STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD
Division of Water Quality
WATER QUALITY PLANNING GRANT PROGRAM - PHASE X
under Section 205 (j)(2) of the Clean Water Act
A WATER BUDGET OF THE SCOTT RIVER WATERSHED
Prepared by the
SISKIYOU RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
SCOTT RIVER WATERSHED COORDINATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
PLANNING (CRMP) COMMITTEE
P.O. Box 268
Etna, California 96027
July 7, 1995
A WATER BUDGET OF THE SCOTT RIVER WATERSHED
Statement of Objectives
Project Managment and Control
A. STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES
The objectives of this project are: 1) to develop an improved understanding
of the hydrologic water balance for the Scott River system; 2) to identify,
as a result, potential locations and methods to achieve adequate flows
in the Scott River system to protect the migration, spawning and rearing
needs of the salmon and steelhead stocks while also protecting other beneficial
uses; and 3) to describe the results to the Scott River Watershed Coordinated
Resource Management Planning (CRMP) committee and work with them in developing
Inadequate streamflow is a commonly identified problem of the Scott River,
particularly in Scott Valley, and it directly affects other local water
quality problems, such as high temperature and nutrient levels. The Scott
River is a targeted watershed for nonpoint source management (see 303(d)
list). Low flows in the Scott River and tributaries have caused poor holdover
of adult salmon until spawning, blocked access to upstream spawning areas,
and reduced availability of spawning sites.
This water budget study is a high priority recommendation of the Scott
River Fall Flows Action Plan (1995 Working Plan) approved by the Scott
River Watershed CRMP committee. The CRMP represents a local volunteer effort
by a diverse cross-section of the local community, including landowners,
water users, agencies, and environmental groups.
The Scott River watershed is a sub-basin of the Klamath River Basin and
is located in central Siskiyou County, California (Figure 1). About 800
square miles in area, the sub-basin's elevation ranges from 8300 feet in
the Marble and Salmon Mountains to just under 2000 feet at the river's
mouth. The Scott River originates in snow-fed headwaters on primarily U.S.
Forest Service lands, slows down (River Mile 56) in the large alluvial
Scott Valley (about 70,000 acres) composed of private farmland, and then
drops (RM 21) again into a narrow forested canyon of mostly public land.
Rainfall at Fort Jones in Scott Valley averages 17.47 inches.
Beneficial uses of the Scott River include agricultural supply, cold freshwater
habitat (particularly for chinook and coho salmon, steelhead trout), municipal
and domestic supply, groundwater recharge, water contact and non-contact
recreation, fish migration, and fish spawning. The use of the river system
by salmon and steelhead is impaired because of inadequate streamflows and
temperature conditions, according to the California Dept. of Fish and Game.
In recent drought years, insufficient streamflow during the fall months
has impeded migration and spawning by fall chinook salmon into Scott Valley
and upper tributaries (about 35 miles total) where good spawning habitat
exists. Chinook spawning escapement estimates for the Scott have declined
from an annual average of 10,000 in the 1960s to 3,100 in recent years.
Fisheries restoration of the depressed Klamath River Basin stocks is a
high priority of Congress, who established a Klamath River Basin Fisheries
Program under PL 99-552 in 1986.
Determining the cause and solution of this flow inadequacy is the critical
need for the proposed project. In 1975, the SWRCB did a report on the hydrogeologic
conditions of Scott Valley as part of the Scott River Adjudication (finalized
in 1980). Limited field work in the summer of 1972 by its staff provided
a rudimentary stream budget for the months of July and August 1972. The
diagrams depict inflow and outflow quantities at major tributaries and
diversions. Since that time, changes have occurred in water use and management
in the valley, some directly as a result of the adjudication. Ground water
was determined to be interconnected with surface water through a large
section of the valley and, as a result, many water users changed from direct
surface diversion to well use as it is a more reliable source. The effects
of this sustained pumping on the water table, ground water recharge rate
and the surface flow after irrigation season are not known.
Irrigation of about 34,000 acres of alfalfa, pasture, and grain in Scott
Valley uses about 98,100 acre-feet per year (applied water) or about 78,000
af/y of net water use, according to the Calif. Dept. of Water Resources.
About 155 diversion ditches provide surface water for irrigation and stockwatering
throughout the valley in addition to the irrigation wells. While ditch
water loss returns to the ground water and may eventually return as surface
flow, concern is raised by fishery biologists over the timing and location
of this return flow and the impact on spawning conditions. More information
is needed on the return rate, quantity, and location of ditch seepage to
streams during the fall months. (Urban water use is estimated at 1,800
af/y for a population of about 8,000.)
Since proposed solutions to the streamflow inadequacy problem could possibly
affect the agricultural community economically, the CRMP decided to pursue
this water budget to better identify the locations and solutions which
will be most cost-effective. In addition, the CRMP and the RCD have pursued
other watershed restoration solutions: livestock exclusion fencing, riparian
planting, fish screening, erosion control on roads, for example.
A coordinated Scott River temperature monitoring program began in 1995
through the RCD and will complement this water budget project as one of
the budget matches. This monitoring effort has a Quality Assurance Plan
prepared by the California Dept. of Fish and Game.
2. Expected Implementation
The Scott River Watershed CRMP committee is the best "implementing agency"
for the recommendations from this study, while the Siskiyou RCD can continue
to serve as the sponsoring fiscal agency. The CRMP process is a popular
process involving natural resource owners, managers, and users working
together as a team to develop solutions for selected resource problems.
Consensus is a fundamental element of CRMO since concurrence by all participants
is needed for win/win rather than win/lose solutions. Through communication,
compromise, and cooperation, recommendations are made which will have a
higher likelihood of support and success than those made in isolation.
The Scott CRMP was formed as a need for the community to become pro-active
in resource management issues in Scott Valley. Since its first meeting
in September 1992, the group has had monthly meetings which serve as a
forum for all viewpoints to be shared and a springboard for cooperative
actions to take place. In 1995, the committee approved a Fall Flows
Action Plan and a Fish Habitat and Population Plan. This continued
process is essential to achieving community agreement on solutions and
should be used by the SWRCB as a logical, voluntary approach for solving
D. AGENCY ORGANIZATION
The proposed project will be administered by the Siskiyou Resource Conservation
District (RCD) as the lead agency. This special district is overseen by
an elected 5 member Board of Directors and its daily operations are managed
by the District Manager and projects carried out by a Project Coordinator.
The District Manager will be responsible for the overall project administration,
but the project management and technical coordination of the project will
be handled by the District's consultant, who is on contract to the Board.
The RCD is also the sponsoring agency of the Scott River Watershed CRMP
group and will provide coordination with the CRMP on this project.
E. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL
The Siskiyou RCD is the lead agency that is responsible for project management
and control. The Project Manager will be the district's consultant, Dr.
Sari Sommarstrom, who has considerable experience in the watershed both
as a researcher and as the Program Coordinator to the Scott Watershed CRMP.
She will be responsible for providing guidance and monitoring of workplan
and contract compliance, preparing quarterly progress reports, and conferring
regularly with the State Board Project Officer. The District Manager, responsible
for bookkeeping and other administrative matters, is Gena Evans.
It is anticipated that the RCD will be subcontracting with the Dept. of
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Davis
to analyze the field data and develop the final water balance, while the
RCD will provide the staff for the field data collection. The Project Manager
will coordinate at least monthly with the subcontractor to ensure that
the project's tasks are being met properly and on schedule. She will directly
oversee the RCD staff in field data collection to ensure that these tasks
are accomplished correctly and efficiently.
Both the RCD's District Manager and consultant have experience with the
State's 319(h) grant process from a FY 1994 project (granted to the RCD
through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). We have worked closely and
well with that project's manager from the North Coast Regional Water Quality
Control Board and feel confident that the RCD can successfully administer
another state grant from the SWRCB. In addition, the RCD has many years
of experience in successfully completing projects funded by other state
and federal agencies, such as the California Dept. of Fish and Game, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
F. WORK DESCRIPTION
TASK 1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
Subtask 1.1 Project Management
Subtask 1.2 Quarterly Progress Report
Subtask 1.3 Data Management
Subtask 1.4 Subcontract
TASK 2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Subtask 2.1 Confer with Scott River Watershed CRMP prior to data collection.
The CRMP shall be conferred with prior to initiation of Task 3.1.
Product: Responsiveness Survey
Subtask 2.2 Confer periodically with CRMP Water Subcommittee during
Product: Responsiveness Surveys (40 CFR part 25 - Public Participation)
Subtask 2.3 Submit and discuss draft report and recommendations to CRMP
Water Subcommittee and Committee
Product: Responsiveness Survey
TASK . DEVELOP QUALITY ASSURANCE PROJECT PLAN (QA PLAN)
[NOTE: This task is required if water quality data are to be generated
by the project. The current Scott River Temperature Monitoring Program
data could qualify if it is used as part of the match for this project.]
Product: QA Plan
TASK 3. ASSESS AND MEASURE SCOTT RIVER HYDROLOGY
Subtask 3.1 Collect and Compile Existing Hydrologic Data
Scott River USGS Gage Station data 1941-present
CDWR Well Monitoring data (5 wells in valley)
Previous gage station data for tributaries
Evapotranspiration data (UCCE or CDWR?)
Scott River Temperature Monitoring database (includes meteorology: rainfall,
snowpack, air temperature, cloud cover)
Subtask 3.2 Determine Locations of new Data Collection
Mainstem Scott River
Well locations with and without interconnecting surface water
Subtask 3.3 Collect stream discharge and ground water level data
How / Methods:
Parshall Measuring Flumes for tribs
Current meters for mainstem Scott
Staff gages for diversions with headgates
Stevens Contact Meters for well measurement
CDWR gage station on French Creek
When / Frequency:
Who: RCD Staff
High school students
TASK 4. ANALYZE HYDROLOGY FIELD DATA
Subtask 4.1 Combine Water Quantity Data with Compiled Meteorological
Scott River Temperature Monitoring Program database
Subtask 4.2 Evaluate
The effects of this sustained pumping on the water table and the recharge
rate after irrigation season are not known.
TASK 5. IMPLEMENTATION, INSTITUTIONAL, AND FINANCIAL PLANNING
Subtask 5.1 Prepare Implementation Plan
Product: Draft Implementation Plan
Subtask 5.2 Prepare Implementation Evaluation Checklist
Product: Implementation Evaluation Checklist
TASK 6. PREPARE PROJECT FINAL REPORT
Subtask 6.1 Prepare and Circulate Project Draft Final Report
Product: Project Draft Final Report
Subtask 6.2 Revise, Complete, and Distribute Final Report
Product: Project Final Report
H. BUDGET SUMMARY
MONTH TOTAL CONTRACT 25%
TASK PRODUCT DUE AMOUNT AMOUNT MATCH
1.1 Project Mgt.
1.2 Quarterly Reporting
1.3 Data Management
2.1 CRMP Initial Mtg.
2.2 CRMP Water Subcomm.
2.3 CRMP Review
3.1 Collect Existing Data
5.1 Implementation Plan
5.2 Implementation Checklist
6.1 Draft Final
6.2 Final Report