Alameda Creek Watershed Sediment Forum

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Alameda Creek is the largest watershed in the Bay area draining approximately 650 square miles of the East Bay interior hills and valleys, including the Livermore-Amador and Sunol valleys.

Alameda Creek

Alameda Creek is the largest watershed in the Bay area draining approximately 650 square miles of the East Bay interior hills and valleys, including the Livermore-Amador and Sunol valleys.

The Alameda Creek Watershed Sediment Forum grew out of a recognition for the need of stakeholders and public agencies to come together to share ideas and information.

About Alameda Creek

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Alameda Creek is the largest watershed in the Bay area draining approximately 650 square miles of the East Bay interior hills and valleys, including the Livermore-Amador and Sunol valleys.

Introduction

Alameda Creek is the largest watershed in the Bay area draining approximately 650 square miles of the East Bay interior hills and valleys, including the Livermore-Amador and Sunol valleys. The creek then cuts through the East Bay Hills via Niles Canyon before flowing across its large alluvial fan and floodplain complex, ultimately discharging into the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay. Average annual rainfall in the watershed varies from 24 inches on Mt Hamilton at an elevation of 4,400 ft above sea level to 15 inches near the Bay margin in Fremont. In addition to the growing urban areas of Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton and Sunol where collective population has risen from 70,000 in 1970 to 170,000 in the 2000 census, the watershed is managed for grazing, equestrian facilities, nurseries, and, more recently, vineyards. There are three major reservoirs (San Antonio, Del Valle, and Calaveras that collectively store 225,000 acre-feet) in addition to a groundwater recharge and pumping complex downstream that relies on the Niles Cone aquifer. All together, about 3,000,000 residents of the Bay Area rely on Alameda Creek for clean drinking water. The wide range of topography and climate provide for the beneficial uses of agriculture, groundwater recharge, fisheries (cold water, warm water, spawning, and migration), rare and endangered species, recreation, and wildlife habitat.

The Sediment Dichotomy

A combination of eroding soils, landslides and debris flows, and incising and widening channels annually supply large volumes of sediment to the Creek. Coarse sediment is positive for the creek segments managed for spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids. However, those same coarse sediments can fill reservoirs and the downstream flood control channel in Fremont, impact bridges, and impair regular operation and maintenance of groundwater pumping and percolation facilities. Fine sediment is generally deleterious to all the beneficial uses of the Creek. However, once both types of sediment have passed through the flood control channel and into the Bay, they are valuable as the supply for the biological and physical material necessary for wetlands on the Bay margin. Hence, agencies managing different parts of the Creek system face a dichotomy of competing needs with regards to coarse and fine sediment.

Developing Information and Coordination among Groups

Agencies, stakeholders, and land owners have begun the process of learning about where sediment comes from, what kinds of sediment are in the Creek (coarse versus fine), what measures may be affective to protect channels, how it moves through the system, how it collects behind structures and in channels, and how much of it moves through to the wetlands on the Bay margin. Presently, much of this information is being collected in isolation by agencies in response to their individual needs and goals. However, due to a common regulatory framework, there are likely instances where sharing information or perhaps even developing joint monitoring, research, or modeling projects would reduce overall costs and increase the usefulness of the information generated.

Sediment Forum

The Alameda Creek Watershed Sediment Forum grew out of a recognition for the need of stakeholders and public agencies to come together to share ideas and information.

The Alameda Creek Watershed Sediment Forum grew out of a recognition for the need of stakeholders and public agencies to come together to share ideas and information. The objectives of the forum are to:

  1. To enhance the potential for collaboration amongst the Stakeholders of the Alameda Creek Watershed through the vocabulary of technical scientific and engineering field observations and modeling.
  2. To twice-annually provide a regular predictable forum for presentation of results, celebrate achievements, and learn lessons from less successful projects and disproved misconceptions, and to develop new ideas and hypotheses.
  3. To set goals for the watershed that address the common needs of the stakeholders and to provide a forum to begin the dialog of compromise when needs are competitive.

Future Sediment Forums
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April 2008

Active: 
Yes

Objectives

  • To enhance the potential for collaboration amongst the Stakeholders of the Alameda Creek
    Watershed through the vocabulary of technical scientific and engineering field observations and
    modeling.
  • To twice-annually provide a regular predictable forum to share scopes, timelines, preliminary findings, lessons learned and to develop new ideas and hypotheses.
  • To set goals for the watershed that address the common needs of the stakeholders and to provide a
    forum to begin the dialog of compromise when needs are competitive.
AttachmentSize
Agenda62.28 KB
Attendance List23.5 KB
Turbidity measurements in Alameda Creek and selected tributaries2.88 MB
A Sediment Budget for Two Reaches of Alameda Creek14.76 MB
SFPUC Sunol and Niles Dam Removal Project115.98 MB
Composite Digital Terrain Models21.04 MB
Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model8.06 MB
Evolution following Tidal Marsh Restoration6.6 MB
Impacts of Sediment on ACWD Facilities and Operations5.03 MB
Stream Goals - A Concept for Discussion5.95 MB
Review of Sediment Gauging - Framework and Questionnaire70 KB

December 2008

Active: 
Yes

Objectives

  • To enhance the potential for collaboration amongst the Stakeholders of the Alameda Creek Watershed through the vocabulary of technical scientific and engineering field observations and modeling.
  • To twice-annually provide a regular predictable forum to share scopes, timelines, preliminary findings, lessons learned and to develop new ideas and hypotheses.
  • To set goals for the watershed that address the common needs of the stakeholders and to provide a forum to begin the dialog of compromise when needs are competitive.
AttachmentSize
Agenda43.5 KB
Attendance List22 KB
An Organzied Vision78.5 KB
Sediment and Steelhead in the Alameda Creek Basin : A Review3.29 MB
Sediment and Hydraulic Challenges in the City of Livermore5.43 MB
El Charro Specific Plan Hydrology and Hydraulics12.16 MB
Zone 5 Line A (Alameda Creek) Existing survey data. Alameda County Public Works3.6 MB
A Quick Update on Tidal Marsh Restoration Efforts in Eden Landing12.39 MB
Fish Passage through the Alameda Creek Flood Control Channel34.36 MB
How Watershed Scientist & Managers use Historical Ecology81.24 MB
Review of Sediment gaging efforts in Alameda Creek1.39 MB
Morphological Modeling of the Alameda Creek Flood Control Channel3.84 MB
Watershed Information Center & Conservancy Board (WICC) of Napa County2.29 MB

Sponsoring Agency and Research Contacts for SFEI work

Project Investigators

Letser McKee, Ph.D., Environmental Scientist

Sarah Pearce, Geomorphologist

Alicia Gilbreath, Environmental Analyst

Paul Bigelow, Contracting Geomorphologist

Sponsor Agency

Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District

Other Links

Alameda County Water District

Alameda Creek Alliance

Eden Landing Restoration

San Francisco Public Utilities Commissions

South Bay Salt Pond Restoration

Zone 7 Water Agency

Reports & Data

Active: 
Yes

SFEI has been working with the Alameda Creek Flood Control and Water Conservation District for several years on various sediment management and geomorphology related tasks. We also helped to coordinate annual Alameda Creek watershed sediment forums, which are now known as the Alameda Creek Watershed Council Annual Conferences. Below are some products that resulted from our relationship with the Flood Control District, which continues today.

AttachmentSize
A Sediment Budget for Two Reaches of Alameda Creek26.45 MB
Spatiotemporal Variation of Turbidity in Alameda Creek and Selected Tributaries: August through December 200716.66 MB
Review of sediment gaging in the Alameda Creek watershed1.26 MB
Bulk Sediment Analysis to Suppot Modeling in Alameda Creek2.68 MB
Dry Creek Reconnaissance Sediment Source Analysis3.06 MB
Dry Creek Sediment Source Analysis Appendix27.1 MB