- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
ACWA honors PCWA and French Meadows Forest Restoration Project team
The Association of California Water Agencies has selected the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) French Meadows Forest Restoration Project for the 2020 Clair A. Hill Agency Award for Excellence. The award recognizes exemplary programs developed by ACWA members that creatively address water industry issues and show commitment to water use efficiency and conservation, leadership in broad water-related issues, and excellence in agency management and operations.
The French Meadows Project is a collaborative partnership that aims to accelerate ecologically based forest management to reduce wildfire risk and promote healthier, more resilient source waters. Safeeq Khan, assistant UCCE specialist in water and watershed sciences at UC Merced's Sierra Nevada Research Institute, is part of the project team that includes members from the Placer County Water Agency, U.S. Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Placer County, American River Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.
As a part of this effort, Khan is evaluating forest management impacts on hydrology (e.g. snow accumulation and melt, soil moisture, streamflow and evapotranspiration) and forest health (e.g. tree growth and mortality) in the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the American River.
“The overall aim is to measure and assess the effects of restoration treatments on downstream water supplies, and drought resiliency in source-water watersheds,” Khan said. “My research team is working on installing and measuring water- and energy-balance in the project area and has acquired digital imagery for the site that provides baseline before-and-after data for analysis and scaling.
The results will inform land managers locally and across the region of the multi-year impacts of landscape-scale vegetation treatments and stimulate further participation in both restoration and long-term management.”
The award was presented to PCWA during ACWA's 2020 Virtual Summer Conference. As a part of this award, PCWA will have the honor of awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a deserving student in the name of Clair A. Hill.