“Agencies and members of the public have until August fourth to comment on PG&E’s request to reduce flows into the East Fork of the Russian River from 75 cubic feet per second to 25, with flexibility to reduce the flows to 5 if water temperatures below Scott Dam exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 degrees Celsius. This is a mitigation measure to protect salmon, which require cold water. PG&E says its request includes provisions for water temperature monitoring, which the National Marine Fisheries Service as well as the Round Valley Indian Tribes have requested.
Five cfs is what the Russian River has gotten in severe drought years. But PG&E is reducing the storage capacity of Lake Pillsbury, in response to a recent revelation that Scott Dam is more susceptible to seismic risk than was previously known. To that end, the spillway gates on top of the dam remain open, though typically they would have been closed in April. Water is only being released through the needle valve at the bottom of the dam.”
Reservoir Storage & Operations:
Water supply information provided by Sonoma Water (more info here).
Lake Mendocino 2023 Storage Projections
Russian River Water Forum Updates
The next Planning Group Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 3, in Ukiah and via Zoom from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Please register here. Note: the form will register you for all 2023 Planning Group Meetings. Please remember to add the meetings to your calendar after registering.
The Water Rights & Water Management Working Group Meeting #1 is being held Tuesday, July 25, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (Register here) with an open session for the public, followed by a closed session.
Nature Based Solutions: Are You a Beaver Believer?
Recording of the 7/12/23 event: Beavers are nature’s engineers and their contributions are more important than ever as we face growing water challenges driven by climate change. State agencies are now taking a new approach to managing this important species, a fundamental change long championed by scientists and grassroots groups. Join us for a candid discussion of where things stand with beavers in California and an inspiring glimpse of what’s possible when we reconnect beavers to our landscapes. This is the first discussion of our Keystone Comeback Series, where we unpack efforts to recover native animals that help define their ecosystems and restore nature.
Read this additional article from CBS Bay Area: California beaver restoration program launched to revitalize state's ecosystems, watersheds, 7/13/23.
Community Volunteer Stewarding Natural Resources
Every year, fires are accidently started along roads due to chain dragging. An Upper Russian River resident took it upon himself to not only conduct outreach and engagement of other community members, but took action to prevent these accidental and oftentimes devastating fires. ‘Gizmo,’ as he is known locally, coordinated with local fire departments to acquire old firehoses destined for landfills and turn them into chain safety covers. Read more in the following attachment, including how to get a chain cover for yourself!TrailerChain Project.pdf
In the press:
- Press Democrat: Healdsburg’s Climate Mobilization Strategy beginning to take shape, 718/23
- New York Times: Facing a Future of Drought, Spain Turns to Medieval Solutions and ‘Ancient Wisdom’, 7/19/23
- Yes!: Running Dry: Can the Farm Bill Help Fix the Racial Water Gap? 7/20/23
- The Guardian: 'We can't escape' - climate crisis is driving up cost of living in the US west, 7/21/23
- Stanford: Droughts in Western states drive up emissions and threaten human health, 7/17/23
- Sacramento Bee via Yahoo news: Enough water for 11 million households went into California aquifers this year. Why it’s only a start, 7/20/23
- Maven's Notebook: California’s unnatural river flows threaten aquatic life—here’s a (partial) fix, 7/13/23
- NPR: A racist past and hotter future are testing Western water like never before, 7/11/23
- Manteca/Ripon Bulletin: The grass has never been greener in California & that’s not a good thing, 7/21/23
- University of CA: How Is Demand Management Developing in SGMA Groundwater Sustainability Plans, June 2023