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Project Contacts
Chris Konrad,
Hydrologist,
934 Broadway,
Suite 300
Tacoma, WA 98402

(cpkonrad@usgs.gov)
(253) 552-1634

Andy Gendaszek,
934 Broadway,
Suite 300
Tacoma, WA 98402
(agendasz@usgs.gov)
(253) 552-1612
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Cedar River Peak Flow Management

  
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Composite Scour Recovery
Scour instrument recovery on the Cedar River.

The Cedar River watershed provides two-thirds of the water supply for the greater Seattle metropolitan region, in addition to being home to numerous federally listed salmon species. The City of Seattle, through Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), works closely with the Cedar River Instream Flow Commission (IFC) to adaptively manage flows on the Cedar River. Seattle operates its water management facilities in the Cedar River to meet two primary objectives: delivery of high quality drinking water to its customers in the Seattle metropolitan area and protection of aquatic and riparian habitat in the mainstem Cedar River and Chester Morse Lake. Water management activities also strive to consider flood protection needs, water delivery to Lake Washington/Lake Washington Ship Canal, and hydropower production at the Seattle City Light Cedar Falls Hydroelectric Facility.

To help the City of Seattle manage high-flow releases during periods of heavy precipitation, the USGS is completing a geomorphic study of the Cedar River. In particular, the USGS is working with the IFC and SPU to develop a conceptual model relating Cedar River geomorphology and aquatic ecology. Scientists will also determine the current geomorphic state of the Cedar River, measuring key geomorphic features and evaluating the size and benefits of geomorphically resetting floods. A hydrodynamic numerical model of a representative reach of the river will be built to aid in the geomorphic assessment of the river, and research will also evaluate the amount of salmon-redd scour under different flood conditions. Particular attention will be paid to understanding the geomorphic response of the river under different magnitude/duration release scenarios for flood management. Finally, the USGS will identify the geomorphic/ riverine habitat metrics that are most important to monitor as part of a long-term monitoring program.

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