We will translate existing modeled hydroclimatic data into metrics used for water crossing design and replacement. WDFW permits (Hydraulic Code Rules, Chapter 220-110 WAC) and provides technical guidance for construction of hundreds of fish passable culverts, a number which is expected to rise dramatically in response to a 2013 federal court injunction directing the state to repair thousands of culverts that inhibit salmon migration. Current WDFW design guidance does not account for changes in hydrology resulting from climate change. This project will support the development of designs that maintain desired performance (e.g. connectivity benefits to aquatic organisms) throughout water crossings expected life.
This project will incorporate climate change data into WDFW water crossing design guidance and permitting process by 1) translating available hydrologic projections derived from downscaled climate projections into metrics (e.g., bankfull width, toe width) used by WDFW and many others in the design of fish passage structures, and 2) mapping decision pathways to indicate where and how to incorporate climate information.
Species Impacted: All seven species of salmonids and other aquatic organisms that benefit from improved stream connectivity.
Geographic extent: Will apply directly to the entire State of Washington, but the process and products should be relevant to stream-road crossing decisions throughout the United States and Canada.
Specific Outcomes: WDFW engineers will be able to provide climate smart guidance and technical assistance influencing hundreds of stream crossings for fish passage annually an opportunity to leverage project results across a multitude of organizations engaged in fish barrier replacements.
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