Meeting Date:

July 22, 2013





Dave Stoldt,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Thomas Christensen and

Cost Estimate:



Larry Hampson




General Counsel Review:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


IRRIGATION OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION: The supplemental watering of riparian restoration plantings has resumed for the summer season in 2013 at six Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District) riparian habitat restoration sites.  The following irrigation systems were in use April through June: deDampierre, Trail and Saddle Club, Begonia, Schulte, Valley Hills, and San Carlos at the Dow Property.


            Water Use in Acre-Feet (AF)

            (preliminary values subject to revision)


            January - March 2013   0.44 AF

            April - June 2013          1.70

            Year-to-date                  2.14 AF


MONITORING OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION:   During May and June 2013, staff recorded bi-monthly observations of canopy vigor on target willow and cottonwood trees to provide an indication of plant water stress and corresponding soil moisture levels.  Four locations (Rancho Cañada, San Carlos, Valley Hills, and Schulte) are monitored bi-monthly for canopy ratings based on a scale from one to ten. This scale evaluates characteristics such as yellowing leaves and percentages of defoliation (see scale on Exhibit 21-A).  A total of 12 willows and 12 cottonwoods at these locations provide a data set of established and planted sample trees that are representative of trees in the Carmel River riparian corridor.  Soil moisture values are measured at all four sites using 18-inch and 36-inch tensiometers in the soil column.  Combined with monthly readings from the District’s array of monitoring wells and pumping records for large-capacity Carmel Valley wells in the California American Water service area, the District’s monitoring provides insight into the status of soil moisture through the riparian corridor.


Current monitoring results for the 2013 monitoring season to date show that riparian vegetation is below threshold stress levels.  At present, the river is drying back. However, there has been adequate soil moisture for the first part of summer to sustain the riparian corridor. The graph in Exhibit 21-A shows average canopy ratings for willows and cottonwoods in selected restoration sites in the lower Carmel Valley.  The graph in Exhibit 21-B shows impacts to water table elevations.


The types of monitoring measurements made during May through June 2013 are as follows:


            Monitoring Measurement                                        


            Canopy ratings                                                (See Exhibit 21-A for trends.)          

            Soil moisture (tensiometers)                                       

            Groundwater levels (monitoring wells)          (See Exhibit 21-B for trends.)           

            Groundwater pumping (production wells)




1.                  Carmel River Vegetation Management Project Notification: On April 15, 2013, District staff notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), and the Regional Water Quality Control Board of two sites that are scheduled for vegetation management activities this fall. A total of approximately 1,500 square feet of stream encompassing approximately 0.034 acres in the channel bottom will be affected by this year’s project.  The goal of the vegetation management activities is to reduce the risk of streambank erosion along riverfront properties where vegetation encroachment could potentially divert river flows into streambanks during high flow periods.


2.                  Riparian Irrigation Tune-up:  District staff (Mark Bekker and Matt Lyons) have been tuning up multiple irrigation systems along the Carmel River that are designed to offset impacts associated with groundwater extraction. Tune-ups include replacement of clogged emitters, leak repair, and trouble shooting well pumps and pressure tanks.


3.                  Public Outreach and Education: On May 19, 2013, District staff participated with the Monterey County Resource Conservation District and the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District in Watershed Awareness Day at deDampierre Park. Representatives from all three agencies helped facilitate a discussion on water use and impacts to the Carmel River and presented information on watershed dynamics and health.


On June 5, 2013, MPWMD staff members Beverly Chaney, Kevan Urquhart, and Larry Hampson conducted a tour of San Clemente Dam and the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility with representatives of the State Water Resources Control Board, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Coastal Conservancy, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Monterey Coastkeeper, California American Water, and Granite Construction Company.  Topics of discussion included the proposed dam removal, Carmel River Reroute, water rights concerns, and the District’s Mitigation Program - including operations at the steelhead facility.


4.                  Sleepy Hollow Ford Removal and Bridge Replacement Project: Staff completed the final report and invoice for this design project.  The total cost for project design was  $142,257.41, which included $5,820.96 less in operating expenses (what the grant paid for) than the approved budget.  Bridge construction will be delayed until 2015 or 2016, when construction equipment no longer needs to use the Sleepy Hollow Ford to cross the Carmel River to access San Clemente Dam and reroute the Carmel River.


5.                  San Clemente Dam Removal and Carmel River Reroute Project: MPWMD Directors Byrne and Brower along with staff members Stephanie Pintar and Larry Hampson attended the groundbreaking ceremony for this project at Quail Lodge.  Approximately 200 people were in attendance to commemorate what will be the largest dam removal project in California history.  MPWMD has provided staff expertise on this project for more than 15 years and has been extensively involved with project development, analysis, and review.


6.                  State Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Grant Program:  MPWMD requested and received approval to amend the budget for the City of Monterey’s feasibility study of alternatives to reduce stormwater discharges to the area of special biological significance that it shares with the City of Pacific Grove.  MPWMD also requested and received approval to extend the grant agreement from December 31, 2013 to March 31, 2014.   This will allow for more comprehensive development of project proposals.


MPWMD staff met with representatives of the Monterey County Resource Management Agency to discuss obtaining IRWM grant funds for projects along the Carmel River between the Carmel River lagoon and the upstream end of the Eastwood (formerly Odello) property adjacent to Highway 1.



21-A    Average Willow and Cottonwood Canopy Rating

21-B    Depth to Groundwater