Meeting Date:

October 26, 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 seven Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District) riparian habitat restoration sites.  The following irrigation systems were in use April through September: deDampierre, Trail and Saddle Club, Begonia, Schulte, Valley Hills, San Carlos, and 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

            July – September 2013            6.49


            Year-to-date                            8.63 AF


MONITORING OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION:   During May through September 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 23-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 experiencing increased stress levels in some areas with yellowing leaves and defoliation.  However, the overall riparian corridor and critical drawdown areas (impacted by water extraction) under irrigation are showing signs of resilience given the dry conditions. The graph in Exhibit 23-A shows average canopy ratings for willows and cottonwoods in selected restoration sites in the lower Carmel Valley.  The graph in Exhibit 23-B shows impacts to water table elevations.


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

            Monitoring Measurement                                        

            Canopy ratings                                                (See Exhibit 23-A for trends.)          

            Soil moisture (tensiometers)                                       

            Groundwater levels (monitoring wells)          (See Exhibit 23-B for trends.)           

            Groundwater pumping (production wells)




1.                  Carmel River Advisory Committee Meeting:  District staff (Christensen and Hampson) facilitated a Carmel River Advisory Committee meeting on September 26, 2013. Topics included a discussion of Monterey Peninsula water supply projects, updates on current rainfall and runoff conditions, and this fall’s vegetation management activities.


2.                  Public Outreach and Education: On September 3, 2013, MPWMD staff member Larry Hampson gave a presentation at California State University Monterey Bay to the “Advanced Watershed Science and Policy” class on the potential changes in woody debris load to the Carmel River after San Clemente Dam is removed.  The class subsequently completed a study that showed several bridges could be affected by the change in debris load.  On September 22, 2013, District staff members Larry Hampson and Kevan Urquhart were guest lecturers at the Carmel River lagoon to 26 students in the UC Berkeley class “Conservation and Environmental Problem Solving.”


3.                  Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility Intake Upgrade: Staff has discussed a funding arrangement for completing the design and environment review to upgrade the intake for the steelhead rearing facility.  The California State Coastal Conservancy is proposing to disburse grant funds to MPWMD from the Settlement Agreement fund that California Department of Fish and Wildlife administers.  An item concerning this will be brought to the MPWMD Board for consideration at a future meeting.


4.                  State Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Grant Program:  Concept and project proposals were received on the District’s IRWM website.  Staff and Denise Duffy and Associates began project reviews for consistency with IRWM Guidelines.   



23-A    Average Willow and Cottonwood Canopy Rating

23-B    Depth to Groundwater