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Russian River Weekly Update 7/1/24

Russian River at Riverside Park, June 2024 by CJ Watt
Russian River at Riverside Park, June 30, 2024 by CJ Watt

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Reservoir Storage & Operations:

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

The image displays a table with water storage data for Lakes Mendocino, Pillsbury, and Sonoma, including current storage and changes.
A graph showing Lake Mendocino storage levels across multiple years with projections.
A line graph depicting Lake Pillsbury storage data and target storage scenarios over several years.
A line graph showing Lake Sonoma Storage levels for different years with a data point highlighted for July 1, 2024.

PG&E Eel to Russian River Flow Variance - FERC approves 2024 flow variance to Russian River

From the approval document:

"We find that approval of PG&E’s temporary variance request would help ensure that it has adequate water storage capacity to provide flows and temperatures necessary for the protection of threatened species. The proposed variance conserves limited water resources, minimizes the risk of operational and dam safety effects at Lake Pillsbury, and maintains flows within the bounds of Article 52 of the license. While the Russian River watershed would receive reduced flow allocations, the proposed variance would appropriately balance competing interests by only further reducing flows to the Russian River below 25 cfs as necessary for the protection of Eel River salmonids or dam safety. In addition, the proposed variance would avoid new effects to Eel River environmental resources while minimizing any effects to aquatic resources in the East Branch Russian River. Finally, approval of the proposed variance would allow additional time for PG&E to complete the outstanding elements of its July 31, 2023 request for a permanent amendment to modify its minimum flow requirements and for the Commission to review and analyze the completed application. Therefore, we approve the temporary variance from the minimum flow and maximum release requirements in Article 52, subject to the conditions outlined below."

2024, 6-27 FERC approval of PG&E flow variance request.pdf


FERC Approves PG&E’s Revised Schedule for Filing Surrender Application

On July 1, 2024, FERC issued acknowledgement and acceptance of PG&E’s request to delay the submission of the Potter Valley Project decommissioning plan by six months.

2024, 7-1 FERC approval of PG&Es revised decommissing plan schedule.pdf
Scott Dam, by CalTrout-Kyle Schwartz in Revelator article 4-19-23
Scott Dam, by CalTrout-Kyle Schwartz in Revelator article 4-19-23


Russian River Water Forum

The materials from the May 15 meeting, including the meeting summary, have been posted on the Russian River Water Forum website under the Planning Group page here.

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. the agenda is now available for review.

Recently Published Reports, Fact Sheets, and newsletters

PPIC: Agricultural Land Use in California, June 2024

PPIC Policy Brief: Drought and Groundwater Sustainability in California’s Farming Regions, June 2024

DWR Sustainable Groundwater Management News: June 2024 Newsletter

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District Weekly Newsletter: Purple Martins and Otters!


In the press:



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