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Russian River Weekly Update 2/26/24

Russian River at Hopland on February 19, 2024 by CJ Watt
Russian River at Hopland on February 19, 2024 by CJ Watt

Reservoir Storage & Operations:

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

Data table showing storage levels and changes in acre-feet for Lakes Mendocino, Pillsbury, and Sonoma.
Graph showing Lake Mendocino storage levels from 2017 to 2024 with various lines indicating different years and storage curves.



Weather Update: 

NOAA Briefing 2-26-24.pdf


2024 Flows from Eel River to Russian River

On February 21, 2024, PG&E submitted the 2024 Flow Variance Request Due to Restricted Storage Capacity to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC.) At some point in the future, FERC will issue a notice for public comment before considering approval of the request. A summary is below and further highlights from the document can be found on our website: RRFC Updates Page

 SUMMARY: East Branch Russian River flows will be 25 cfs and then adjusted between 5 and 25 cfs based on PG&E and agency determination when daily average reservoir release water temperatures exceed 15°C  (typically in early June).  After September 30, EBRR  will be held at 25 cfs for the remainder of the variance. Reductions to EBRR flow releases may also occur if the Lake Pillsbury storage forecast indicates facility safety concerns due to low storage levels (12,000 AF).

2024, 2-22 PG&E Flow Variance Request to FERC.pdf


 New Ukiah Valley Water Authority JPA Formed

Congratulations to the City of Ukiah, Redwood Valley County Water District, and Millview County Water District on forming a new joint powers authority to manage water throughout the Ukiah Valley. Read more in the press release:

Press Release- Ukiah Valley Water Authority.pdf


Groundwater Awareness Week

Join DWR during Groundwater Awareness Week March 10-16 as to celebrate the upcoming 10th Anniversary of SGMA and the progress made with local partnerships and innovative projects to put more water into the ground. More information.

Monday 3/11 11:00 am – 12:30 pm: California Water Management and Progress Since the Signing of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Registration Link

Tuesday 3/12 10:00 am – 11:30 am: Outreach and Engagement Training for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies. Registration Link

Wednesday 3/13 10:00 am – 11:30 am: Outreach and Engagement Training for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies. Registration Link

Thursday 3/14 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Groundwater Sustainability Plan Reporting Process and Requirements Registration Link

Friday 3/15 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Planning for the Future; Data, Tools, and Models. Registration Link


DWR Releases First Paper on Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water

To help Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) appropriately address depletions of interconnected surface water (ISW) in their Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released the first in a series of three papers that will discuss the technical aspects of ISW and quantification of depletions of ISW due to pumping. These three papers will form the basis for a guidance document that DWR will publish for GSAs to consider when establishing ISW sustainable management criteria to manage depletions in their groundwater basins. Read more here.

A cover of a report on "Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water", by the California Department of Water Resources, from February 2024.



Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency Rate & Fee Study

“Up to this point, the GSA has been solely funded by grants and member agency contributions. With the recent approval of the GSP, the GSA is at a turning point and the GSA’s top priority is to develop a funding mechanism that will allow the GSA to become financially self-sufficient [as required by the State.] The new funding mechanism will fund GSP implementation, investigative and feasibility studies that advance the understanding of the groundwater basin, annual monitoring and reporting, five-year updates to the GSP, and agency operations.”

For more information on the GSA and the proposed rates & fees, visit the website and consider attending the next public meeting. Recordings of meetings are available on YouTube.



California Natural Resources Agency Hosts Virtual Discussion for Black History Month with
Black Environmental Leaders, Tomorrow – February 27 noon to 1 PM

During Black History Month, the California Natural Resources Agency celebrates and recognizes black environmental stewardship, history, and culture across the state. Next week, Secretary Crowfoot will host "Celebrating Conservation Roots with Black Environmental Leadership" where we will explore the rich history and contributions of the Black community leading environmental and conservation efforts. Explore the Black community's deep-rooted connection to nature, emphasizing resilience, heritage, and the ongoing journey toward equity. Register here to participate. 



Water 101 Workshop by CA Water Education Foundation – April 5

Book a seat now for the popular Water 101 Workshop on April 5 at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Hear from leading experts about the history, geography, legal and political facets of water in California. The day-long workshop is a great way to gain a statewide perspective on current water issues facing the state. 


Apply Now! Advisory Group for the Water Boards Statewide Wastewater Needs

The Wastewater Needs Assessment (WWNA) is a four-year contract to assess the human right to sanitation and wastewater infrastructure needs of Californians. The Advisory Group will advise the WWNA project team developing a statewide assessment for Californians’ equal and human right to sanitation and safe wastewater management and critical wastewater infrastructure needs. The WWNA Advisory Group participants will advise project development and the project team throughout the four-year (2023-2027) contract. Learn more: Wastewater Needs Assessment Bulletin 2/23/24


In the press:


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