Hydrologic & Hydraulic Modeling, Analysis, & Gauging
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: City of Watsonville
Under Phase 1, Waterways staff designed a seven mile network of pedestrian and bicycle trails along the Watsonville Sloughs System, within the City of Watsonville. Our scope included the preparation of a Trails Master Plan, identification of opportunities and constraints, engineering feasibility assessment, hydraulic modeling, final plans and specifications, permit support, and construction monitoring. The trail designs were implemented successfully, creating public access footpaths and bicycle trails with trail segments that also provide Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant access. Design challenges included multiple slough crossings (boardwalks), retaining walls, and bridges constructed on peat soils within a complex hydrologic regime. Design of each trail segment offered opportunities for ecological restoration, including removal of exotic vegetation and re-vegetation with native communities.
For phase 2, Waterways created a Master Plan for over 25 additional miles of trails within and adjacent to the City of Watsonville. Waterways is currently preparing 100% designs for portions of the Phase 2 trails system.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
Currently undeveloped portions of the North Monterey County High School Campus provide excellent locations for upland and wetland restoration projects that could facilitate educational opportunities. Waterways is supporting Central Coast Wetlands group and the RCD of Monterey County by providing land surveying, preliminary design services, and permit support for proposed nature trails and wetland enhancement projects in support of Red Legged Frog and Santa Cruz Long Toed Salamanders.
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: 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: 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: 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.
The designs for fish passage improvements and pipeline included installation of a roughened channel. The channel was reconstructed for approximately 250 feet, using imported rock to provide a smooth transition in the stream profile and hydraulic conditions conducive to fish passage. Two pools and a woody debris structure were incorporated into the project to provide resting and rearing habitat. Additionally, boulder weirs were installed to maintain pool scour and grade control through the project area.
Steelhead were not found in the project reach during pre-construction field surveys. However, steelhead were observed both upstream and downstream of Rodriguez Bridge, and near the installed woody debris structure during post-construction monitoring. The project has greatly improved fish passage conditions and is meeting established success criteria.
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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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).
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.