On October 12, 2018 The Sierra Fund’s (TSF) CEO Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin and Science Director Dr. Carrie Monohan participated in one of several seminars being hosted by UC Berkeley as part of the Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar Series on Water Management: Past and Present Adaptations.
TSF was invited by UC Berkeley Professor G. Mathias (Matt) Kondolf, fluvial geomorphologist and environmental planner. Kondolf spoke at TSF’s 2017 Reclaiming the Sierra Conference about the impacts of sedimentation on California water infrastructure. Click here to watch his presentation.
The October 12 seminar focused on management issues in the context of political boundaries and was titled “Managing Sediment at the River Basin Scale: Too Much or Too Little Sediment Across Borders.” Dr. Monohan will return Friday, October 26 to present during a second seminar exploring river basin scale sediment management, “Sediment Starved Rivers and Sand Rights for the Coast.” She will describe sedimentation in the Bear River, one of the Sierra Nevada watersheds most severely impacted by hydraulic mining and mercury contamination.
Three major reservoirs on the Bear River are 303(d) listed under the Clean Water Act as impaired for mercury: Camp Far West, Combie and Rollins Reservoirs. All three reservoirs have site-specific fish consumption advisories based on mercury levels in fish tissue, issued by the CA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
Since 2009, TSF has partnered with the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) on the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project in order to establish best management practices for removing sediment from mercury-impacted systems. If successful, this pilot project can be scaled up to produce multiple benefits at reservoirs throughout the Sierra Nevada, including water supply reliability, water quality protection and improvement, ecosystem restoration and enhanced recreation.