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Russian River Weekly Update 3/4/24

Lake Mendocino on February 19, 2024 by CJ Watt
Lake Mendocino on February 19, 2024 by CJ Watt


 Reservoir Storage & Operations:

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

A table with data on Lake Mendocino, Lake Pillsbury, and Lake Sonoma, including current storage and changes in acre-feet.
Graph showing Lake Mendocino water storage data over several years with different storage curves and pools.
Graph showing Lake Sonoma Storage levels over several years, with indications for water supply and flood control pools.
A graph showing Lake Pillsbury Storage levels with data lines for different years and target storage curves.



2024 Flows from Eel River to Russian River

FERC has issued the notice of comment period on the recently filed flow variance:

2024, 2-29 FERC notice of comment period on flow variance.docx

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


Notice of Upcoming Water Measurement and Reporting Course hosted by University of California, Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources in Red Bluff, CA. 

University of California, Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) is offering the Water Measurement and Reporting course on March 15, 2024, addressing water diversion, monitoring, and reporting as authorized by Assembly Bill (AB) 589. The training class is designed for parties who divert (or are authorized to divert) 100 acre-feet per year or more under the Water Measurement and Reporting Regulation (SB-88) and is open for anyone else who is interested. This class is required to become a Qualified Individual. The training class is in-person and will not be available online.  More information here


Urban Water Data Survey

The California Water Data Consortium has developed overview materials on urban water reporting requirements in California. As part of that analysis, we would like to provide estimates of the number of hours (both staff and consultant) urban water suppliers devote to urban water reporting. 

If you are an urban water supplier, please consider completing this survey that asks about the number of hours devoted to urban water reporting. We anticipate this survey taking between 5-20 minutes depending on data availability. Please complete the survey by March 31, 2024.

The information from this survey will be anonymized and aggregated by the California Water Data Consortium and included in publicly available urban water synthesis materials. These materials will be available to view or download on our website by the end of March 2024, and will be updated periodically. For questions about the survey please contact Tara Moran at  Learn more about the project here

Take the Survey


Secretary Speaker Series - Seizing the Wet Years: Adapting Our Water Infrastructure & Management to Weather Whiplash

Climate change is driving weather extremes across the world. In California, we can expect a growing portion of our water supply to come from big storms, like those we just experienced. Drought, too, will intensify. To adjust to this new normal of climate change, are we equipped to capture and store the runoff of big storms?
Join us for a candid conversation about how we take advantage of wet times to endure dry times. We’ll unpack this weather whiplash, explore the work underway to seize opportunities, and discuss where we need to concentrate our efforts moving forward. Tuesday March 5, 2024, 12:-1 PM Secretary Speaker Series -More information and registration


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

More on Groundwater:

Using the Groundwater Accounting Platform to Track and Manage Water Budgets Webinar - March 18, 2024 2:00 PM 

Are you a landowner, water manager, or water user seeking better ways to track water availability and use? Tune in on March 18, 2024, from 2-3 pm PT for a webinar to learn how to use the Groundwater Accounting Platform to help you manage your water budget. Co-hosted by the Environmental Defense Fund, California Water Data Consortium, Environmental Science Associates, and Olsson, this webinar will discuss how to maximize key functions of the Platform, including how to: - Track water supply and usage data. - Track and account for usage in near real-time. - View and manage water budgets. - Keep tabs on your outstanding balance online. - Simulate different scenarios for prospective wells or recharge and assess their potential impacts on your groundwater budget. - Access shared data that will allow you to build your cost-efficient, locally applicable groundwater accounting platforms. Water managers and agricultural water users across California must have access to the best possible data to guide their decisions. The open-source Groundwater Accounting Platform provides an easy-to-use, cost-effective option for groundwater accounting.


Series of papers on interconnected surface water begins

DWR has started releasing a series of papers on the technical aspects of interconnected surface water (ISW). The first paper, Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water: An Introduction, defines ISW and explains how it is identified. There is also information on the basic concepts of depletion. The next two papers in the series will be released this spring.



A beaver swimming in water, reflected on the surface.

Beaver Chronicles


In the press:


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