California Water Science Center Scientists Present at 2019 Federal Interagency Conference

Release Date:

California Water Science Center (CAWSC) hydrologists Joseph Hevesi, Scott Wright, Alexandra Etheridge, Mathieu Marineau, and Michelle Stern will discuss their research at the 2019 Federal Interagency Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling (SEDHYD) Conference in Reno, Nevada.

The SEDHYD conference brings together federal and non-federal scientists, engineers, and managers from various natural resources disciplines. The conference uses mixed formats, including formal presentations, poster sessions, mini-workshops and model demonstrations.

The CAWSC presentations at this year’s conference are:

 

Sustainable Water Management in California's Salinas Valley
Presented by Joseph Hevesi
Tuesday, June 25, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

The Salinas River watershed on California's central coast has been increasingly stressed due to high water demand. This has resulted in sinking groundwater levels, seawater intrusion, and impaired water supplies. Such conditions are likely to be further exacerbated by future climate change and variability. Finding replacement water supplies and improving watershed management is needed to address these circumstances. In response to this situation, USGS scientist Joseph Hevesi and others have developed the Salinas Valley Integrated Hydrologic Model to help water managers evaluate and adjust to projected impacts on water supplies and demands.

 

The Impact of Treated Wastewater on California’s Santa Ana River
Presented by Scott Wright
Wednesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Santa Ana River moves water and sediment from its headwaters in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Along its route, the river flattens out, depositing sediment as its speed decreases. These deposits contribute to an ecosystem that supports local fish species. In a certain portion of this area, treated wastewater is being discharged into the river year-round. Mr. Wright and his team developed a model examining the relationship of treatment plant discharge and sediment flow dynamics.

 

 

Using Hydrologic Indices to Estimate Sediment and Mercury Concentrations 
Presented by Alexandra Etheridge
Wednesday, June 26, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Hydrologic indices, computed from continuous streamflow data, can be used to compute information such as base flow and daily mean flow. This information is then used to estimate constituent concentrations such as mercury and suspended sediment. This works whenever the hydrologic index is a good substitute that correlates to changes in constituent concentration. Such data was used to create models predicting mercury concentration in two headwaters streams in the Salmon River Watershed in Idaho and suspended sediment concentrations in Alameda Creek in California. These models can be used in by water managers to understand constituent transport and associated water-use hazards that can then be addressed with management actions.

 

 

Passive Acoustic Monitoring Used to Measure Bedload Transport
Presented by Mathieu Marineau
Wednesday, June 26, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Bedload transport rate data is required by engineers and scientists for a variety of purposes. In recent years, there has been increased interest in using passive acoustic technology (such as hydrophones) as a low-cost alternative for collecting this data. Mr. Marineau will present an overview and preliminary findings from five recent monitoring projects using hydrophones. 

 

 

Wildfire Effects on Cache Creek Watershed in Northern California
Poster Presentation by Michelle Stern
Thursday, June 27, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

In the summer of 2015, in the midst of the worst drought in California in over 1,200 years (based on soil moisture assessments), the Jerusalem and Rocky fires burned roughly 40,000 acres within the Cache Creek watershed below Clear Lake. To understand the watershed responses to wildfire and drought, Ms. Stern and her team developed an hourly model of streamflow and sediment transport. The methods and data from this study can be used to develop best practices to manage sediment and water quality after a watershed disturbance. 

 

 

 

 

For more information on these and other presentations, visit the Conference website