Hydrologic & Hydraulic Modeling, Analysis, & Gauging
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: 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: 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: Cascade Environmental Group
Waterways has teamed with Cascade Environmental Group to develop, implement, and monitor a restoration plan for approximately 30 acres of riparian and bottomland forest along the Willamette River in the city of Gladstone. The site encompasses a short, perennial tributary known as Rinearson Creek that is periodically backwatered from the Willamette River and provides rearing and off-channel refugia for a variety of species and life stages of salmon.
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: Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District
Waterways staff prepared engineering plans and specifications for stabilization of approximately 100 linear feet of stream bank on Corralitos Creek in Santa Cruz County, California. The bioengineered bank stabilization included fabric encapsulated soil lifts contained within a log revetment structure. Logs were selectively harvested by thinning redwoods from an adjacent grove, thus reducing the cost and environmental impact of the project. Our staff performed construction supervision to ensure successful implementation. Revegetation has been successful and the bank now provides quality habitat in addition to controlling bank erosion and sedimentation in the creek.
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. & 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: 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: West Valley College
Waterways has provided comprehensive planning, grant writing, surveying, design, construction support, and post construction monitoring services for five distinct projects within the West Valley College campus.
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: Truckee River Watershed Council & California State Parks
A 2007 geomorphic assessment of the Coldstream Canyon watershed identified opportunities to restore stream and watershed function along the lower one-half mile of Cold Creek, extending upstream from the confluence with Donner Creek. Waterways, in coordination with River Run Consulting, prepared final designs for the restoration of this reach. Designs included excavating an inset floodplain bench, re-contouring steep banks, and installing log/boulder barb to reduce bank erosion and expand and improve riparian habitat. Waterways and River Run also provided permit support and construction observation.
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.
Client: Environmental Stewardship and Planning
The Potrero Hills Landfill is in the process of expanding its facilities. The proposed landfill expansion will encompass 170 acres of land and will impact approximately 3 acres of wetland and pond habitat that serve as breeding habitat for the California Tiger Salamander (CTS). Measures to mitigate impacts to CTS include both habitat conservation and wetland enhancements that focus on key species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Client: Johnson Creek Watershed Council
Kelley Creek is a moderate gradient tributary to Johnson Creek that flows from south to north near the boundary between Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. The channel is incised and has been impacted by past land uses which have most likely straightened and ditched the channel to accommodate crossings and local and regional roads, limit flooding, and utilize adjacent areas, including historic floodplain, for agricultural use. Waterways was hired by the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) to develop designs and help oversee construction of a fish passage project over an existing dam along Kelley Creek. The project site is located on an approximately 16- acre property that has been owned and managed for multiple generations. The property is primarily residential though the owner does graze cattle and the owner holds a water right for an off-channel pond that is primarily a landscape feature though historically it may have been used to store water for irrigation. Prior to project implementation, water entered the pond through a gravity fed system that consists of the approximately five-foot high diversion dam and intake pipe. This dam presented a total fish passage barrier for all fish species.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: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: Syar Industries, Inc.
GEOMORPHIC ANALYSIS OF THE MIDDLE REACH OF THE RUSSIAN RIVER
Waterways, in cooperation with Swanson Hydrology and Geomorphology, completed a detailed hydraulic, geomorphic and sediment transport analyses for the Russian River’s Middle Reach, near Healdsburg. This work focused on the effects of in-stream mining and other human activities on channel morphology and flood capacity. A chrono-sequence of topographic surfaces representing the channel and floodplain were analyzed to calculate volumetric changes in channel geometry over the past 20 years. Then, a hydraulic model was constructed along 5 miles of the Russian River to evaluate land use impacts on flood elevations.
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: 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: Oregon Parks and Recreation
Waterways Consulting recently completed a restoration plan for Jackson Creek and Netarts Creek for the OPRD at Cape Lookout State Park. The focus of the effort was to evaluate the hydrology, geomorphology, and habitat conditions of Jackson Creek, the principle stream that flows through Cape Lookout. Approximately 60 years ago, a portion of Jackson Creek was diverted to Netarts Bay to increase freshwater flows into Netarts Bay with the hope of improving the commercial oyster beds. Impacts associated with the diversion and associated flow split were addressed in the restoration plan as well as opportunities for enhancement of the Jackson Creek mainstem downstream of the diversion site.
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.
City of Santa Barbara
Waterways recently provided planning, design and construction management services for Phase 1 of the Arroyo Burro Open Space Restoration Project. The project area is located within the Arroyo Burro Open Space Preserve, owned by the City of Santa Barbara. Pre-project conditions within the approximately 20 acre project area were characterized by a deeply incised channel with actively eroding banks that was disconnected from historic floodplains. Ongoing bank erosion threatened to undermine a section of Las Positas Drive and several large oak and sycamore trees. Exotic vegetation had colonized the former floodplains and streambanks.
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: MCS, Corp.
Waterways recently prepared detailed engineering plans and specifications to construct a wetland mitigation site in the historic floodplain of Yakima River in Washington. The site was historically leveled and channelized for livestock grazing before being purchased by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM has been managing the property to reduce invasive weeds for several years in anticipation of this project, which was initiated as a mitigation site for a nearby gravel mining operation with direct impacts to a nearby wetland.
Client: County of San Luis Obispo
Waterways was contracted by the County of San Luis Obispo Public Works Department (Utilities Division) to provide assessment, design and construction observation services for the improvement of fish passage conditions and the protection of a waterline in Arroyo Grande Creek at the Rodriguez Bridge crossing. Our work also included preparation of a design report and response to comments from NMFS fish passage engineers.
Just upstream of Rodriguez Bridge there was an exposed concrete encased water supply line within the bed of Arroyo Grande. Channel scour on the downstream side of the encasement had nearly undermined the encasement, potentially leading to structural failure of the pipeline, and leaving a 3 foot hydraulic drop that created a partial barrier to fish passage.