Hydrologic & Hydraulic Modeling, Analysis, & Gauging
Client: City of St. Helena
Waterways staff worked with the City of St. Helena and a team of consultants to design, permit, and construct a multi-objective flood control and habitat restoration project, The project, constructed in 2009 and 2010, provides 100-year flood protection for residential properties along the Napa River, restores important floodplain and aquatic habitat, and improves public access. Specific elements of the project include a geomorphically-based floodplain terrace and associated shoreline restoration involving removal of an existing gabion and rip-rap bank protection structures and replacement with a natural point bar shoreline configuration, bioengineered bank stabilization structures, FEMA certified levee setbacks and floodwall construction, relocation of homes from the floodplain, and approximately 2,500 ft of pedestrian trails with interpretive signage. Design elements were incorporated into project to enhance habitat for a variety of species including salmon and steelhead, river otter, California red-legged frog, and freshwater shrimp.
Client: Clackamas County, Water Environment Services
Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES) is one of the agencies responsible for wastewater and stormwater management in the greater Portland metro area. To better understand the effects of management activities on watershed health and the status of aquatic resources in the district, WES contracted with Waterways to develop monitoring methods and carry out monitoring of aquatic resource and physical habitat conditions in its management region, which consists of small and medium sized tributaries in the lower Willamette, Clackamas, and Tualatin Rivers, in northern Clackamas County, OR. In close cooperation with WES, Waterways led the development of geomorphic monitoring approaches, site selection, establishment of monumented cross sections and initial monitoring of 25 to 30 stream reaches in 2009. Each monitoring event includes long profile and cross section surveys, bulk bed material sampling, pebble counts, large wood inventory, measurements of pool size and frequency, documentation of active bank erosion, and general geomorphic observations. These data are complimented with macroinvertebrate population analysis of the same reaches by Mike Cole (Cole Ecological), a regional expert in stream macroinvertebrates. WES retained Waterways to lead monitoring events in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2017.
Client: Clean Water Services (CWS), Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL)
Waterways assisted Clean Water Services and Department of State Lands in the planning and design of a 20 acre mitigation bank in the Tualatin River Watershed to provide wetland, temperature, and salmon credits. In addition to providing purchasable credits, the project simultaneously tested a function-based accounting system developed by the Willamette Partnership’s Counting on the Environment program (http://www.willamettepartnership.org). This program was developed with the help of public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to create a shared accounting system for quantifying impacts and benefits to ecosystem services for application to ecosystem markets. The Partnership has completed a test version for water temperature, wetlands, salmonid habitat, and upland prairie that was applied to pilot projects. Half Mile Lane was one of the pilot projects that tested three of these services, and was the first pilot site that resulted in real-world transactions. The project tested not only the ecosystem credit calculator, but also the sequence of developing, selling and buying ecosystem credits.
Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This “Working Lands” project balances habitat improvement with improving or maintaining existing agricultural uses in a 300-acre sheep and cattle ranch on the tidal floodplain along the Coquille River in coastal Oregon. Conversion to pastureland at the site began in the early 1900s with the clearing of native forest, construction of levees and linear drainage ditches, and installation of tidegates, which were in disrepair and prevented active tidal flows and fish access to critical vegetated floodplain habitat. Waterways was contracted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Coquille Watershed Association to support USFWS, ODFW, and the Coquille Watershed Association to design, permit, and implement the project. The project area is privately owned by a local family and will continue to function as a ranching operation following project completion. The project involves excavating new tidal channels, filling drainage ditches, installing large wood, re-establishing fish access to the floodplain, and building two large concrete box culverts with muted tidal regulator (MTR) controlled tide gates to allow managed tidal flows.
Client: Town of Truckee
Over the past 150 years, Trout Creek, a tributary to the Truckee River, has been impacted by development of the downtown, the railroad, and other land uses. These impacts have resulted in channelization and realignmentof Trout Creek, upsetting natural channel processes such as bed load movement, habitat creation, hydrology, and wildlife corridors through loss of riparian habitat. Despite past efforts to “control” Trout Creek, flooding has remained a significant problem. In addition, the biological and aesthetic value of the channel was degraded.
Client: RCD of Santa Cruz
A watershed assessment prepared for the East Branch of Soquel Creek identified limiting factors for steelhead and coho production which included high sediment loads, lack of pools, low summer base flows, and high water temperatures. In 2013, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County contracted with Waterways to prepare a feasibility analysis and engineered designs for biomechanical bank stabilization of a large eroding cutbank and the creation of habitat enhancements along approximately 1,500 feet channel banks that were covered with unvegetated riprap, resulting in lack of habitat complexity or riparian cover.
Client: Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District
Channel and riparian conditions along Tally Ho Creek within the project area have changed significantly over the last several hundred years. Pressure to utilize flat valley bottoms for agriculture and, later, suburban development, resulted in removal of much of the riparian vegetation, filling of wetlands, road building, and straightening and deepening of Tally Ho Creek. Cleared portions of the valley bottom now consist of single-family homes and Tally Ho Road. Tally Ho Creek has been confined to the eastern edge of the valley floor.
Client: San Jose State University
Waterways is supporting Central Coast Wetlands Group by leading the design team in development of plans to construct a 30 acre managed wetland to treat irrigation runoff within the Elkhorn Slough Watershed.
Client: Kennewick Man, LLC.
The Brookside Apartments are located adjacent to Kelly Creek just upstream of the Kane Drive culvert crossing in Gresham, Oregon. Kelly Creek, which flows through mixed low density residential and commercial areas before flowing into the pond at Mt. Hood Community College, has incised and is prone to lateral erosion and channel widening. This contributed to bank erosion along the right bank of Kelly Creek at the apartment property during high creek stage in 2017. This erosion threatens the stability of an adjacent apartment building.
Client: Sonoma County Public Works
Waterways provided planning and design services to the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works to address two fish passage barriers associated with stream crossings on County roads. The sites consisted of two large concrete box culverts that were limiting fish passage to high quality spawning and rearing habitat located upstream. At each of these culverts, the natural streambed had incised to at least 4 feet below the culvert outlet, resulting in a partial barrier to migrating salmonids. The design solution included structural retrofit of the culverts using concrete baffles, and the construction of a roughened channel to aggrade the stream profile sufficiently to eliminate the passage barrier. Work included topographic mapping, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and preparation of preliminary and final design drawings and specifications.
Client: Boy Scouts of America, Monterey Bay Area Council
The Boy Scouts of America own and operate an 800-acre property on the Little Sur River that is used as a summer camp. A flashboard dam was installed in the 1950s to create an impoundment for recreational and educational uses. The seasonal operation of this dam impeded juvenile and adult steelhead passage at the site.
Client: Granite Construction Company
Waterways staff assisted Granite Construction Company with planning, designing, and permitting an off-channel gravel extraction project on the Kunzler Ranch property, located in Ukiah Valley at the confluence of Ackerman Creek and the Russian River. Waterways conducted hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphic analyses to assess flooding impacts, habitat development potential, and channel stability at the proposed project site during project-life and reclamation phases.
Client: California State Parks- Diablo Vista District
The Mitchell Creek Riparian Restoration and Fish Passage Improvement Project provides for removal of four small dams and the decommissioning of defunct access roads along a reach of Mitchell Creek, within Mount Diablo State Park. The design includes approximately 400 feet of constructed roughened channel to provide fish passage through the grade transition created by the various impoundments. In addition to the fish passage improvements, the project removed aproximately 2,500 cubic yards of impounded sediments from upstream of the site to restore floodplain function and reduce local bank erosion. The design included the installation of large wood elements obtained on site to provide bank stability and enhanced pool development. Waterways provided construction oversight for the project.
Client:City of Watsonville
The CARE project includes an ADA compliant pedestrian and bicycle trail providing community access to through a riparian corridor along the Pajaro River, near its outlet to the Pacific. The trail was designed with a surface that could be easily maintained following periodic inundation and fine sediment deposition within the floodplain through which it traverses. The trail provides an outlet to a scenic overlook on the Pajaro River, as well as to a boat launching ramp.
Client: Trout Unlimited
Under contract with Trout Unlimited, Waterways led design and construction phase engineering efforts for the removal of a fish passage barrier on San Clemente Creek, a major tributary to the Carmel River. Our design team included Streeter Group (structural engineer) and CMAG Engineering (geotechnical). Work included topographic mapping, hydraulic modeling, concept level design alternatives analysis, and development of final 100% level design drawings. Waterways coordinated with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County to provide technical support for permitting efforts and then coordinated engineering support during project implementation in the summer of 2020.
Client: US Forest Service
Waterways staff led an interdisciplinary team to assess existing conditions within the Blackwood Creek Watershed, and then prepare detailed engineering plans and specifications for recommended projects. Blackwood Creek is a major tributary to Lake Tahoe, drains a mix of steep volcanic and granitic terrain, has a high bedload transport rate, and was historically impacted by grazing, logging, and instream gravel mining. Key impacts identified during the study were excessive bank erosion and channel widening associated with channel incision and loss of floodplain connectivity and the presence of several fish passage barriers. To restore the physical processes that sustain channel morphology and biological function, an aggressive, long-term restoration strategy was proposed. To date, four distinct restoration projects have been designed and implemented:
Client: USFS- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Waterways, in coordination with the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and Swanson Hydrology, has developed designs to restore the mainstem and tributaries of Cold Creek in the High Meadow Complex (HMC) near South Lake Tahoe, California. The basic restoration objective is to increase soil moisture within approximately 70 acres of meadow area by modifying the morphology and hydrology of the streams in a manner consistent with natural geomorphic processes. Work involves re-constructing approximately 8,700 linear feet of channel and raising the elevation of the streambeds by 2 to 4 feet. The project will significantly increase the diversity and density of meadow wetland vegetation species and shift some areas from seasonally dry and sparse mesic meadows to wet meadow conditions.
The project’s three-year construction plan was completed in 2012, with Waterways providing on-site construction observation.
Client: Benchmark Resources
The pond construction at Pilarcitos Quarry included two bentonite-lined ponds within the Nuff Creek watershed, each designed to improve habitat for red-legged frogs. Waterways provided planning services to site the ponds, performed topographic and construction surveying, prepared preliminary and final designs, provided permit support, and supervised the construction effort.
Client: California Trout, Inc.
Lower Hat Creek is an important coldwater fishery and is a designated Wild Trout Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Decades of cattle grazing, the introduction of muskrats, and over fishing caused the degradation of riparian and aquatic habitat along lower Hat Creek. Waterways, in collaboration with Streeter Group and California Trout, Inc., completed designs to restore a reach of Hat Creek. The restoration measures included installing a 160’-long pedestrian bridge and trail, and relocating the parking facilities that improve angler access and reduce habitat disturbance.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways is teaming with CMAG Geotechnical Engineers to assist the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County and USFWS with the siting, design, and installation of multiple ponds to enhance and expand habitat for the endangered Santa Cruz Long Toed Salamander.
Client: American Rivers, Inc.
American Rivers performed an assessment of Alpine Meadows in the Carson River watershed, and identified Faith Valley as its highest priority meadow restoration due to its impairments and its popularity with recreational users for fishing, hiking, and camping. American Rivers hired Waterways to complete a baseline conditions assessment and develop designs for habitat improvement. The baseline assessment included topographic survey, modeling, geomorphic mapping, botanical and other assessments. The assessment determined that the primary cause of impairment in Faith Valley is channel incision and associated detrimental impacts, including bank erosion, lowered groundwater table, and degradation of meadow plant assemblages.
Client: South Coast Habitat Restoration
Waterways was retained by South Coast Habitat Restoration to prepare designs for improving fish passage at five barriers along Gaviota Creek. The sites are located north of Gaviota and directly adjacent to Highway 101. Each barrier is composed of a concrete grade control structure, originally installed to keep the creek from undermining Highway 101. Design concepts range from structural modification of individual weirs to complete removal and channel realignment.
Client: Latimer Environmental
The Hillsboro Landfill is a construction-demolition waste landfill situated on 400 acres south of Hillsboro, Oregon between SE Minter Bridge Road and the Tualatin River. With the landfill operations located at the northeast end of the property, the south and west sides of the property contain wetland mitigation sites adjacent to the Tualatin River. Waterways was retained to design an outfall from the constructed wetlands located at the south end of the property that provides a geomorphically stable discharge into the Tualatin River.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways Consulting has provided planning, design, and construction implementation support (e.g., staking, field modifications, and supervision) for the installation of 3 ponds located on the Watsonville Slough Farm property, owned by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. The ponds were created either as a stormwater or sediment control facility or for habitat enhancement.
Client: Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District
Mill Creek is a moderately-sized tributary to the Columbia River that originates on the eastern slope of Mt. Hood and flows northeast through the City of The Dalles, Oregon. Urbanization along the lower two miles of Mills Creek in the City of The Dalles resulted in the simplification of the aquatic and riparian habitats. In 2011, The Dalles Watershed Council (DWC) commissioned an evaluation of the urbanized reach to assess land use impacts and identify opportunities for habitat restoration. Following the initial assessment, a preliminary engineering design was developed for the Honald/Buyers property. The preliminary design included excavation and connection of a historic side channel that had been partially filled, utilization of an existing side channel as a backwater alcove, installation of a precast spanning bridge across the reconnected side channel, and installation of large wood structures along the channels and floodplain to increase roughness and improve habitat conditions.
Client: Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has identified a long-term plan to protect water supply and watershed lands on the Nacimiento River, upstream of Nacimiento Reservoir, through a strategy of conservation easements and direct land acquisition. Through this process, the landowner of the 8,300 acre Attiyeh Ranch, located just upstream of Nacimiento Reservoir, approached The Land Conservancy for assistance in developing a plan to protect his property, in perpetuity, for watershed protection and habitat conservation.
Client: Necanicum River Watershed Council
Waterways was hired to develop an engineered solution to address a high priority fish passage site on the South Fork Necanicum. The project site consists of a 6-foot high diversion dam and intake structure. The objectives of the project were to provide unimpeded passage for all species and life histories of salmonids present in the South Fork, meet NMFS and NOAA Fisheries fish screening guidelines, and provide a reliable source of water to the City of Seaside according to their existing water right. Specific project tasks include preparing a set of alternatives for review by a technical advisory team, preparation of preliminary engineering drawings for the selected alternative, preparation of a water management plan that identifies potential changes in the operation and management of the diversion as a result of the modifications, and preparation of the final engineering drawings.
Client: Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District
This project is located along the mainstem of the Clatskanie River, where the river transitions from a riverine to a tidal system. Past land use impacts have led to a degraded riparian corridor dominated by reed canary grass, less frequent side channel connectivity, and a lack of pool scour in floodplain and secondary channels.
Client: American Rivers, Inc. & Placer County Resource Conservation District
Waterways was selected to develop and analyze alternatives for ecological restoration of the Hope Valley Meadow on the West Fork Carson River, with a primary goal of enhancing the full range of ecosystem services this highly visible and well-known meadow provides. The project area encompasses approximately 400 acres of the meadow within Upper Hope Valley, just east of Blue Lakes Road, Alpine County.
Client: Sandy Riverfront RV Resort, LLC.
The Sandy River RV Resort (Resort) is located just upstream of the confluence of Beaver Creek and the Sandy River in the City of Troutdale. Beaver Creek, which flows through mixed low density residential and commercial areas with multiple road crossings before flowing into the Sandy River, is prone to lateral erosion and channel widening. This contributed to bank erosion along the right bank of Beaver Creek at two sites on the Resort property during high creek stage in 2017. This erosion threatened the Resort infrastructure in addition to being a source of sedimentation to the stream which impacts threatened aquatic species and their habitat.