The Nature Conservancy (TNC) holds several water rights on Mill Creek that have historically been monitored by the Los Molinos Mutual Water Company (LMMWC). TNC is considering more complex management options for these rights, such as downstream leasing or instream dedications, that would require additional monitoring downstream of LMMWC’s diversions.
Davids Engineering was contracted by TNC to evaluate the feasibility of a monitoring station at Ward Dam, and to provide recommendations for establishing a permanent flow measurement site that would enable accurate, reliable data logging and real-time data access. Davids Engineering is designing site-specific stage-discharge relationships at Ward Dam using temporary water level sensors and flow gages to capture a wide range of flow measurements. Recognizing that the long-term success of this monitoring site requires stable and predictable site conditions, Davids Engineering is also carefully considering the specific physical, geomorphic, and hydraulic characteristics of the site.
As a result of this work, TNC will be able to accurately and reliably correlate water level data to the flow rate passing the measurement site using calibrated water level-flow rate relationships. Ultimately, these data will allow TNC greater flexibility in managing its water rights to the greatest benefit of all users.