South Yuba Hydrology Illustrations

Overview of South Yuba River Hydrology Bob Center Presented to FERC Academy on December 10, 2005 1 2 South Yuba River, Edwards Crossing, May 20, 2005, 14,000 cfs Introduction The FERC re-licensing process has as a primary concern some re-allocation of South Yuba River watershed runoff. At the heart of any new license will be a specification of how much water is to be returned to the rivers and creeks, water temperature, and how the water is to be distributed through time. An understanding of the runoff that is to be the object of this re-allocation will improve understanding of possibilities and constraints, and can assist in articulating interests in discussions with other stakeholders This presentation will provide an overview of runoff in the South Yuba watershed in basic terms: How much runoff there is, where it comes from, and when, and where it goes The great variability of precipitation and runoff on all time scales How dams and diversions impact the rivers and creeks in terms of reduction in volume, continuity and variability First is an overview of runoff in the watershed as a whole, including the over-all effects of dams and diversions Next is a look at the impact that dams and diversions have on: Middle Yuba River Canyon Creek Fordyce Creek South Yuba above Spaulding Reservoir South Yuba below Spaulding Reservoir 3 Major Streams, Reservoirs and Conduits in the South Yuba Watershed South Yuba Watershed Milton Res M. Yuba Jackson Meadows Res Milton Bowman Canal Weber + Peak 8092 Sp rin g g

bu m u H Sh ad y n hma Scotc Jefferson S. Yuba Canal Englebright Res Ke nt uc ky Bowman Spaulding Canal Black Buttes + 8030 Fordyce L Castle Peak + 9103 Fordyce Washington S. Yuba Rock Can yon Po or M an Bowman L L Spaulding S. Yuba Mt Lincoln 8382 Ru sh Ow l Drum Canal 4 + Pre-Development South Yuba River Basin Hydrology vs Current Hydrology (Data from USGS 1999 Hydrological Data Report) Todays Flow

282 Average Recorded Yearly Flow (000s of acre feet) 200 Yearly flow estimate (000s of acre feet) Po o Ca n rm an yon Cre e Cr ee k Flow Scale: = 100,000 acre feet / year k Additional flow were there no diversions 97 96 50 96 r Fo 57 S Yuba River dy ce ek Cre 200 93 720 343 279 279 172 97 S Yuba Note that many creeks enter the river below Poorman Creek, adding about 140,000 af, mostly from rain. Jones Bar (Hwy 49) 5 River

Lake Spaulding Stores and Distributes Upper South Yuba River Water (Data from USGS 1999 Hydrological Data Report) Runoff above Lake Spaulding 530,000 af / yr (Includes 158,000 af from BowmanSpaulding canal, which include 62,000 af from the Middle Yuba) Late Spring Spill 85,000 af /yr* South Yuba River 93,000 af / yr Release to River South Yuba Canal 62,000 af / yr Lake Spaulding Drum Canal 375,000 af / yr 6 Milton-Bowman Canal (From M Yuba) Overview of Present-Day South Yuba River Hydrology (Data from USGS 1999 Hydrological Data Report) 62 Major Reservoir Diverted Runoff Spill Average Recorded Yearly Runoff (000s of acre feet) 200 Estimated Yearly Flow (000s of acre feet) 25 2.5 Ca ny on Cr ee k Po o 158 14 rm an Cr ee

k Release to River from Bowman and Spaulding Flow Scale: = 100,000 acre feet / year 50 Bowman-Spaulding Canal n ma Bow 558 el 5 Natural Runoff 158 43 S Yuba River 99 239 343 Town of Washington 5 85 99 5 2.5 Note that many creeks enter the river below Lake Spaulding, adding about 146,000 af, mostly from rain South Y uba ng l di 1 u a 1 Sp l 50 e 62 ce d y 2 r Fo 640 el 97 200 r Fo 172 c dy e ek Cre SY uba Riv

er 375 nal Ca Jones Bar (Hwy 49) um Dr l na Ca 7 South Yuba River Runoff and Water Distribution 1,600,000 1,400,000 1,000,000 L Cyn Runoff Spill Rel to S Yuba S Yuba Canal Drum Canal 800,000 600,000 400,000 Water Year 4 3 2 1 0 99 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 91 90 89 88 87 86 85

84 83 82 81 80 79 78 77 76 75 74 73 0 72 200,000 71 Acre Feet Per Year 1,200,000 8 South Yuba River Runoff and Water Distribution 1600000 1400000 1200000 L Cyn Runoff Spill Rel to S Yuba S Yuba Canal Drum Canal 800000 600000 400000 Water Year 83 82 85 95 84 97 86 96 98 80 99

93 71 74 73 78 3 75 0 89 72 4 79 2 81 90 91 94 76 92 87 88 0 1 200000 77 Acre Feet Per Year 1000000 9 Middle Yuba River and Milton Bowman Canal Milton Res M. Yuba Jackson Meadows Res Milton Bowman Canal Weber + Peak 8092 Po or Can

yon Cr Ma n Cr Bowman Res Bowman Spaulding Canal Black Buttes + 8030 Fordyce L Castle Peak + 9103 Fordyce Cr S. Yuba L Spaulding Hwy 49 (Jones Bar) S u Dr m ub .Y n Ca al an aC S. Yuba Mt Lincoln 8382 + al 10 Impact of Jackson Meadows Reservoir, Milton Dam and Milton-Bowman Canal on Flow Volume on the Middle Yuba River M Yuba blw Milton Lk Then and Now 450 400 350 300 CFS 250 200 150 100 50 0 O N

D J F Pre Dev '71-'04 31 43 60 99 88 Pre-Dev '88-'04 4 20 54 96 88-'04 4 4 4 38 M A J A S 133 250 379 198 32 10 16 79 152 267 419 206 33 3 1 19 11 24 4 4

22 M 74 J 111 Note: Pre Dev means that the data represents the flow before the construction of the dams and diversions immediately upstream (calculated using the equation Input Output = Change in Storage). The date range 71-04 gives the time period covered by the data used in the continuity calculation. Where a date range appears by itself, such as 88-04, the data represents post-development gauge readings, in this case below Milton Dam. 11 Impact of Jackson Meadows Reservoir, Milton Dam and Milton-Bowman Diversion on Flow Volume and Variability in the Middle Yuba River M Yuiba bl Milton L, Pre Development MY bl Milton Post Development 900 900 800 800 700 700 600 600 500 400 300 200 200 100 100 0 0 1996 1994 1992 1990 1988 J F CFS 1998 2000 2002 2004 300

O 2002 2004 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1990 1988 J A J O 400 500 CFS 12 Bowman Reservoir, Bowman-Spaulding Canal, and Canyon Creek Milton Res M. Yuba Jackson Meadows Res Milton Bowman Canal Weber + Peak 8092 Po or Can yon Cr Ma n Cr Bowman Res Bowman Spaulding Canal Black Buttes + 8030 Fordyce L Castle Peak + 9103

Fordyce Cr S. Yuba L Spaulding Hwy 49 (Jones Bar) S u Dr m ub .Y n Ca al an aC S. Yuba Mt Lincoln 8382 + al 13 Impact of Bowman Reservoir and the BowmanSpaulding Canal on Flow Volume In Canyon Creek Canyon Creek Then and Now 400 350 300 CFS 250 200 150 100 50 0 O N Pre Dev '71-'04 38 73 5 6 71-'04 D J F M A M J

120 143 134 193 250 358 193 13 23 19 37 33 69 72 J A S 47 12 13 13 4 4 Monthly Averages '71-74 14 Impact of Bowman Reservoir and Bowman-Spaulding Canal on Flow Volume and Variability In Canyon Creek Canyon Creek Post Development '71-'04 Canyon Ck Pre Development 900 900 800 800 700 700 600 600 500 400 300 200 200 100 100 CFS 0 1998

2001 2004 1995 1992 1986 1983 1980 1977 1974 M 1989 O 1971 2001 2004 1998 1995 1992 1989 1986 1983 1980 1977 1974 1971 M 400 300 0 O 500 cfs 15 Fordyce Lake and Fordyce Creek Milton Res M. Yuba Jackson Meadows Res Milton Bowman Canal Weber + Peak

8092 Po or Can yon Cr Ma n Cr Bowman Res Bowman Spaulding Canal Black Buttes + 8030 Fordyce L Castle Peak + 9103 Fordyce Cr S. Yuba L Spaulding Hwy 49 (Jones Bar) S u Dr m ub .Y n Ca al an aC S. Yuba Mt Lincoln 8382 + al 16 Impact of Fordyce Lake on Flow Timing In Fordyce Creek Fordyce Ck blw Fordyce Lk 500 450 400 350 CFS 300 250

200 150 100 50 0 O N Pre Dev 77-'95 118 68 D J F M A M J J A 46 53 68 99 229 433 332 104 28 32 40 36 51 78 195 324 279 174 S 106 Monthly averages '77-'95 17

Impact of Fordyce Lake on Variability In Fordyce Creek Fordyce Ck bl Fordyce Lk Pre Project Fordyce Ck bl Fordyce Lk Post Project 1000 1,000 900 900 800 800 700 700 600 600 500 400 500 CFS 400 300 300 200 200 100 100 1995 1993 1991 1989 1987 1985 1983 A 1981 M 1979 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986

1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 J A J O -100 0 O 1977 0 CFS 18 South Yuba River above Lake Spaulding Milton Res M. Yuba Jackson Meadows Res Milton Bowman Canal Weber + Peak 8092 Po or Can yon Cr Ma n Cr Bowman Res Bowman Spaulding Canal Black Buttes + 8030 Fordyce L Castle Peak + 9103 Fordyce Cr

S. Yuba L Spaulding Hwy 49 (Jones Bar) S u Dr m ub .Y n Ca al an aC S. Yuba Mt Lincoln 8382 + al 19 The South Yuba above Lake Spaulding South Yuba at Cisco Grove The South Yuba above Cisco is relatively unimpaired 800 1,600 700 1,400 600 1,200 1,000 500 800 400 600 300 400 200 200 A M J J A S

39 120 95 115 138 234 424 685 388 71 15 23 1993 1991 1989 1987 A 1985 M 1983 F 1981 J 1979 D 1977 N 1973 O 1975 M 1971 '71-'94 0 O 100 0 CFS 20 Lake Spaulding, the Drum Canal,the

South Yuba Canal and the South Yuba River Milton Res M. Yuba Jackson Meadows Res Milton Bowman Canal Weber + Peak 8092 Po or Can yon Cr Ma n Cr Bowman Res Bowman Spaulding Canal Black Buttes + 8030 Fordyce L Castle Peak + 9103 Fordyce Cr S. Yuba L Spaulding S. Yuba Hwy 49 (Jones Bar) S. ba Yu n Ca Mt Lincoln 8382 al u Dr m n Ca + al 21

Lake Spaulding, the Drum Canal,the South Yuba Canal and the South Yuba River Dams and diversions have great imnpact on flow volume and flow variability in the South Yuba River 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 Langs X '77-94 Pre Dev O N D J F M A M J J A S 7 67 71 46 113 99 99 282 324 58 6 6 233 295 311 423 668 961

1,415 887 230 12 22 The South Yuba canyon between Fordyce Lake and Englebright Lake produces a large volume of unimpaired runoff. Accretion from 44 miles of the South Yuba, 9 miles of Canyon Creek below Bowman L, 12 miles of Poorman Creek and numerous smaller creeks creates a new river with substantial natural flow and significant natural variability at all scales. Lang's Crossing Jones Bar 5,000 5,000 4,500 4,500 4,000 4,000 3,500 3,500 3,000 3,000 2,500 CFS 2,500 CFS 2,000 2,000 1,500 1,500 1,000 1,000 500 0 1999 2001 2003 1997 1993 1995 1991 1987 1985 1983

1981 1979 1977 1975 A 1989 O 1973 2003 2001 1999 1997 1995 1993 1991 1989 1987 1985 1983 1981 1979 1977 1975 1973 1971 A 1971 0 O 500 23 In this late season rain and rain-on-snow event, dams on the Yuba attenuate the rivers response when compared to the North American, a similar river (View at 200% to see labels) 24 Spring snowmelt causes daily variation in flow. Enough snowmelt escapes dams to provide some daily variation on the South Yuba (View at 200% to see labels) 25

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