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A Plan to Get Savvy About Urban Watersheds


Beau Goldie, Santa Clara Valley Water District. Lorrie Gervin, City of Sunnyvale. The ... USEPA & Regional Water Quality Control Board. State and Federal ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Plan to Get Savvy About Urban Watersheds

A Plan to Get Savvy About Urban Watersheds
  • Dan Cloak, Dan Cloak Environmental Consulting
  • Beau Goldie, Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • Lorrie Gervin, City of Sunnyvale

The Santa Clara Basin
(No Transcript)
Santa Clara Basin Watershed Management Initiative
  • Started in 1996
  • Stakeholders include
  • USEPA Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • State and Federal Resource Agencies
  • Cities, Towns County
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • Valley Transportation Authority
  • Environmental Advocates
  • Citizens Groups
  • Business Interests

Watershed Planning Process
  • Watershed Characteristics Report
  • Pilot Watershed Assessments
  • A Vision for Our Watershed
  • Subgroups created 112 Action Worksheets
  • Action Plan Technical Advisory Group
  • Which of these actions are being done now?

Watershed Action Plan
  • For each of seven issues
  • An aspect of the watershed vision
  • Natural social history of environmental issue
  • Existing law regulation
  • Status of implementation
  • Watershed management objectives

  • 1. Stream Protection Restoration
  • Vision Support salmon steelhead
  • - Restore seasonal flows and overbanking
  • - Restore and maintain in-stream habitat
  • History Dams, flow diversions, channelization
  • Science River continuum stream equilibrium
  • Policy Flows, Permits, Sediment TMDLs
  • Status Stewardship added to District mission
  • Objective Integrate flood protection
  • - Commit to long-term Adaptive Management

2. Floodplain Riparian Planning Vision
Continuous riparian corridors floodplains -
For flood management, habitat, parks,
trails History Science Ideas about flood
control and floodplain management (Gilbert White,
1942) - Landscape ecology riparian
corridors Policies NFIP, City District, Trails
Plan Objective Integrated planning process
  • Shared sense of place

3. Conserving Biodiversity Vision Comprehensive
plan to preserve biodiversity (variety of
habitats, organisms, genetic makeup) Also
provide for jobs housing History Open space
preservation along with sprawl Science What is
critical habitat? Policy ESA, HCPs,
NCCPs Status HCP/NCCP in Santa Clara
County Objective Creation management of
habitat reserves
3. Conserving Biodiversity in Wetlands Status
Acquisition of 15,000 additional acres - Expand
the SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge Objective
Facilitate restoration of salt ponds, maintain
flood protection, protect water quality -
Comprehensive planning process
4. General Plans Specific Area Plans Vision
Protected corridors with intense
development History Modernism incentives
economics Sprawl Policies California General
Plan Law, Smart Growth Objective Incorporate
vision into General Plans - Reach out to smart
growth advocates - Plan for designation
acquisition of habitat corridors
5. Site Development Drainage Vision
Retrofitted drainage systems protect
streams Science Imperviousness effects on
streams - Site and drainage design
solutions History Cities slow changes in design
standards Policy Amended municipal stormwater
permit Objective Assist implementation of permit
coordinate with other aspects of vision
6. Assessments, TMDLs, Discharge Permits
Vision Waters fishable, swimmable, without
pollution History Success in cleaning up
wastewater discharges - New issues Flow
diversions, exotic species, nonpoint Science
Sources, fate, transport, effects of each
pollutant Policies Stormwater discharge permit,
TMDLs Status Site-specific objectives for Cu
Ni - TMDLs for Hg, PCBs, CHCs, diazinon,
dioxins/furans - Watch list for trash,
pathogens, sediment/siltation, PBDEs,
EDCs Objective Improve TMDL process,
consensus-based discharge permits
7. Water Conservation Recycling Vision Rely
primarily on local sources, maximize conservation
recycling, balance with other needs History
Overpumping, subsidence, dams diversions, water
imports, salt marsh conversion Policy California
conservation policy - Central Valley
Improvement Act - Flow cap on wastewater
discharge Status 10 of wastewater flow is
recycled Objective Use state-mandated Integrated
Water Resource Planning to gauge focus water
conservation recycling
A Watershed Plan is All About
  • A shared vision of the future
  • Collective discovery and learning
  • About watershed science
  • About environmental policy regulation
  • Aligning, coordinating integrating existing
    environmental protection policies programs
  • Creating an effective long-term institutionfor
    adaptive management of watersheds

Watershed Initiatives Future Role
  • Facilitate stakeholder groups
  • Genuine collaboration
  • Fresh technical policy perspectives
  • Recommend solutions to policy-makers
  • Bring consensus to boards, managers, funders
  • Educate and involve the public
  • Develop indicators
  • Issue reports
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