Month: November 2018

Documentary Film Night, Blue Heart

DOCUMENTARY FILM NIGHT | BLUE HEART

29 November 2018, 630p-800p

World Affairs Auditorium 312 Sutter Street, Suite 200 San Francisco, CA

In the Balkans, 91% of the more than 3000 proposed dam projects involve small hydropower diversion dams. These dams reroute water, letting rivers run dry and causing irreversible damage to the watershed, wildlife and local communities. What’s more, nearly $870 million has been poured into dam construction in the Balkan region, with local governments garnering cash from these mammoth building projects, without actually delivering clean energy. The film “Blue Heart” documents these impacts and highlights efforts to stop dam construction.

Focusing on the largest undammed river in Europe—Albania’s Vjosa— “Blue Heart” tells the story of the battle to save the endangered Balkan lynx in Macedonia, and the women of Kruščica, a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where a lengthy protest to save the community’s only source of fresh water has been underway. The film follows some of the amazing activists fighting displacement by proposed hydropower projects, and explores what can be done to preserve the environment.

Following the screening, Britton Caillouette, filmmaker of “Blue Heart, and Matt Kondolf, Director of UC Berkeley’s River Lab, will talk about the ways that hydro dams affect the rivers, the environment, and the people who live nearby.

To sign the Blue Heart petition, visit https://blueheart.patagonia.com/take-action. To learn more about grassroots organizations and activists working to protect waterways and the environment in the Bay Area, visit Patagonia Action Works. The film is presented in partnership with  Patagonia.

 

The 14th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium

Saturday 8 December 2018, 9a-330p, Rm 112 Wurster Hall, UC Berkeley

This year’s Berkeley River Restoration Symposium features a keynote talk Managing river sediment in extreme conditions: lessons for California by Professor Hsiao-Wen Wang (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan) followed by student research talks covering a wide range of restoration-related topics.  The morning will feature research projects on rural stream systems, including post-project appraisal of a Sierra Nevada meadow restoration, analysis of alternatives for floodplain restoration at the confluence of Redwood and Prairie Creeks, the use of live wood in river restoration, hydro-geomorphic drivers of coho salmon outmigration in Russian River tributaries, and an initial assessment of Curry Creek, Mount Diablo. The afternoon talks focus on smaller urban streams, including post-project appraisals of Arroyo Viejo, Santa Rosa, and Codornices Creeks, planning for San Anselmo Creek in Creek Park and Cerrito Creek in Blake Garden.  Panelists (including Lisa Hunt, Hsiao-Wen Wang, Rod Wittler, Tami Church, and Tim Pine) will comment on themes raised in the student research.

For further information, please see the symposium website.

Mapping Connected Impervious Areas in Urban Watersheds

Quantity of impervious surfaces such as buildings, roads, and parking lots, are often used as an indicator of the degree of urbanization and environmental quality in urban areas. Watersheds with high impervious surface coverage experience higher peak flows, decreased infiltration and recharge, and reduced baseflows in streams (Leopold, 1968). This causes streambeds to scour, resulting in loss and degradation of important ecological habitat in-stream and in riparian zones (Gillies, Brim Box, Symanzik, & Rodemaker, 2003).

However, the spatial distribution and connectivity of impervious surfaces as well as the characteristics of the area (e.g., soil conditions, slopes, precipitation patterns) also effect the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff (Jacobson, 2011). In effect, a landscape’s impervious area may be divided into two categories: those that drain to a pervious surface, and those that drain directly to the stormwater or stream network. Because of their direct contribution to storm flows, these directly connected impervious areas are reported to be a better indicator of hydrologic response, biologic integrity, stream alteration, and water quality than total impervious area. Despite this fact, few studies have developed simple and transferable methods for identifying these connected impervious areas. Better identification of impervious surfaces that contribute to stream degradation and alteration can then be directly linked to management actions, such as stormwater fees, tradable stormwater credits, or strategic stormwater management (Roy & Shuster, 2009).

This year, River Lab’s Anneliese  Sytsma is working with ‘Reinventing The Nations Urban Water Infrastructure‘  (ReNUWIt) – an interdisciplinary, multi-institution engineering research center funded by NSF  – to develop a simple and transferable methods of identifying these directly connected impervious areas and evaluate their role in reducing peak flows in urban areas. To do this, she is using combination of remote sensing, geospatial analysis in GIS, hydrologic analysis in ArcHydro, field survey, and stormwater modeling. She is testing her model in the Petaluma River Watershed, in Sonoma County, California.

 

Sources:

Gillies, R. R., Brim Box, J., Symanzik, J., & Rodemaker, E. J. (2003). Effects of urbanization on the aquatic fauna of the Line Creek watershed, Atlanta—a satellite perspective. Remote Sensing of Environment, 86(3), 411–422. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00082-8

Jacobson, C. R. (2011). Identification and quantification of the hydrological impacts of imperviousness in urban catchments: A review. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(6), 1438–1448. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.01.018

Leopold, L. B. (1968). Hydrology for urban land planning: A guidebook on the hydrologic effects of urban land use.

Roy, A. H., & Shuster, W. D. (2009). Assessing impervious surface connectivity and applications for watershed management. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 45(1), 198–209.

The 14th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium

Saturday 8 December 2018, 9a-330p, Rm 112 Wurster Hall, UC Berkeley

This year’s Berkeley River Restoration Symposium features a keynote talk Managing river sediment in extreme conditions: lessons for California by Professor Hsiao-Wen Wang (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan) followed by student research talks covering a wide range of restoration-related topics.  The morning will feature research projects on rural stream systems, including post-project appraisal of a Sierra Nevada meadow restoration, analysis of alternatives for floodplain restoration at the confluence of Redwood and Prairie Creeks, the use of live wood in river restoration, hydro-geomorphic drivers of coho salmon outmigration in Russian River tributaries, and an initial assessment of Curry Creek, Mount Diablo. The afternoon talks focus on smaller urban streams, including post-project appraisals of Arroyo Viejo, Santa Rosa, and Codornices Creeks, planning for San Anselmo Creek in Creek Park and Cerrito Creek in Blake Garden.  Panelists (including Lisa Hunt, Hsiao-Wen Wang, Rod Wittler, Tami Church, and Tim Pine) will comment on themes raised in the student research.

For further information, please see the symposium website. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Registration | Please register by Friday 12/07 so we can supply sufficient programs and coffee!