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The Third Annual California Water Symposium

The Third Annual California Water Symposium

Sacramento River K Street, looking East, during the 1862 flood

Sacramento River K Street, looking East, during the 1862 flood

Saturday 6 May 2006
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.

SCHEDULE

8:00 Registration (Peet's coffee)

830  Student Research Presentations

  • Morphology and hydrology of two vernal pools in Madera County, California / Wendy Renz and Tanya Higgins
  • Flow through a restored compound channel, Tassajara Creek, Dublin / Andre Chan and Sarah Heard
  • Post-project evaluation of Tule Ponds in Fremont, California: integration of stormwater treatment and wetland restoration / Kevin Lunde and Adam Weinstein
  • Updated flood frequencies for the upper Klamath River with implications of recent canal failure for bypassed reach flows / Dan Fahey
  • Tennesse Hollow in the Presidio: post-construction hydrologic response and performance / Rune Storesund
1015 Break

1030  Student Research Presentations
  • Monitoring channel change on Sausal Creek restoration project, Oakland / Ted Grantham and Kate Tollefson
  • Multi-functional stormwater management opportunities on urban public school sites in the Napa River watershed / Jennifer Natali
  • Between Beach and Marsh: Possible Hydrologic Impacts of Land Use Change at a Waterfront Parking Lot on San Francisco Bay / Susan Moffat
1145  Panel discussion: Professionals from the SF Bay region and Washington DC discuss issues raised by presentations. (See panelist's bios below.)
1230 Reception

ABSTRACTS

Morphology and hydrology of two vernal pools in Madera County, California / Wendy Renz and Tanya Higgins
Vernal pools are unique ecosystems that are under great threat from urban and agricultural expansion. Many of the biological processes critical for successful construction and restoration of vernal pools, including those that allow fairy shrimp cysts to hatch, are not well understood. To further research on vernal pool functioning, we conducted a one-month study of two natural vernal pools on the Caltrans mitigation site in Madera County, California. We placed data-logging temperature sensors along the longest transect of each vernal pool; over three site visits we also collected water quality data (temperature by a second method, pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen) at these same points. In addition, we collected data on aquatic community, pool morphology and hydrology, and rainfall on the site. Although it is recognized that direct precipitation influences the morphological characteristics of vernal pools in general, we found these two individual vernal pools to be quite different in both their morphology and hydrology in response to precipitation. One pool increased five-fold in surface area and only gradually in depth, while the other pool increased 1.5-fold in depth while increasing then decreasing in surface area over the study period. We found that the two pools support different aquatic communities most likely based on these differences in habitat. Additionally, we found that a spatial temperature distribution existed in one vernal pool by analysis of variance (temperature sensors from second pool will be retrieved once pool dries). We expected a linear relationship between water quality parameters and depth. However, by regression analysis we found that position better explained variation in temperature and pH. Conductivity and dissolved oxygen showed no overall trends in regards to position or depth. The existence of microhabitats within a vernal pool may explain our findings of spatial temperature stratification and the stronger relationships between water chemistry variables and position (versus depth). There is ample support in the literature for microhabitats in lotic systems, whereas this is a relatively new finding for vernal pools and as such, warrants further study especially as it relates to the ecology of natural and mitigated vernal pools.

Flow through a restored compound channel, Tassajara Creek, Dublin / Andre Chan and Sarah Heard
In 1999, Alameda County completed the restoration of a 1-mile stretch of Tassajara Creek in Dublin, California. The project created a compound channel with a low-flow channel capacity of Q5 in the upper and middle reaches, Q2 in the lower reach, and a natural floodplain terrace along all reaches to accommodate the design-estimated 100-year flood of 5,200 cfs. Downstream of the restoration reach is a trapezoidal concrete channel. On December 30th and 31st of 2005, a 20-year storm with a cumulative rainfall of 3.56 inches passed over the Tassajara Creek watershed, generating flows that overtopped the low-flow banks of Tassajara Creek, providing an opportunity to assess flow capacity of the compound channel configuration. We conducted long profile and cross-section surveys along the entire restoration reach, and the first 100 feet of the concrete channel. Using the Manning Equation in a HEC-RAS steady flow model, we used the geometry of the concrete channel and the elevation of the high water marks to estimate the peak flow from the storm as 1,500 cfs. We then back-calculated the roughness coefficient (Manning’s "n") for each compound channel cross-section by matching model water surface elevations to observed elevations. We also compared the design 2-year and 5-year low flow channel water surface elevations to modeled water surface elevations using our calibrated roughness values. Finally, we compared the calculated flow capacity to the original design estimations, and we determined that the compound channel successfully accommodates the 100-year flood, although at one cross section with only 1 foot of freeboard.

Post-project evaluation of Tule Ponds in Fremont, California: integration of stormwater treatment and wetland restoration / Kevin Lunde and Adam Weinstein
Stormwater can result in both contaminated drinking water supplies and biological impacts to streams, estuaries, and coastal zones due to excess sediment, nutrients, pesticides, or heavy metals. Best management practices (BMPs) for stormwater control are implemented with greater frequency now that municipalities are required to have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit according to Clean Water Act revisions. After construction, however, follow-up assessments or evaluations of project performance are rarely conducted. We evaluated the effectiveness of the Tule Ponds in Fremont, a constructed permanent wetland designed to simultaneously treat urban runoff and provide wildlife habitat. Using survey measurements of the pond dimensions and elevations, wildlife observations, and interviews of the site manager, we analyzed the success of the original wetland design. While our findings indicate the ponds do not function exactly as intended, they still succeed in reaching overall intended objectives. The ponds do catch, retain, and thus treat stormwater, yet the banks are unstable and have eroded, and the system dries out almost every summer due to infiltration. Based on current BMP guidelines, the ponds are too deep, banks are too steep, and there is insufficient emergent vegetation. All these factors may limit the ability of the wetland to support aquatic wildlife and some may limit contaminant removal. Still, the site is frequented or inhabited by common birds (Canada geese, mallards and egrets), amphibians (bullfrogs and Pacific treefrogs), and insects (dragonflies and damselflies). We suggest design modifications for the ponds that would reduce maximum stormwater treatment capacity, but provide more aquatic vegetation and optimal wildlife habitat. In addition, because the site is not regularly accessible to the public, Tule Ponds may represent a missed opportunity for public education about urban ecology and stormwater management.

Updated flood frequencies for the upper Klamath River with implications of recent canal failure for bypassed reach flows / Dan Fahey
During the last two years, the upper Klamath River basin has experienced higher than normal winter and spring flows. In addition, a landslide breached a diversion canal downstream of the J.C. Boyle dam and caused secondary erosion and sedimentation in the "bypass" reach of the Klamath River. The peak flows and landslide may have influenced fish habitat and river geomorphology. I updated existing flood frequency analyses using new peak data for four gauges in the upper Klamath River basin. I determined that the new flood frequencies reduce the return interval for sediment mobility threshold flows at three sites, and increase the return interval of flows over the mobility threshold at two sites, suggesting that interpretations about sediment mobility in recent FERC relicensing studies and disruption of fish habitat in parts of the upper Klamath River basin may need to be revisited. In addition, I evaluated the effects of the December 2005 landslide that breached the canal feeding water to the JC Boyle power station. The landslide deposited sediment in the Klamath River and the closure of the canal resulted in increased flows in the river. The effects of the slide on fish habitats are expected to be minor because of the short duration of the canal closure and the high flows in the river since January 2006 that likely mobilized the landslide sediment.

Tennesse Hollow in the Presidio: post-construction hydrologic response and performance / Rune Storesund
Few site-specific studies have been completed to determine performance of river restoration projects with respect to hydrologic design parameters. I assessed hydrologic performance of the Tennesse Hollow restoration project by comparing current site conditions with assumed design characteristics derived from regional design recommendations and guidelines to determine if the use of regional approximations lead to overestimating or underestimating the actual precipitation and associated stream discharge used in the design. I analyzed precipitation data, geomorphic condition, hydrology, and limited water quality data. The focus of my study was to determine the site-specific mean annual rainfall, and the 2-, 10-, and 100-year 1-hour rainfall intensities. From this analysis, I determined that significant variations exist between the site-specific and regional approximation-based hydrology parameters used in the design of this project.

Monitoring channel change on Sausal Creek restoration project, Oakland / Ted Grantham and Kate Tollefson
Sausal Creek drains an urban watershed in the City of Oakland, California. In 2001, a portion of the creek was restored within Dimond Canyon, in part to create a stable channel profile, control erosion, and limit flood damage. Subsequent monitoring efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the restoration project in meeting these objectives have been limited by inconsistent monitoring locations and methods. In this study, we established permanent cross-section markers along the restoration project to allow for repeatable future monitoring at the site, and determined how channel morphology has changed within the creek since the 2001 as-built surveys and the fall 2005 post-project appraisal. Overall, channel morphology did not change significantly since project implementation. However, we documented some channel scouring which has decreased bed elevations and widened the channel along portions of the restored reach.

Multi-functional stormwater management opportunities on urban public school sites in the Napa River watershed / Jennifer Natali
[abstract not available]

Between Beach and Marsh: Possible Hydrologic Impacts of Land Use Change at a Waterfront Parking Lot on San Francisco Bay / Susan Moffat
The eastern shore of San Francisco Bay has been much altered by landfill and upstream urbanization. Through the interaction of natural and anthropogenic processes, the stretch of East Bay shoreline immediately east of the Golden Gate has evolved a variety of habitats including beach, rocky shore, tidepools, mudflats, salt marsh, and upland. Ongoing alterations to the human-made environment have affected evolving natural systems at this site. My study site at the Albany shoreline includes Albany Beach, a new beach that has accumulated over the past 65 years due to landfill which has captured the drift of bay sand. The beach is adjacent to a 35-acre parking lot, much of which drains into the beach through a seasonal channel. On the eastern edge of the parking lot is a salt marsh that has developed at the mouth of Codornices Creek. There are currently proposals to develop the parking lot into either a park or a mixed use retail/residential development. Compared to existing conditions, the development of park land at the site could reduce runoff by 64%, and could increase the portion of runoff draining to the marsh rather than to the beach. The mixed-use development could reduce runoff to the beach and salt marsh by 32%, but might limit the expansion of the beach dunes and increase pollutant flow to the marsh. Any plans for the site should take into account the geomorphic changes that could be caused by changes in the quantity and quality of runoff.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Ron Conner is an economist and policy analyst at the Institute for Water Resources, the water think tank of the U S Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, where he supervises an interdisciplinary group in modeling and policy analysis for the Corps Civil Works mission. Mr. Conner developed the CorpsFlood Risk Management Initiative, which better integrates Corps programs with other agencies at federal, state, and local levels. He is a Corps representative to the Levee Policy Coordinating Committee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Map Modernization Program. Mr. Conner began his governmental career in the Corps Los Angeles District office as a project economist, where he for 11 years including 5 years as Chief of the Economic and Social Analysis Branch. In 1995 he transferred to Planning Division, Headquarters, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, DC as a Senior Economist. In 2001, he moved to the Emergency Management Branch as an Emergency Response Program Manager. Mr. Conner holds a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration from the University of La Verne, and has earned numerous awards and citations for economic and policy analysis, program management and response to major disasters.

John Andrew
is Chief of Special Planning Projects for the Department of Water Resources (DWR) in California. Prior to this position, John served as the Drinking Water Quality Program Manager and Southern California Regional Coordinator for the California Bay-Delta Authority, and before that, Mr. Andrew was the Chief of Fish Facilities for DWR's Environmental Services Office. He holds degrees in civil engineering and public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dick Carlile
is a registered Civil Engineer, recently retired from his firm Carlile-Macy in Santa Rosa, a multi-disciplined firm of civil engineers, urban planners, landscape architects and surveyors. Among Dick’s best-known projects are the Prince Memorial Greenway, a very successful urban stream restoration project along Santa Rosa Creek, Sea Ranch, and Fountaingrove Ranch. Born in Berkeley, he graduated from Chico State in Civil Engineering, and started his career as design engineer for Sonoma Co. Public Works for four years before moving to private practice in land planning and civil engineering for 40 years.

Drew Goetting
is a principal of the Restoration Design Group, an urban watershed project planning and implementation firm in Oakland, whose clients include local governments, flood control districts, and non-profit organizations. Over the past decade, Drew has designed numerous stream restoration projects in the San Francisco Bay region, including the Sausal Creek project, about which one of the student teams reports in the symposium.

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 4:42 PM by S. Haren

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