Meeting Date:

July 16, 2007





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Thomas Christensen

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


IRRIGATION OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION: The supplemental watering of riparian restoration plantings resumed in April of 2007 at eight Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District) riparian habitat restoration sites.  The following irrigation systems were in use April through June: Trail and Saddle Club, Begonia, Schulte South, Schulte Bridge, Schulte, All Saints, Valley Hills, and San Carlos.


            Water Use in Acre-Feet (AF)

            (preliminary values subject to revision)


            January - March 2007   0.09 AF

            April - June 2006           1.25

            Year-to-date                  1.34 AF


MONITORING OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION:  During the months of May and June 2007, staff recorded weekly 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 every week for canopy ratings based on a scale from one to eleven. This scale evaluates characteristics such as yellowing leaves and percentages of defoliation (see scale on Exhibit 25-A).  A total of 10 willows and 9 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 measurements are conducted at three of these sites (San Carlos, Valley Hills, and Schulte) using tensiometers.  Soil moisture values are measured at seven stations with 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 Cal-Am system, the District’s monitoring provides insight into the status of soil moisture through the riparian corridor.


Current monitoring results for the 2007 monitoring season to date show that riparian vegetation is below threshold stress levels.  Some signs of yellowing are occurring but the overall riparian corridor still shows obviously vigorous trees. The graphs in Exhibit 25-A and 25-B show average canopy ratings for willows and cottonwoods in selected restoration sites in the lower Carmel Valley and impacts to water table elevations.


The types of monitoring measurements made during May through June 2007 are as follows:


            Monitoring Measurement                                        


            Canopy Ratings                                                (See Exhibit 25-A for trends.) 

            Soil moisture (tensiometers)                                         

            Groundwater levels (monitoring wells)   (See Exhibit 25-B for trends.) 

            Groundwater pumping (production wells)                     






1.         Annual Carmel River Inspections: During the month of April, District staff inspected the Carmel River from Camp Steffani (River Mile 15.5) to the Carmel River Lagoon (River Mile 0.0). Annual inspections help determine the scope of work for vegetation management activities typically conducted in the fall in preparation for high winter flows, and for addressing new erosion problems and riparian ordinance violations.


2.         Carmel River Vegetation Management Project Notification:  On June 5, 2007, District staff sent formal notification to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Monterey County of the District’s proposal to conduct vegetation management activities at three sites along the Carmel River this summer and fall.  Staff identified these areas during this year’s annual river inspection as being in need of vegetation trimming and/or removal. These activities are covered under the District’s Regional General Permit from the Corps of Engineers. A total of approximately 580 lineal feet of stream encompassing a total of approximately 0.27 acres in the channel bottom will be affected by the project.  The goal of the vegetation management is to reduce the risk of streambank erosion along riverfront properties where vegetation encroachment could potentially divert river flows into the streambanks during high-flow periods.



25-A    Average Willow and Cottonwood Canopy Rating

25-B    Depth to Groundwater