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File #: 2020-1058   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 10/8/2020 In control: Sonoma County Water Agency
On agenda: 10/20/2020 Final action:
Title: Sonoma Aqueduct Vegetation Management Mitigation
Department or Agency Name(s): Sonoma County Water Agency
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Agreement
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Board of Directors, Sonoma County Water Agency

Department or Agency Name(s): Sonoma County Water Agency

Staff Name and Phone Number: Candace Messner                     291-3161

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): All




Sonoma Aqueduct Vegetation Management Mitigation



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Authorize Sonoma County Water Agency’s General Manager to execute an agreement with Sonoma Ecology Center for tree planting, maintenance, and monitoring through December 31, 2025 in the not-to-exceed amount of $123,048.



Executive Summary:

Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) is undertaking tree removal and vegetation management activities to reduce potential damage to aboveground sections of the Sonoma Aqueduct at several creek crossing sites that are susceptible to damage by falling trees.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) requires tree planting as mitigation for this work.  Replanting would be conducted along Sonoma Creek within the campus of the now closed Sonoma Developmental Center.




Sonoma Water manages and maintains a water supply and transmission system that provides naturally filtered Russian River water to more than 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties.  The Sonoma Aqueduct is the segment of the water transmission system that is the primary source of drinking water for customers of the Valley of the Moon Water District and City of Sonoma.  Aboveground sections of the Sonoma Aqueduct exist at several creek crossing locations and are susceptible to damage by falling trees, including several trees that were damaged during the 2017 Nuns fire.  Failure of the pipeline would be of critical public health and safety concern, and potentially includes the introduction of chlorinated water into a natural waterway.


Sonoma Water is undertaking the Sonoma Aqueduct Creek Crossings Vegetation Management Project (Project) to reduce potential pipe failure resulting from damage caused by adjacent trees.  The Project will prune, remove, and manage vegetation within the Sonoma Aqueduct easement at three creek crossing sites where sections of the pipe are exposed.


Planting of native trees is necessary as mitigation for the removal of live trees under the Project, and is required to fulfill a Streambed Alteration Agreement issued by CDFW.  There are no areas on the Project site suitable or large enough for the number of mature trees required to be planted.  Accordingly, Sonoma Water is proposing to plant replacement trees along Sonoma Creek within the campus of the now closed Sonoma Development Center in Eldridge, California.  This area was impacted by the 2017 Nuns fire and is in need of reforestation; and was approved as the tree replacement planting area by CDFW on July 8, 2020. 



On February 7, 2017, Sonoma Water issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to 42 firms.  The RFQ was also posted on the Sonoma Water and County of Sonoma Purchasing Department websites. 


Statements of Qualifications were received from 48 firms.  The following criteria were used to evaluate each firm:

1.                     Thoroughness of the Statement of Qualifications

2.                     Professional qualifications and demonstrated ability to perform the work

3.                     Exceptions to standard terms in the sample agreement


A list of 47 qualified consultants was created including Sonoma Ecology Center (Consultant). The Consultant is a duly qualified conservation science organization, experienced in watershed monitoring, native plant design and installation, maintenance, and monitoring. The consultant was selected due to their extensive experience conducting mitigation projects, their involvement with the local community, and their particular knowledge of the CDFW-approved replacement tree planting area along Sonoma Creek.



Under the proposed agreement, Sonoma Ecology Center would design a native tree planting plan; install 100 trees with irrigation and plant protection; maintain planted areas; and monitor and report annually on status of restoration effort for a period of five years.


The cost of services will not exceed $123,048; the term end date is December 31, 2025.


Prior Board Actions:



Fiscal Summary


FY 20-21 Adopted

FY21-22 Projected

FY 22-23 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

Total costs associated with this item are $123,048 over the five year period from FY 2020/2021 through FY 2025/2026. Budgeted amount of $123,048 is available from FY 2020/2021 appropriations for the Water Transmission System Agency Fund, which is funded by water rates.  No additional appropriation is required.


Staffing Impacts:




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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




Attachment 1:  Agreement with Sonoma Ecology Center


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: