Workshop #1   8:30 am – 12 pm (BACK)
Tuesday, July 21

The WARSSS Application in Developing Post-Fire Master Restoration Plans

Dave Rosgen, PhD., Wildland Hydrology, Fort Collins, CO
Brandon Rosgen., Wildland Hydrology, Fort Collins, CO
Jim Nankervis

This workshop provides an introduction to the quantitative approach to determine cumulative watershed effects for hillslope, hydrology, and channel processes using WARSSS (Watershed Assessment for River Stability and Sediment Supply)WARSSS includes various screening levels, including the Reconnaissance Level Assessment (RLA), the Rapid Resource Inventory for Sediment and Stability Consequence (RRISSC), and the Prediction Level Assessment (PLA).  The methodology allows practitioners to evaluate large watersheds in a consistent, comparative manner to identify processes and the extent of impairment by location.  The WARSSS methodology has been approved by the EPA for national applications in developing sediment TMDLs for 303d-listed streams (

The results of a WARSSS study are used to direct master restoration plans that prioritize locations with disproportionately high sediment sources related to hydrologic, hillslope, and channel processes.  Watershed-based master plans provide sustainable solutions and land use modifications to correct river impairments.

A large-scale WARSSS study was conducted on the watersheds impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2012.  The results of the WARSSS study formed the foundation for a multi-watershed master plan to direct restoration efforts to reduce delivered sediment, restore the stability and function of the stream and riparian systems, and accelerate the watershed recovery processes.  Typical design scenarios were developed for post-fire restoration priorities directly related to individual erosional processes by specific sub-watershed location.  An example is presented pertaining to one of the design scenarios regarding the flow and sediment response of restoring alluvial fan function on North Douglas Creek based on post-restoration monitoring by Colorado State University.