On July 10, the Bodega Land Trust hosted a community event for the Salmon Creek Watershed.
Recent UC Berkeley Ph. D. recipient and author Cleo Woelfle-Erskine shared his research on groundwater/surface water interactions and effects on salmon in the Salmon Creek watershed:
History of use: Residents of Salmon Creek Watershed today use 5 times the amount of water they did in 1850, due to an increase in the number of households in the watershed.
Current status for salmon: Salmonids are fighting for survival in scarce water. These fish are born and seek sanctuary in even the smallest of coastal streams, so long as there is cold enough, plentiful enough and oxygenated enough water.
Citizen science: The curiosity and participation of locals in recording data such as wet and dry mapping, well monitoring, and fish counting can significantly aid our understanding of what it takes to keep salmon and the multispecies community that flourishes with them.
Guidance for Water Managers: Citizen and academic science are gather data that gets us closer to understanding what conditions fish need to survive. They help answer questions like "Do salmon want humans to catch rainwater?" and "Is groundwater recharge the most effective method for supplying surface water?" Answers to these questions will be very useful guidance to water managers.
Gold Ridge RCD lead scientist John Green offered water-saving solutions for watershed residents:
Reduce: Too often water is lost through inefficient irrigation systems, and ample rainwater that could be stored for use later is forced off the site by pipes, channels, roads, and gutters. The water that we need so badly in the summer is swiftly drained from the landscape in the winter, shooting down impervious surfaces, carrying pollutants like soil, fertilizers and car oil, undermining roads and eroding stream banks as it heads to the ocean.
Reuse: Catching and storing clean rainwater before it hits the ground is a practical solution for meeting non-potable water demand year-round. Rainwater capture and storage comes in many forms-from a simple barrel at the end of your home's down spout, to an impressive 150,000 gallons stocked in a steel tank, to a discreet water pillow laid below your deck.
Recycle: In a place that experiences annual drought, using water multiple times and recycling water back into the watershed by recharge makes a good deal of sense. Greywater systems enable residents to send their laundry water out to garden planters, and pervious landscaping settles and absorbs water instead of removing it. "Slow it, store it, spread it, sink it" is a motto all Salmon Creek residents could ado
Karl Andersen, a Bodega landowner who partnered with the RCD on a rainwater system at his home in 2010, shared his experience. Karl demystified the construction and use of a rainwater system for the average resident and how having an alternative source of water impacts both water use and awareness of water on the landscape.
Thank you to all who attended!