23. QUARTERLY IRRIGATION PROGRAM AND RIPARIAN PROJECTS REPORT
Meeting Date: April 21, 2003 Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
Staff Contact: Thomas Christensen Cost Estimate: N/A
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: N/A
IRRIGATION OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION: The supplemental watering of riparian restoration plantings has been on hold during this quarterly period (January through March 2003) at nine Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District) riparian habitat restoration sites because of sufficient soil moisture.
Water Use in Acre-Feet (AF)
January - March 2003 0.00 AF
Year-to-date 0.00 AF
MONITORING OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION: Sufficient winter rains have allowed the suspension of the riparian vegetation monitoring program so far this year. It is anticipated that the monitoring of soil moisture and pre-dawn leaf water potential (a measure of vegetation moisture stress) will resume in May of 2003. Typically during the months of May through October, staff takes weekly measurements of leaf water potential on target willow and cottonwood trees to provide an indication of plant water stress and corresponding soil moisture levels at four locations (Cañada, San Carlos, Valley Hills, and Schulte). Combined with monthly readings from the District’s array of monitoring wells and pumping records for large-capacity Carmel Valley wells in the Cal-Am system, the District’s monitoring provides insight into the status of soil moisture through the riparian corridor.
OTHER TASKS PERFORMED SINCE DECEMBER’S 2002 REPORT:
1. Rancho San Carlos Partnership (RSC) Irrigation Connection: District staff (Bell and Christensen) informed RSC that District regulations enacted with Ordinance No. 105 now exempt RSC from the need to obtain a Water Distribution System Permit for irrigating riparian vegetation associated with their 1999 bank protection project. Staff anticipates that RSC will connect its irrigation system to a riparian vegetation irrigation system on adjacent Rancho Cañada property.
2. Cal-Am Irrigation: On February 11, 2003, Thomas Christensen, Riparian Projects Coordinator, met with Cal-Am to discuss the setup of an irrigation system to offset anticipated impacts to riparian vegetation associated with newly increased pumping at Cal-Am’s Cañada Well. This system would be owned and operated by Cal-Am. Increased pumping in the lower Carmel Valley is a result of the Conservation Agreement between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and Cal-Am.
3. Robinson Canyon Road Bridge Cottonwood: On March 14, 2003, District staff moved a large cottonwood tree that had fallen across the Carmel River just downstream of Robinson Canyon Road Bridge. This tree was pulled in towards the bank and underwent minor trimming to prevent bank erosion associated with diversion of high flows and collection of debris.
4. Invasive Weed Removal: During the week of March 24-28, 2003, District staff removed French Broom (Genista monspessulana), an invasive exotic weed, from District restoration projects in the Schulte and Pryor area.
5. Begonia Planting Project: On March 28, 2003, District staff along with contractor David Casarez placed riprap boulders to prevent off-road vehicle traffic from entering the river channel near Cal-Am’s Begonia Well. This site has historically been easy to access with vehicles, thereby preventing revegetation efforts. This site is currently being revegetated with native riparian plants to prevent erosion and to provide habitat.
T. Christensen, 2 pages, 4/3/03