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Workshop on Managing Runoff to Protect Natural Streams


Hydromodification can result in adverse effects to stream habitat and water supply. Likewise, associated stream erosion may threaten infrastructure, homes, and businesses. In response to these effects, state and local agencies have developed, or are developing, standards and management approaches to control and/or mitigate the effects of hydromodification on natural and semi-natural stream courses.

This technical workshop was convened to provide an overview of the key technical and managerial issues associated with hydromodification, with a specific focus on California’s climatic setting.


The objectives of the workshop were:

• Exchange of information on technical and managerial approaches to hydromodification
• Identification of common conclusions regarding a general understanding of hydromodification
• Recommendation of priority needs for future work (technical and managerial products) in response to hydromodification issues


This workshop was held October 2-3, 2005.


Twenty-six speakers and 175 participants gathered in Ontario, California to discuss the results of recent research both within and outside of California. The workshop consisted of two evening and one all-day session. The first night, a small group of scientists and managers gathered to discuss key knowledge gaps and technical information needs. The next day session was open to all attendees, who interacted with a slate of speakers summarizing technical, regulatory, and management approaches to addressing the effects of hydromodification. The workshop concluded with an evening session in which a small group discussed priority needs for future research and management tool development.


Workshop participants identified five priority areas for additional research and data collection:

• Regional reference (i.e., natural) conditions for various stream channel types
• Links between geomorphic stream channel change and biologic effects
• Dynamic simulation models calibrated for local conditions
• Potential consequences of increased storm water infiltration from urbanized areas
• Ongoing monitoring programs to assess hydromodification impacts and develop effective management strategies

These recommendations are described further in the workshop report


The workshop was conducted in cooperation with the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA), Southern California Stormwater Monitoring Coalition (SMC), and University of Southern California Sea Grant.