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Russian River Water Update 8/21/23

Note: Due to vacation season, there was no update on 8/14/23.

Cape Horn Dam on the Eel River
Cape Horn Dam, KZYX webpage 8/21/23 article

Regional Partners Submit Proposal to Preserve Potter Valley Diversion and Fish Passage Options

The Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission (MCIWPC), the Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT), and the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) submitted a proposal to advance a regional solution for preserving flows in the Russian River and improving Eel River fisheries. Links to the press release and proposal can be found on the District’s website:

Articles on Proposal:


Reservoir Storage & Operations:

Water supply information provided by Sonoma Water (more info here).

Storage table of reservoir storage from Sonoma Water.
Storage graph of Lake Mendocino storage from Sonoma Water website
Storage graph of Lake Pillsbury storage from Sonoma Water website

PG&E Files Long Term Flow Variance Request to FERC on July 31, 2023

PG&E filed the attached long-term flow variance request to FERC on July 31, 2023. “…the need for the proposed Long-Term Flow Regime is expected to begin in January 2024 and extend until Project Decommissioning is completed, and the “variance period” for each year is defined as the period from May 16 until Lake Pillsbury storage exceeds 36,000-acre feet (af) after October 1 of each year.” Flow at E-16 (East Fork Russian River above Lake Mendocino) is recommended to be as it has been outlined in the short term variances: 5-25 cfs based on water temperatures downstream of Scott Dam on the Eel and/or Lake Pillsbury storage forecasts.

MendoFever: PG&E Wants to Dial Back Water Released into the Russian River from Lake Pillsbury, 8/6/23


California's Fifth Climate Change Assessment Regional Workshop:  North Coast Region, Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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California’s Climate Change Assessments contribute to the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related vulnerability at the local scale and informing resilience actions, while also informing State policies, plans, and programs to safeguard California from climate change.

The public is invited to input on the draft framework for the Regional Synthesis Reports, identify local priorities to be addressed through the Fifth Assessment, and begin identifying partners interested in being part of regional author teams.

This workshop for the North Coast counties of Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Siskiyou, and Del Norte, will also include an opportunity to share community-level adaptation and resilience priorities to inform the 2024 Update to California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy, and identify climate-vulnerability variables to guide the development of the State’s Vulnerable Communities Platform.

Local and regional partners representing science/academia, community-based organizations, Tribes and Tribal organizations, local governments, and others are encouraged to attend.

Click here for more information and registration.

Nature-based grants being made available to California Tribes

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The California Natural Resources Agency has announced a new grant program is making $101 million available to help California Native American Tribes deal with the effects of climate change. The Tribal Nature-Based Solutions Grant Program will support Tribes to reacquire ancestral land, address impacts of climate change, and protect biodiversity. Among other things, the funding can be used to purchase land, train workforce, and build projects to protect culturally important natural resources.



Russian River Water Forum Updates

Russian River Water Forum logo

The Planning Group met on August 17, 2023. More information can be found on the website:  (



State Water Board Releases Draft Regulation For Making Conservation a California Way of Life

Moving to strengthen California’s water supply and resilience to climate change through long-term water conservation practices, the State Water Resources Control Board formally began the rulemaking process for the Making Conservation a Way of Life regulation. The first public comment period is open from August 18 until October 17, 2023. Documents are available on the rulemaking webpage.

State Water Board staff will host a public hearing on October 4, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. until noon, including an overview of the proposed regulation, the regulatory timeline and process, and presentations from interested parties. In addition, anyone may present oral or written comments. For more information about the proposed regulation, please check out this factsheet and visit the Conservation as a California Way of Life webpage:


Sonoma Water Board Updates Energy and Climate Resiliency Policy

Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) Board of Directors recently approved a new Energy and Climate Resiliency Policy.

“The policy approved on Tuesday reflects Sonoma Water’s leadership in advancing science-based, partner-driven solutions to prepare regional water systems for climate impacts,” said Sonoma Water Director and Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins. “It also requires us to look more rigorously at who will be impacted by the changing climate and to collaborate with low-income and communities of color to ensure that we develop equitable policies and programs.”

The newly adopted policy continues Sonoma Water’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also expands its focus on proactively preparing for the effects of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, fewer but more intense storms and increased risk of wildfires. Link to full press release

In the press:


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