Author: edit_riverlab

NEW PUBLICATION: HYDROLOGICAL CONNECTIVITY OF IMPERVIOUS SURFACES

We are excited to share a new Riverlab article, linked here, published this month in the Journal of Hydrology. This work advances current understanding of the controls on hydrological connectivity of impervious surfaces to downstream channels and storm-sewer networks and presents new methods of their estimation.

Connected impervious areas – those impervious surfaces that contribute directly to runoff in a storm network or stream – are a better indicator of hydrologic response, stream alteration, and water quality than total impervious area. Most methods for quantifying connected impervious areas require major assumptions regarding the definition of ‘connection’, potentially over-simplifying the role of variable climates, slope gradients, soils conditions, and heterogeneous flow paths on impervious surface connectivity.

In this study, we present a new metric, hydrologically connected impervious areas (HCIA), to refer to spatially explicit (mapped) estimates of the proportion of impervious surfaces that are hydrologically connected to the storm sewer system or stream network. HCIA is comprised of impervious surfaces that contribute directly to the storm-sewer network and are physically connected, Aphys, or those that contribute indirectly and are therefore variably connected (Avar) (see Figure 1). The degree to which Avar is “hydrologically connected” is represented with a coefficient, ϕvar, that ranges between 0 and 1, with 0 representing full connectivity (i.e. all runoff infiltrates downslope), and 1 representing no connectivity (i.e. no runoff infiltrates downslope).

Figure 1. Conceptual model of impervious surface categories: directly or physically connected (Aphys) and variably connected (Avar) (impervious that drains to pervious). The hydrological connectivity Aphys and Avar are given by ϕphys and ϕvar respectively.

Using a combination of hydrologic modeling in the PySWMM, a python interface for the EPA’s Stormwater Management Model, and machine-learning regression tree analysis, we evaluate the controls on ϕvar across varing soil types, slopes, rainfall scenarios, antecedent soil moisture conditions, as well as amounts of impervious and pervious areas. Figure 6 shows that of the factors tested, soil texture (panel A), fraction of downslope pervious area ϕperv (panel B), soil moisture (panel C), and precipitation (panel D) are sensitive, while total area (panel D), width of impervious area (panel F), and slope (panel G) are insensitive parameters.

Figure 6. Sensitivity of ϕvar to saturated soil texture and saturated hydraulic conductivity Ks (panel A), pervious fraction ϕperv (B), antecedent soil moisture conditions ASM (SAT = saturated, FC = field capacity, WP = wilting point) (C), total area A (D), precipitation depth P (E), width W (F), and slope S (%) (G).

To assist with dissemination of these methods in practice, we apply the regression tree in a geospatial tool for estimation of HCIA in ungauged urban catchments. We test the tool in a case study to an urban sewershed in Colorado, and find that the contribution of Avar to HCIA (compared to the contribution of Aphys) varied across the precipitation and soil moisture conditions. Avar contribution to HCIA was low at low precipitation depths and increased rapidly with increasing precipitation and initial soil moisture conditions (see Figure 9).

Overall, our results suggest that, for catchments consisting of highly impermeable soils, Avar contributes to HCIA such that HCIA approaches the total impervious area, but for catchments with highly permeable soils, Avar does not contribute significantly to HCIA, and thus the physically connected impervious area ( Aphys) could be used as a suitable surrogate for HCIA. In between these two extremes, however, lies a wide range of conditions that call for detailed and spatially explicit estimates of Avar connectivity.

References Cited

Sytsma, A., Bell, C., Eisenstein, W., Hogue, T., & Kondolf, G. M. (2020). A geospatial approach for estimating hydrological connectivity of impervious surfaces. Journal of Hydrology, 591, 125545. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.125545 >>link to paper

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS – 14TH ANNUAL RIVER RESTORATION SYMPOSIUM

What’s Past is Present: A Re-Evaluation of Cerrito Creek

Matthew Sasaki, Mingyao Wang, Thea Yang

 

Post-Project Appraisal of Arroyo Viejo Improvement Project, Oakland, Californi

Jonathan McCall, Eric Garcia, Jill Dressler

 

Case Study: Pond and Plug Restoration at the Perazzo Meadows in the Northern Sierra Nevadas

Berenice Gonzalez, Daria Kieffer, Christopher Kingsley, Beatriz Stambuk-Torres, Erina Szeto

 

Post-Project Appraisal of Santa Rosa Creek Restoration

Charlie Yue, Elizabeth Hurley, Elyssa Lawrence, Zhiyao Shu

 

The Social Life of a Creek San Anselmo Creek Park Redesign

Yuling Chen, Arturo Fuentes-Ortiz, Celina Gu, Chenny Wang

 

Floodplain Restoration at the Old Orick Mill Site

Chandra Vogt, Eiji Jimbo, Jason Lin, Daniela Corvillon

 

Geomorphic and Hydraulic Controls on Coho Salmon Outmigration in the Russian River Watershed, California

Brian Kastl, Lukas Winklerprins, Kyle Leathers, Zack Dinh, and Shelby Witherby

 

Persistence and Effectiveness of Livewood as Large Wood in River Restoration

Danielle Charleston, Melissa Hassler, Kelsey Wilson

Student Presentations and Publications – 15th Annual River Restoration Symposium

Evaluating the effectiveness of restored side channel habitat, Lagunitas Creek
Chris Williams, Stephanie Clarke, Rachael Ryan, Jessie Moravek

Carbon emissions of a conventional restoration project vs a river’s restorative power
Timur Maraghe, Angadpreet Brar, Natan Johnson Lennon

Comparing Vermont stream corridors with Washington State’s channel migration zones
Will Pitkin

Urban river restoration on the Truckee: social vs ecological
Spencer Lacy, Faisal Ashraf, Gurjot Kohli, Yitao Li, James Hansen

Baxter Creek Gateway Park Restoration: a post-project appraisal
Yiwen Chen, Yuanshuo Pi

Cerrito Creek within Blake Garden: Opportunities for restoration
Moyan Chen, Nery Barrera Lopez, Tanner Howe, Sara Mahmoud, Tim Cole

Restoring Process in Rivers: Results from the 15th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium at UC Berkeley

While the US was arguably more active in river restoration in the 1980s, most of the projects now undertaken in the US are still form-based attempts to create idealized features.  In many cases, these artificial constructions are not sustained by current, altered river processes.  In the EU, by contrast, many projects explicitly aim to restore process, even when this means allowing a ‘messy’ river to develop.

How can we restore true geomorphic and ecological processes in rivers?  This question was addressed in the 15th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium (7 December 2019), in keynote talks by Hervé Piégay of CNRS (the French national research agency) and University of Lyon, and Damion Ciotti of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Piégay’s talk, Revitalizing rivers: learning from a few European case studies, summarized some of the key lessons learned from recent restoration efforts in the EU.  Despite more projects in the US now claiming to be ‘process based’, real restoration of process is rare. How can we distinguish true process-based restoration projects?  Damion Ciotti’s talk, ‘Process-based design criteria for ecological restoration’ presented four distinct attributes of true process-based restoration, along with a detailed illustration of the application of these criteria to a restoration project in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

In addition to these keynote talks, graduate students in the River Restoration course presented their independent research projects, including a comparison of a conventional salmon spawning habitat restoration project heavily dependent on external energy sources (diesel fuel) with the energy exerted on the ‘restored’ reach by a natural flood; an evaluation of a side-channel restoration for salmon on Lagunitas Creek; the Vermont and Washington State programs to set aside river corridors; and post-project appraisals of river restoration projects on the Truckee River, Reno, and Cerrito and Baxter Creeks in the San Francisco Bay region.  Panels of experienced practitioners and researchers provided perspective on themes arising in the presentations.  Click here to see the papers summarizing the graduate student research projects.

The symposium is presented annually by the UC Berkeley Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, and the Institute of International Studies Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar Water Management: Past and Future Adaptation.

Keynote Speaker Bios

Hervé Piégay is research director at the National Center of Scientific Research, at the laboratory Environnement, Ville, Societe, based at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Lyon (France). His Ph.D. (1995) documented interactions between riparian vegetation and channel geomorphology. His research is focused on river management, planning and restoration, contemporary history of rivers and their catchments, analyzing human controls on environmental change, floodplain and former channel sedimentation, sediment transport, and budgeting.  His work involves integrated sciences, with a strong emphasis on methodological frameworks and innovative tools using tracking techniques, GIS and remote sensing. He frequently works with practitioners to provide insights for river management, planning, and restoration.

Damion Ciotti is a Restoration Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Auburn California. He has over 10 years of experience in design and implementation of stream, river, and wetland restoration in the Sierra, Cascades, Great Basin and Appalachia. Major projects include restoration of stream delta systems in the upper Klamath Basin and stream and floodplain reconnections in the Sierra and Cascades. He is interested in testing applications of ecological science and theory to restoration practice. He also coordinates the Tribal Grants Program for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Damion has an MS in Environmental Science from Oregon State University and a BS in Soil Science from Penn State and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay.

About the Class

Restoration of Rivers and Streams (Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning 227) is taught by Professor Matt Kondolf.  Offered annually since 1992, it is the longest-running course devoted to river restoration at a major research university. This graduate-level course emphasizes understanding of underlying goals and assumptions of restoration, and integration of science into restoration planning and design. Students review restoration plans and evaluate completed projects. In addition to lectures and discussions by the instructor, students, and an extraordinary set of guest lecturers drawn from the active restoration community, the principal course requirement is an independent term project involving original research and a presentation at this Symposium.

 

 

Restoring river habitats below dams through gravel augmentation and bank erosion

Building on recent research on the Rhine River between France and Germany, a research team based in Strasbourg has published a review of scientific literature on projects to restore channel complexity downstream of dams.  While dam removal has attracted enormous attention in recent years, with notable successes on the Elwha River, the reality is that most dams are here to stay and most river reaches in the developed world are downstream of dams.  As these dams capture sediment, they create conditions of sediment deficit in many river reaches downstream. This review found relatively few studies documenting projects to restore sediment supply via gravel augmentation and fewer still via restoration of channel erosion processes below dams (mostly examples from northern Europe).  Biological monitoring shows benefits from these projects, whose increasing popularity reflects growing interest in restoration of fluvial process, and an evolving perspective towards adaptive or coupling management approaches to promote the recovery of natural processes in rivers below many dams and thus to improve ecological response.  

 

The paper, Restoring fluvial forms and processes by gravel augmentation or bank erosion below dams: A systematic review of ecological responses, by Cybil Staentzel et al. is available for free download here until 01 February 2020.

Executive Director – Mattole Restoration Council

The Mattole Restoration Council is a 36 year-old watershed restoration non-profit on the Lost Coast of Northern California, with a million dollar plus annual budget and a regular staff of nine.  We are a membership organization with an elected board of directors that undertakes landscape-scale watershed restoration and rehabilitation in the Mattole watershed and adjacent areas, and promotes a stewardship land ethic.  For more information about our programs, please visit www.mattole.org.

Job responsibilities

  • Works with the board of directors to execute the mission and long-term strategic goals;
  • Oversees and manages 9 regular staff and 60 seasonal employees;
  • Leads fundraising efforts and works with the program staff to develop projects and submit grant proposals to various federal and state agencies and foundations;
  • Directs the implementation of organizational policies and the strategic plan;
  • Acts as liaison to the community, partner groups, agencies, and other stakeholders;
  • Oversees fiscal management.

Desired Qualifications

  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Experience with fundraising and developing federal and state grant proposals;
  • Experience with managing federal and state contracts;
  • Ability to establish dynamic relationships with a broad base of stakeholders;
  • Experience with non-profit fiscal and personnel management;
  • Commitment to community based watershed restoration;
  • A background in environmental science/biology/ecology;
  • Familiarity with watershed restoration strategies and methods;
  • Strong sense of self-direction and self-organization;

The position is full to half time (negotiable), and reports to the board of directors.  Compensation is commensurate with experience, and includes health, vacation, training and retirement benefits. The position is based in the Petrolia office, with travel throughout the watershed and Northern California. A valid driver’s license and functioning personal vehicle are required.

To Apply:  Email cover letter, resume/CV and three references to John Williams, jgwill@frontiernet.net.  For more information, call John at 707 629 3265.

This position is open until filled; interviews begin on January 13, 2020.

Reservoir sedimentation and what to do about it.

In June 2019, Reservoir Sediment Management: Building a Legacy of Sustainable Water Storage Reservoirs was released by the National Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainability Team (NRSST), a consortium of engineers and scientists from federal agencies, consulting firms and universities, including UC-Berkeley’s RiverLab, studying the impacts of sediment on the nation’s water supply.

 

This paper outlines the origins and legacy of reservoir sedimentation, where sediment being transported by a river begins collecting behind a dam. While sediment transport is of great benefit to riverine ecologies, the trapping of sediment means decreased water storage capacity in dams, greater flood risk, and reduction in hydropower functions.

Additionally, the paper proposes the following management strategies for mitigating further sedimentation and dealing with existing sediment:

  • Reduce sediment yield entering the reservoir by trapping more upstream;
  • Move sediments away or through reservoirs;
  • Flush or dredge existing sediment deposits;
  • Adapt to and plan for reduced storage volume in the future. (Randle, 2019)

 

Read the full paper by clicking here

 

Tim Randle of the NRSST and Manager of the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group at the Bureau of Reclamation was featured in H2O Radio’s recent story “Damned from the Start” discussing the reservoir sedimentation as it applies to the flooding of the Niobara River behind the Gavins Point Dam in Nebraska.

 

Listen to the full story here

Restoring Process in Rivers: 15th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium, 7 December, UC Berkeley

How can we restore true geomorphic and ecological processes in rivers?  You are invited to the 15th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium, Saturday 7 December 2019, when these questions will be addressed by keynote speakers Hervé Piégay and Damion Ciotti.  

Keynote Presentations

While the US was arguably more active in river restoration in the 1980s, most of the projects now undertaken in the US are still form-based attempts to create idealized features, which may not be sustained by current, altered river processes.  In the EU, by contrast, many projects explicitly aim to restore process, even when this means allowing a ‘messy’ river to develop.  Piégay’s talk, ‘Revitalizing rivers: learning from the European experience?’ summarizes some of the key lessons learned from recent restoration efforts in the EU.

Despite more projects now claiming to be process based, real restoration of process is rare. How can we distinguish true process-based restoration projects? Damion Ciotti’s talk, ‘Process-based design criteria for ecological restoration’ presents four distinct attributes of true process-based restoration, along with a detailed illustration of the application of these criteria to a restoration project in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada

Keynote Speakers

Hervé Piégay is research director at the National Center of Scientific Research, at the laboratory Environnement, Ville, Societe, based at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Lyon (France). His PhD (1995) documented interactions between riparian vegetation and channel geomorphology. His research is focused on river management, planning and restoration, contemporary history of rivers and their catchments, analyzing human controls on environmental change, floodplain and former channel sedimentation, sediment transport and budgeting.  His work involves integrated sciences, with a strong emphasis on methodological frameworks and innovative tools using tracking techniques, GIS and remote sensing. He frequently works with practitioners to provide insights for river management, planning and restoration.

Damion Ciotti is a Restoration Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Auburn California. He has over 10 years of experience in design and implementation of stream, river, and wetland restoration in the Sierra, Cascades, Great Basin and Appalachia. Major projects include restoration of stream delta systems in the upper Klamath Basin and stream and floodplain reconnections in the Sierra and Cascades. He is interested in testing applications of ecological science and theory to restoration practice. He also coordinates the Tribal Grants Program for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Damion has an MS in Environmental Science from Oregon State University and a BS in Soil Science from Penn State and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay.

Panelists

Daniela Corvillon is an environmental planner and UC Berkeley grad focusing on design and restoration of natural ecological functions at the interface of human and wild space. At John Northmore Roberts & Associates (Berkeley), she plans, designs, & manages various-scale projects that integrate human uses into natural areas, and restore natural functions on urban environment, working with the National Park Service, NGOs, cities, and private clients.  Daniela continues to develop and promote integrated solutions to environmental and social problems in marginal high-need areas of Chile and Cuba, including a wastewater wetland and river restoration project in Palma Soriano, Cuba.

Mia von Docto works as a Conservation Hydrologist for Trout Unlimited. Her work focuses on coastal hydrology, ecological flow thresholds, conservation planning, coho salmon and steelhead trout recovery and translating findings into recovery prioritization actions and regional polices. She specializes in using a combination of field-based data, numerical modeling and geospatial tools to characterize hydrologic process, land-use and human water needs. 

Mike Limm is a Professor of Biological Science at Holy Names University.  He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in aquatic ecology.  His research focuses on hydrologic and hydraulic controls of food webs, carbon and nutrient pathways, and the influence of food web composition on ecosystem processes, conducting research in environments including the northern California Coast Range and Sierra Nevada. 

Mike Napolitano is an engineering geologist with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.  He has been instrumental in supporting and guiding restoration efforts along the Napa River and its tributaries. 

Zan Rubin is a Senior Geomorphologist at Balance Hydrologics in Berkeley where he studies of sediment transport, water quality, channel evolution, and restoration effectiveness.  He designs stream and wetland restoration projects, with several active projects on planning resilient infrastructure-river crossings. He received his Ph.D. in 2015 with Professor Kondolf with several research projects including the cumulative impacts of hydropower development in the Mekong basin and evaluating the effectiveness of riparian restoration along the lower Colorado River. 

Susan Schwartz graduated from UC Berkeley in 1965. She was a newspaper reporter and editor in Fairbanks (AK), Seattle, Akron, and Miami, taught science writing, and wrote three minor guides on natural history before returning to Berkeley to raise a family. She became involved with Friends of Five Creeks and has co-headed or headed the all-volunteer group for 20 years. Friends of Five Creeks works with urban nature in many ways, including a lecture series, walks, other events, publications, interpretive signs, mapping and monitoring, and seeking to influence government. Most of its effort is hands-on, generally in areas neglected or abandoned by public agencies, including after previous “restorations.” 

Graduate Student Presentations

Graduate student research presentations include a comparison of a conventional river restoration project heavily dependent on external energy sources (diesel fuel) with the energy exerted on the ‘restored’ reach by a natural flood; evaluation of a side-channel restoration for salmon on Lagunitas Creek; the Vermont and Washington State programs to set aside river corridors; and post-project appraisals of river restoration projects on the Truckee River, Reno, and Cerrito and Baxter Creeks in the San Francisco Bay region.  A panel of experienced practitioners and researchers provides perspective on themes arising in the presentations.

Schedule

This symposium is open to the public without charge. Please pre-register here. The symposium is sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, and the Institute of International Studies Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar Water Management: Past and Future Adaptation.

ReNUWIt Research Spotlight

For the past year, RiverLab’s Anneliese Sytsma has been working with Engineering Research Center ReNUWIt – Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure – on her PhD dissertation research. This month, ReNUWIt highlighted her research on ‘connected impervious surfaces’ on the ReNUWIt website- see here. Anneliese is working on the manuscript now and hopes to publish before the end of the year.

Connected or unconnected? A new method for estimating connectivity of impervious surfaces across variable soils, slopes, and rainfall scenarios

Accurate methods to predict impervious surface connectivity are needed to improve hydrologic modeling and efficient siting of distributed stormwater technologies. ReNUWIt researchers are developing a new method for estimating impervious surface connectivity across different soil types, slopes, rainfall scenarios and landcover parameters. The outcomes of this research may be used as hydrologic model inputs and to inform more efficient distributed stormwater control siting across heterogeneous urban landscapes.

SF Bay Regional Water Board | Environmental Scientist

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board has an opening for an Environmental Scientist in the Watershed Management Division. The position is located at 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612. The position will play a key role in the Region’s municipal stormwater program team, coordinating implementation of the statewide small and non-traditional municipal urban stormwater permit, and will permit of creek and wetland fill projects, including projects in the Bay margin, among key tasks.

See full job posting here.

Applications are due on or before November 22.