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Russian River Weekly Update 2/20/24

Lake Mendocino on January 23, 2024 by CJ Watt
Lake Mendocino on January 23, 2024 by CJ Watt


Reservoir Storage & Operations:

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

The image shows a water storage data table for Lake Mendocino, Lake Pillsbury, and Lake Sonoma, including current storage, targets, and changes.

Below graphs from: Press Democrat: Here’s where Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino county reservoirs stand a week after bomb cyclone, 2/12/24

A graph showing Lake Pillsbury's daily reservoir levels over time, with a sharp increase towards the end.
A graph showing Daily Lake Mendocino Reservoir Levels over a year, including storage, capacity, and target levels.
Chart showing Lake Sonoma's daily reservoir levels compared to capacity and target levels over a year.


Eel-Russian River Trans Basin Diversion Update

In the Mendocino County Inland Water & Power Commission (IWPC) 2/14/24 Update, further clarification was given on PG&E’s recent position shift on the decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project.

“PG&E recently made an announcement regarding the PVP decommissioning, that shocked some people as they assumed it was the end for the new Eel/Russian diversion and fisheries plan.  But that is totally incorrect…everything is moving forward, just in a slightly different way.”

It goes on to explain that the newly formed Eel Russian Project Authority (ERPA) planned to request a non-power license from FERC that would allow ERPA to build while PG&E removed their facilities. Upon further consideration, PG&E concluded the timing was not aligned, though the company intends to continue working with local representatives to smooth the process as the two processes continue in parallel.

More information:


Supply and Demand Assessment (SDA) by the SWRCB in the Russian River

The SDA Unit has continued to work on the models and tools developed for the Russian River Watershed during the State Water Board's 2021-2022 Regional Drought Response. These tools provided the necessary information for the Division of Water Rights (Division) to assess water availability and issue water right curtailments to ensure adequate, minimal water supplies for critical purposes under the emergency regulation. Visit the Water Rights Demand Data Analysis Methodology webpage to learn more and try out the tool. The Division used a water allocation tool adopted from the UC Davis Drought Water Rights Allocation Tool (DWRAT) to allocate available supply amongst water right holders based on their respective water right priority and water demands.


North Coast Resource Partnership Request for Proposals: Technical Assistance for Project Development

The North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP) is pleased to offer a Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance to Tribes and economically disadvantaged communities to support project development for the NCRP CAL FIRE Forest Health Pilot Grant Program. EXTENDED DUE DATE: Proposals will be accepted & awarded on a rolling basis through MAY 1, 2024


Eel River

Video: Eel River—Reconnecting Salmon and People

PPIC, 2/12/2024.  The Eel River is the third-largest watershed in California—and it once hosted one of the state’s great salmon runs, with as many as a million salmon returning annually. For a century, however, dams have blocked fish from reaching historical high-quality spawning grounds, and today it is estimated that less than 5% of the historical fish population remains in the Eel. In 2023, American Rivers named the Eel River one of the most endangered rivers in America.


Mendocino Winegrowers 2023 Grape Crush Report

While the full report is available to members only, a teaser was distributed:

Mendocino County experienced a near-record crop value from the 2023 harvest, as reported by the US Department of Agriculture's annual Crush Report. Winegrape revenue hit $130 million, up 19% from 2022, driven by strong pricing and yields.

The average price per ton reached a record $1827, with total tonnage at 71,400. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were the most valuable, thriving in the region's diverse appellations. The harvest, described as unique by winemaker Hoss Milone, benefited from a cooler season, producing high-quality grapes. Organic leader Frey Vineyards highlighted Redwood Valley's excellent vintage. Overall, the North Coast's tonnage significantly outpaced the average, underscoring a successful year for California winegrapes. See our highlights and download the full report


In the press:



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