Sub-project Descriptions

1. East Topa Topa Aggregate Neighborhood Recharge for Instream Flows

A neighborhood scale planning, outreach, and design project targeting stormwater recharge and reuse within a group of residential homes in the East Topa Topa neighborhood. The focus will be on site scale implementation of rainwater capture and reuse, greywater reuse, and mechanical water reuse (see Project #4) along with neighborhood focused stormwater recharge projects. Recharge projects will be decentralized to (1) capture runoff from streets and sidewalks while providing urban greening and reducing heat island effects and (2) infiltrate, treat and slow runoff prior to discharge to San Antonio Creek to enhance instream flows and change its peak hydrograph. The project will pilot a City-wide initiative encouraging and supporting residents to adopt conservation, recharge and reuse. Baseline monitoring and stream gage correlation for planned implementation will occur within this project through Project #10, Baseline Monitoring of Projects for Instream Flow Evaluation.

Ventura River Instream Flow

Project Locations

      Through the WCB 2017 Integrated Water Strategies (IWS) Planning Project (currently underway), key planning elements have been identified which, when integrated by this proposed Framework project, will generate 100% design plans and permitting to deliver 24 regional implementation-ready projects that will contribute an additional 3.800 Acre Feet Per Year (AFY) or 6.24 Cubic Feet Per Second (cfs) to instream flow and multi-beneficial uses

2. Downtown South Aggregate Neighborhood Instream Flow Recharge Project

A neighborhood scale planning, outreach, design, and policy project, targeting on-site reuse within a group of residential homes in the Downtown South neighborhood, geographically located on the perched aquifer of the OBGMA basin. The focus will be on site scale implementation of rainwater capture and reuse, greywater reuse, and mechanical water reuse (see Project #4) along with neighborhood focused stormwater recharge projects. Recharge projects will be decentralized to (1) capture runoff from streets and sidewalks while providing urban greening and reducing heat island effects and (2) infiltrate, treat and slow runoff prior to discharge to San Antonio Creek to enhance instream flows and change its peak hydrograph. The project will pilot a City-wide initiative encouraging and supporting residents to adopt conservation, recharge and reuse. Baseline monitoring and stream gage correlation for planned implementation will occur within this project through Project #10, Baseline Monitoring of Projects for Instream Flow Evaluation.

3. Signal Road/Grande Avenue Recharge Project

This demonstration project will pilot integrated complete street and stormwater management strategies to benefit instream flows and water supply resiliency. Runoff will be directed to a City owned lot retrofitted with bioswales to maximize infiltration of adjacent roadway runoff and runoff from Signal Street to the north. The project includes new walkways within the City lot and to the west of Signal Street, consistent with the proposed Complete Street concept to improve pedestrian access and safety. Baseline monitoring and stream gage correlation for planned implementation will occur within this project through Project #10, Baseline Monitoring of Projects for Instream Flow Evaluation.

4. Water Wise and Recharge Incentive Program to Promote a Healthy Ventura Watershed

Plan programmatic elements, outreach tools, general plan language, potential water ordinances/ resolutions to promote healthy hydrograph and groundwater temporal management for increased summer base flows in Ventura River and healthy habitats. Successful strategies such as rainwater, greywater stormwater low impact development (LID), and Ocean Friendly Gardens will be the toolkit employed in the incentive program. Lessons learned will be documented for other community models with instream flow degradations and drought conditions. Water conserved will also be monitored through the Project #10 in partnership with OBGMA.

5. Pumping Regime/Balancing

Determine temporal and geographical impacts of well extractions on surface and groundwater and instream flows. From this, implementation strategies will be developed to enhance instream flows.

6. Rainwater and Greywater Reuse/Ocean Friendly Gardens Landowner Incentive Program

Develop a program that small agencies can implement to administer grant funding for rainwater capture, grey water reuse and re-landscaping for 100% outreach to the VRWD customers. Potential greywater and rainwater harvesting potential will be used to create targets for Program Objectives.

Generate a Stakeholder Participation Plan on how to gain landowner access to remaining 1 mile, or 12 acres of noxious stands of Arundo donax in Ventura River Watershed, update crucial GIS files and finalize permitting and discover opportunities for implementation partnerships.

 

7. Ventura Watershed Temporal Management Plan for Removal of Arundo donax for Instream Flow

8. Katz Orchard Best Management Efficiency for Reduced Consumptive Use and Recharge to Enhance Flows for San Antonio Creek

The Katz Orchard Farms, adjacent to San Antonio Creek and the San Antonio Spreading Grounds stormwater project seeks to maintain or increase crop yield on 20 acres of avocado and citrus, while reducing water demands through various Best Management Practices (BMPs) suited to enhance instream flow through reduced consumptive use, or direct recharge, automate the manual and inefficient irrigation system, install smart irrigation controllers with Internet access, fully mulch and add biosolids to build soil carbon, and provide the grove as a “lessons learned” for other farmers in the region. Groundwater and vegetative monitoring will be used to better evaluate and understand these BMPs for enhanced instream flow.

9. Baseline Monitoring of Projects for Instream Flow Evaluation

To better understand the relationships between perched aquifer recharge, storage, and discharge to San Antonio Creek and the deeper production aquifer recharge, storage, and groundwater production, as well as provide critical characterization and baseline data for project implementation monitoring and performance evaluation.

10. Fire Restoration BMPs to Enhance Instream Flow

Identify and plan to implementation 5-8 regional U.S. Forest Service (USFS) sites in the Wildland Urban Interface and desired slopes that can intersect USFS priorities with instream flow enhancement within the Ventura River Watershed.

11. Transition for Oranges to California Natives

Develop an implementation and incentive plan to reduce consumptive use and recharge critical water supplies connected to instream flows of the Ventura River system through transitioning crop type to natives or other xeric species.

12. East End Instream Flow Time Management Planning

To generate innovative plans for temporal water supply transactions, as well as final plans for mechanical implementation, to allow for summer base flow recharge in the San Antonio watershed, and to provide due diligence on voluntary water transaction for Mutual Water Company on portion of non-diverted waters.

13. Peak Flow Pilot Project

The Peak Flow Retention Design and Planning Framework to Enhance Stream Flows in Thacher Creek demonstrates a streamlined process for changing water use patterns to enhance stream flows during low-flow periods in critical Southern Steelhead habitat. The Thacher School will cease low flow period withdrawals in San Antonio Creek, adding a cumulative minimum of 47.14-acre feet. Water will be diverted and stored during peak storm events, when considerable excess flows are available.

14. Orchard BMP Laboratory for Thacher Creek Flow Enhancement

Develop 100% design plans to reduce consumptive use of Thacher Creek and Senior Canyon sourced water on 41 acres of agricultural orchards through testing of various BMPs, such as stormwater recharge through earthworks, irrigation efficiencies, selective and temporal pruning, etc. This project will provide detail plans and evaluation criteria to not only enhance instream flows, but provide critical demonstration to regional orchard managers, as well as the students and visitors to The Thacher School campus.

15. Matilija Middle School Stormwater LID Demonstration Project or a Hydrated Ventura River

Design and engineering of stormwater LID demonstration projects on the Matilija campus creating effective onsite water management tied directly to instream flow, riparian habitat and overall watershed health through hands-on environmental education. The desired outcome of plan development is to be prepared to ask for implementation funding with 100% shovel ready designs completed for sites identified and prioritized during the planning process. Implementation of the plan will ultimately result in a range of interconnected multiple benefits. Cumulatively the impact of many projects in Ojai Valley Schools will help foster watershed literacy and stewardship for a resilient future.

16. Matilija Rainwater Capture Demonstration for a Hydrated Ventura River

Design and engineering of Rainwater Capture demonstration projects on the Matilija campus creating effective onsite water reuse and hands-on environmental education. The desired outcome of plan development is to be prepared to ask for implementation funding with 100% shovel ready designs completed for sites identified and prioritized during the planning process. Implementation of the plan will ultimately result in a range of interconnected multiple benefits. Cumulatively the impact of many projects in Ojai Valley Schools will help foster watershed literacy and stewardship for a resilient future.

17. Meiners Oaks Elementary Stormwater BMP and Learning Lab Demonstration for a Hydrated Ventura River 

Design and engineering of a Learning Lab with multiple stations along a “water cycle path” that weaves through the Meiners Oaks School campus. This path will link multiple stormwater BMP demonstration projects creating effective onsite water management and hands-on environmental education. The desired outcome of plan development is to be prepared to ask for implementation funding with 100% shovel ready designs completed for sites identified and prioritized during the planning process. Implementation of the plan will ultimately result in a range of interconnected multiple benefits. Cumulatively the impact of many projects in Ojai Valley Schools will help foster watershed literacy and stewardship for a resilient future.

18. Ojai Valley Inn Golf Course Redesign for Healthy Habitats and Communities

Develop plans for golf course turf and irrigation redesign that reduces 50%, or 157 AFY, of the irrigable demand annually, as well as optimizing habitat and critical stormwater recharge elements adjacent to San Antonio Creek.

19. Ojai Valley Inn Central Landscape Redesign for Healthy Habitats and Communities

Develop water wise landscape plans for central landscaped areas (approximately 40 acres) and irrigation redesign that reduces 60%, or 32 AFY, of the irrigable demand annually, as well as optimizing habitat and critical stormwater recharge elements adjacent to San Antonio Creek.

20. Ojai Valley Inn Water Reuse for Healthy Habitats and Communities

Develop 100% design plans and permits for alternative water sourcing through LID treatments such as stormwater, rainwater, brackish water, mechanical water, and greywater to be compatible with water wise landscape and non-potable indoor uses. Targets are to offset 38-60% of non-potable water demand, as well as optimizing habitat and critical stormwater recharge elements from LID actions adjacent to San Antonio Creek.

21. Invasive Tree Removal and Oak Woodland Health Habitat Plan 

Develop water quantification and 100% design plans and permits for removing invasive trees on over 200 acres. Additionally, this planning element will ascertain health of adjacent oak woodlands, to plan for BMPs to ensure healthy woodland, during and after invasive tree removal activities. Lastly, it will inform where new native plantings in areas of invasive tree removal will beneficial or best left to natural succession in wildland urban interfaces.

22. Ojai Valley Inn Stormwater Detention/Retention Planning for San Antonio Instream Flows

Develop 100% design plans and permits for both stormwater detention and retention opportunities on over 120 acres adjacent to San Antonio Creek, as well as overlying the perched aquifer contributing to summer base flows of San Antonio Creek. Targets are to evaluate baseline temporal interstitial flows to creek through data collection as well as monitor reduced consumptive use from retained stormwater supplies used for turf irrigation blending opportunities.

23. Ventura Bike Path Planning for Instream Flow BMPs

The Ventura River Trail (VRT) winds through urban, industrial, disadvantaged communities and agriculturally zoned lands within 0.5 mile of the Ventura River and all three groundwater basins that supply the river. This planning project will enhance instream flows through direct recharge and reduced consumptive use projects planned along the bike trail, as well as through expanding critical public outreach and education of those projects conducted through interpretive exhibits. Tasks include assessment and prioritization of irrigation offsets, stormwater BMPs for watershed rehydration, as well as climate adaptation treatments to enhance instream flows and opportunity for education and demonstration along the entire VRT. Completion of this plan will allow implementation funding requests by the VCRCD for 100% shovel ready designs focused on instream flow enhancement along the trail as well as highlighting regional significance of flows in the Ventura River Watershed. It will select sites identified and prioritized during the planning process. Cumulatively, the impact of many linked projects will help build resilient ecosystems and communities, as well as create a powerful environmental and educational experience of traveling through a unique watershed.

24. Pumping Regime/Balancing for Instream Flow and Water Quality

Determine temporal and geographical impacts of well extractions on surface and groundwater on instream flows as well as assessing impact to nutrient loading. This critical characterization will facilitate future implementation and refinement of strategies to enhance instream flows.

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