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Russian River Weekly Update 6/18/24

Lake Mendocino on June 16, 2024 by CJ Watt
Lake Mendocino on June 16, 2024 by CJ Watt

Reservoir Storage & Operations:

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

A table showing data for Lakes Mendocino, Pillsbury, and Sonoma, including current storage, target storage, and changes in acre-feet.
Graph showing Lake Mendocino storage data over several years with curves representing storage and forecasted storage figures.
A graph comparing Lake Pillsbury storage volumes for different years with target scenarios.
A graph titled "Lake Sonoma Storage" showing water storage data in acre-feet for different years.

PG&E Eel to Russian River Flow Variance

PG&E urges FERC to implement the February 21, 2024, variance request as soon as possible:

On June 13, 2024, PG&E submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) providing further information on reservoir storage intent on hastening FERC's decision on the flow variance filed on February 21, 2024 by PG&E. The request was to "reduce East Branch Russian River (EBRR) flow requirements to proactively manage reservoir storage in a manner that is protective of Project facilities and minimize potential impacts to federally listed fish species in the Eel River. PG&E is currently operating the Project under the requirements of the Article 52 until FERC issues an order approving the 2024 variance request." PG&E closed the letter with the following:

"PG&E is in the process of preparing a license amendment application to revise the flow requirements to the EBRR until Project decommissioning is completed; however, until that amendment can be processed, PG&E urges FERC to implement the February 21, 2024, variance request as soon as possible to minimize potential impacts to federally listed fish species in the Eel River and continue to provide a reliable water source to downstream users."

Additionally, from a letter dated June 17, 2024: “NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) respectfully urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expedite the approval of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) 2024 Minimum Instream Flow Variance Request Due to Restricted Storage Capacity, dated February 22, 2024, for the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project (Project) located on the Eel River and East Fork of the Russian River in Lake and Mendocino counties, California.

2024, 6-14 PG&E let to FERC urging Flow Variance approval.pdf2024, 6-17 NOAA let to FERC urging Flow Variance approval.pdf


Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency Update

Notice Of Public Hearing For Proposed Fee Adoption For Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency – RESCHEDULED to TODAY, June 18 at 1PM

The Fee Study initiated in 2023 is now complete and in May 2024, the UVBGSA Board voted 4-0 to accept the proposed fee structure and set a public hearing date to adopt the resolution to implement the regulatory fee. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, June 13th at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 1 PM at the County Board of Supervisors Chambers located at 501 Low Gap Road.

The fee would support the typical annual operation costs of UVBGSA’s regulatory program as authorized under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. If you live or have a business within the areas served by these agencies, then you are a beneficiary of UVBGSA’s services and are therefore subject to the fee. For more information, see the UVB GSA Website:

California and Tribal Partners Secure Critical Water Supply to Support Native American Farmers

Working together to support local Tribal farmers, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe have expedited water transfers to meet immediate water supply needs and to address long-term demands. “California remains committed to getting water to communities that need it most. This successful effort is a direct result of meaningful consultation and communication with our Tribal partners and the hard work of our staff to ensure we can move water to places in critical need,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. DWR Press Release

SWRCB 'Making Conservation a California Way of Life' Regulation

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) formally begins a fourth public comment period for the proposed Making Conservation a California Way of Life regulation. The fourth public comment period is open from June 14, 2024, until July 1, 2024, at noon. More information.

Coffee & Conversation with NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region Regional Administrator

Jennifer Quan, NOAA’s West Coast Regional Administrator, with discuss protecting and restoring salmon amidst the unfolding challenges of climate change, explore the current regulatory and physical landscape, and offer insights into what lies ahead. More information and registration.

U.S. EPA & Volunteer Monitoring (VM) Workgroup Webcast Series

Leveraging Participatory Science to Advance Water Quality Reporting and Partnership-Building
Join a two-part series on participatory science hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Watershed Academy in partnership the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s Volunteer Monitoring Workgroup. The Volunteer Monitoring Workgroup was developed in 2016 to encourage integration of volunteer monitoring activities with ongoing water-quality monitoring conducted by local, state, and federal agencies. The recording for Part 1 of this webcast series and accompanying materials are available on EPA’s Watershed Academy webpage here: See flyer for more information:


Water Rights Fees Stakeholder Meeting - Handout and Participation Instructions

Agenda for the Water Rights Fees Stakeholder Meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 1:00 pm.  This meeting will only be held remotely via webcast and Zoom. How to Watch and Listen via Webcast:

Further Education Opportunity: Groundwater 101 Week

"Groundwater 101 Week," hosted by GRA from July 15-19, 2024. Register now for this informative multi-day virtual event packed with insightful sessions tailored for professionals and students passionate about groundwater research and management. Government, Academic, NGO, and student pricing available.

In the press:

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