daniels and Laura Pagano

(Abstract not available.)

Post Project Evaluation of Vegetation Survival, Miller Creek, Marin County / Caitilin Pope-Daum and Jan Ting
We evaluated the survival of planted riparian vegetation within a restored reach of Miller Creek in Marin County, CA, and analyzed survey results to identify factors affecting tree survival. We surveyed three plots approximately 100 feet square within the restored reach. Of the three plots surveyed, the most downstream plot has the highest plant survival rates. The survival rates of tree species in the three plots, from upstream to downstream, were 35%, 43%, and 88%, respectively. Despite early irrigation, many of the trees planted in the two upstream plots have died, but both plots are slowly developing vegetative complexity, with volunteer shrubs filling in gaps and providing protection for new tree saplings. Our analysis of tree species survival by plant elevation, aspect, susceptibility to inundation, and soil types, indicated three likely important factors: location along the creek, aspect, and local geology and soil conditions. In future stream restoration projects, it may be cost-efficient to study the area’s soils and underlying geology to maximize plant survival rates. Alternately, a planting strategy that mimics natural succession would require more planning but might be more effective.

Post-project Monitoring of Wildcat Creek, North Richmond / Ashley Holt and Charles F. Battaglia
Following early settlement within the Wildcat Creek floodplain, reoccurring flooding drew attention to the need for flood control in the area. Over three decades later, a flood control and riparian restoration project was completed; however, the project design proved to be a failure, and lateral migration of the creek caused continued flooding within the community. Approximately twelve years later (2000) an improved channel design and restoration project, including a defined low-flow meandering channel, was completed. Since this time, flooding within the community has not occurred, and the channel geometry has been reasonably stable. We surveyed two cross-sections along the channel floodplain and compared channel geometry to recent and baseline surveys conducted following the original construction. Our results indicate a gradual buildup of sediment in the channel and its associated floodplain since the 2000 restoration project. Our current survey, however, shows the main channel has deepened, indicating a reversal from sediment accumulation to sediment removal and transport. We draw conclusions about the natural sustainability of the channel and discuss the implications for management and maintenance strategies.

Streambed Conditions Below Two Vineyards, Napa County / Paul Rogé
Napa County introduced an ordinance in 1991 which regulates development and agricultural activities on hillsides. The goal of this ordinance is to improve stream water quality. Although the ordinance recommends acceptable methods of erosion control, no monitoring has yet verified their effectiveness. Only in the past three years has limited monitoring begun by the Napa Resource Conservation District. They sample suspended sediment from two adjacent vineyard plots which use more common versus newer erosion-control agricultural techniques. Erin Lutrick, a UCB student, attempted to identify the effects of land clearing for vineyard development on streams. After the vineyard developer cleared his land, Erin conducted facies mapping and pebble counts before and after winter rains of 1999. She found that although more silt and sand may have been present in the stream draining the vineyard development after the winter storm, her undeveloped reference stream also increased in the amount of silt and sand. She therefore concluded that the stream was unaffected by development over one winter. I attempted to update Erin’s findings by replicating her stream survey. This proved to be quite a challenge. I cannot draw any significant conclusions regarding the effects that land use might have had on the stream due to inconsistencies in our surveys.

Influence of Large Woody Debris on Channel Form in Upper Scott Creek, Santa Cruz County / Luis Garcia and Rodrigo Orduña
We prepared this report to satisfy two objectives: 1) to observe and describe large woody debris in the channel of Scott Creek and its effect on sediment storage and conveyance, as this effect influences channel form and 2) to provide baseline data of Scott Creek for a long-term forest management plan for Lehi Park. Observations focused upon orientation of the large woody to the stream channel, and measurements of sediment demonstrated storage and conveyance as a result of the large woody debris orientation. The baseline data collected for Scott Creek are a longitudinal profile of the thalweg, water surface, and high water mark, and four cross sections. The baseline data in conjunction with regional hydrographs allowed us to estimate the return interval of the measured high flow, approximately 1.5 years. The observations of large woody debris contribute to recommendations for bank-side tree protection. And, the baseline data will become useful in subsequent surveys as a demonstration of change in stream profile over time.

Upland Groundwater Pumping and Stream Flow, San Jose Creek, Monterey County / Alexander Ford
Water is a limited resource in Monterey County. New developments are mandated by Federal, State, and County laws to prevent adverse effects on habitat of endangered species and county water supply. In 1996 residents approved a contentious county ballot measure permitting the development of Rancho San Carlos. This development is bordered to the north by the Carmel River and to the south by recently state-park-acquired San Jose Creek. Both rivers are known habitat of endangered Steelhead and Red-legged frogs. The Carmel River serves residents of Carmel and Monterey with drinking and commercial water. This research compares pre and post-development rainfall and stream runoff for watersheds near the development. Unusually low summer surface flows are observed after the year 2000 when groundwater pumping began. This indicates a possible connection between upland groundwater pumping and stream surface flow.

Investigation of Concrete Flood Control Channel at UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station / Courtney Davis and Patrick Nichols
Very little is known about the trapezoidal concrete channel draining into the marsh. This study began the baseline data collection necessary for understanding the dynamic system in order to properly design a restoration plan. Water quality parameters, flow dynamics and channel properties were investigated. The results imply that the channel is part of a thriving ecosystem that could be well suited for conversion to creek and riparian habitat. Future research of this channel prior to designing a restoration plan is recommended.

ABOUT THE CLASS: Restoration of Rivers and Streams (LA227)

Hydrology for Planners (Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning 222) has been offered annually since 1973, when Luna Leopold introduced the course to the Berkeley campus. This graduate-level course, taught by Associate Professor Matt Kondolf, presents an overview of relevant hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphic processes, to provide the planner, ecologist, architect, and environmental scientist with insight sufficient to coordinate with technical specialists in the field of hydrology. The course also reviews relevant regulations and policies, and presents case studies illustrating hydrologic principles and measurement methods. The course is not intended to duplicate more specialized courses offered in such fields as engineering hydrology, coastal engineering, or geology, but rather to provide an integrated overview. The course takes a process- and field-based approach to hydrology, and emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives. After eight field and laboratory exercises presenting methods in the field, the students undertake a substantial independent term project involving original research. All the term projects undergo peer and instructor review, revision, and are then added to the permanent collection of the UC Water Resources Collections and Archives. Most projects are also available on-line at http://repositories.cdlib.org/wrca/

Last modified: 5/26/2011 2:02 PM by S. Haren

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