Preserving Clean Water by Preserving Open Space

Jane’s letter to the PD:

Dear Editors,

I loved the Yes on F mailer, target of Chris Coursey’s politically-based critique. In the past, preserving clean water resources may have been seen as just a side benefit of preserving undeveloped lands for parks, resource conservation, and agricultural land preservation–but I challenge Mr. Coursey to name a more important resource than clean water. That mailer displays the success of a many-year citizen-based campaign to educate the County on the water-protective benefits of open space preservation.

Mike Dombeck, a former U.S. Forest Service Chief, once said: “I’m worried that we may, as a society, lose our appreciation of what the land does for us; why open space is important Š The fact that a single tree sequesters about 13 pounds of carbon each year. That a single tree produces enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe. The water filtration functions of the vegetation on the landscape. It’s important for people to appreciate and connect to the land.”

New York City has known this for generations. Because New York long ago put its money into preserving the Catskills lands that yield its water supply, New York City residents pay the least of any eastern U.S. city and have the purest water. The strategy is much cheaper than building and maintaining industrial centers for treating drinking water, and all citizens benefit from it. Sonoma County citizens should start demanding that their water suppliers adopt similarly conserving policies.

Instead of criticizing the Open Space District’s focus on water, let’s celebrate its purchases that protect over 10,000 acres of major ground water basins or natural recharge areas, and over 56,000 acres that drain to those areas, plus the headwaters of Santa Rosa Creek, Paulin Creek a large part of Dry Creek, and more. Yes on F!

Jane Nielson
President, Sebastopol Water Information Group

Stream Protection Resources

Here are some stream protection resources you requested. I had a hard time narrowing things down, some of this you probably have, but I hope they’re useful.


    EPA model ordinance language with issues and examples.
    SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board survey and paper on riparian ordinances and issues surrounding them.
  3. Berkeley Summary
    Document by Berkeley Creeks Task Force with lessons learned and recommendations.
  4. Santa Clara RiparianCorridor Study
    Used in the development of the Santa Clara Creeks Protection Ordinance. Good summary of considerations and science.
  5. OrdinanceGuideOalkand
    Example of a good local stream protection ordinance.
  6. NapaSetbackTechnicalMemoExerpts
    Jones & Stokes Memo with summary of science and policy of stream setbacks.
  7. SetbackLaw
    Summay of relevant case law dealing with stream buffers and takings by Ellison Folk, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP


    Good summary of stream science from a consortium of 15 federal agencies.
    National Research Council book on riparian area science and management.


    National Management Measures to Protect and Restore Wetlands and Riparian Areas for the Abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution by EPA. Good federally endorsed BMPs.
  2. Stream Protection Local Governments
    This has a short section on building community support as well as other resources.
    How to engage stakeholders and facilitate buy-in.

Ben Livsey
Environmental Specialist
California Regional Water Quality Control Board
San Francisco Bay Region
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612

RRWRC Suing Sonoma County Water Agency

Hi Water Friends:

Russian River Watershed Protection Committee (RRWPC) would like to announce that we have hired Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger to assist us in opposing one of the most egregious CEQA violations that we have ever seen.

The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), as operators and managers of the Russian River County Sanitation District (covering Rio Nio, Guerneville, Guernewood Park, Vacation Beach, and Drake Rd. area) have been attempting to regionalize the Treatment Plant of the RRCSD for 11 years now, without serious regard for the environmental impacts of such a project.

SCWA first issued an EIR for expanding RRCSD in 1998 that took 2.5 years to complete and cost $600,000 of ratepayer funds and was thrown out by the District Directors (SC Board of Supervisors) before the final hearing because it lacked an adequate project description. We have heard of no other instance where Supervisors have dismissed a final EIR under such circumstances before or since. SCWA has not been shy about refusing to be bothered with operating small wastewater disposal systems and have wanted to enlarge RRCSD all along. They simply fail to appreciate the special needs of our unique environment and the potential harm that will result from big engineering solutions.

Soon after (1999) Directors decided to use the 1976 EIR to complete part of the Treatment Plant expansion. RRWPC legally challenged the use of a 23 year old EIR to the Appellate level, but County Counsel informed the court that this expansion was for current ratepayers only and under orders from the Regional Board. The purpose, they said, was to better serve the system during flood periods when the treatment plant gets inundated from flood waters getting into the system (which was poorly built in the first place). The Court refused to allow evidence to the contrary, contained within the rejected EIR. Unfortunately, we lost our case and the $4.5 million dollar expansion was built.

At the present time, SCWA is moving forward on FOUR additional EIR’s for the same project (regionalization of RRCSD). Last April they released a Notice of Preparation for an EIR (NOP) for a new equalization storage basin. Most recently they issued an NOP on an outrageously sized irrigation pipeline, which focuses on a 15-18 mile pipeline project to irrigate vineyards in the Green Valley area, and does not even consider an affordable, local Guerneville project irrigating redwood trees. (deadline for comments just closed) (Please see our attached comments detailing our concerns)

At the same time, SCWA has made Camp Meeker Recreation and Park District lead Agency for a pipeline project to hook Camp Meeker and Occidental to the RRCSD. They loaned CM the money for the project; they absolved them of any legal liability, and as operators and managers of the Occidental CSD, which will be part of the project, they appear to be as legally responsible for this EIR as Camp Meeker. We feel they should be joint lead agencies on the EIR, which is possible under CEQA law.

Finally, an NOP must be imminent for a new disinfection system, which is the reason why RRCSD violates its permit almost every winter. This is an essential component of this expansion. All of these projects, but for the CM/Occ pipeline, are noted as projected capital improvements for 2006-2011 under RRCSD projections in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan. Interestingly, the County has not included hooking Occ. to RRCSD as part of their Capital Improvements projections, even though they are the main reason for the pipeline (under serious orders from the North Coast Board).

RRWPC feels strongly that a comprehensive EIR covering ALL anticipated project areas must be developed. (We believe that possibly Monte Rio and many properties now on septic would also be added to the expanded system. They should also be covered in a comprehensive EIR.) WE HAVE INCREDIBLY RICH NATURAL RESOURCES IN THE WEST COUNTY AND WE FEEL THAT THIS PROJECT WILL PUT THEM AT GREAT RISK!

We would appreciate any support you can give. We have spent the last 11 years fighting for an adequate environmental review process. Many of you are quite familiar with SCWA tactics and know from experience what we are dealing with here. While RRWPC does not think expanding a system that lies in a major flood plain is a good idea, we would be more open to such an idea were there a full-blown open review of how this could be done with minimum harm to the environment. We hope you can support our effort. It will not be easy.

To start, we attach two letters that explaining the issues in more detail. These are RRWPC’s and our attorney’s comments on the proposed irrigation project, but they are REALLY about the situation described above. We hope you can find the time to read them and pass them on to others who may have interest in this situation.

We are thrilled to be working with one of the top environmental firms in Northern California. We are very pleased with the letter written by Ellison Folk of that firm. In the future, unless the County revises its direction on this issue, we will be needing to raise funds for this effort. We hope you will be able to help us in any way you can. Please let us know.

As for comments, two of the NOP deadlines have passed. When the EIRs are released and new comments are necessary, we will let you know. The Camp Meeker/Occ. Pipeline project will take comments until Oct. 30th. Written comments should be addressed to:

Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers
5570 Skylane Blvd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Attn: Justin Witt

WE HOPE YOU WILL SUPPORT THE IDEA OF ONE COMPREHENSIVE EIR TO COVER THESE AND RELATED PROJECTS!!! If you have clout with Supervisor Reilly, it may help if you communicated with him about this.
Brenda Adelman

SCWA Responds to SR’s Wastewater Discharges

This draft letter from SCWA by Randy Poole to the City of Santa Rosa is fascinating.


September 25, 2006

Pat Fruiht, City Manager’s Office

City of Santa Rosa

P.O. Box 1678 Santa Rosa, CA 95402-1678

Re: Discharge Compliance Project

Dear Ms. Fruiht,

The Sonoma County Water Agency (Agency) has reviewed the Initial Study, Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and Draft Engineering Report for the City of Santa Rosa’s (City) Incremental Recycled Water Program – Discharge Compliance Project (Discharge Compliance Project).

The Agency’s comments are focused on concerns regarding 1) potential conflicts with the proposed expansion of the Agency’s water supply facilities; 2) potential water quality concerns regarding how the City’s project could impact the way the Agency’s facilities are operated; 3) how the City’s project could impact listed fish species and recovery planning efforts in the Russian River; and 4) that the City should focus on reuse of this resource instead of disposal into the Russian River.

The City’s proposed Discharge Compliance Project proposes a new direct or indirect wastewater discharge location along the Russian River. The Agency operates six collector wells along the Russian River in the Mirabel and Wohler area which supply drinking water for approximately 600,000 people in Sonoma and Marin Counties, including residents of the City.

In addition, the Agency has been evaluating an expanded water supply system which could include new collectors upstream of the Agency’s existing collectors. Similar to the results shown for river discharge locations in the City’s Draft Engineering Report for the Discharge Compliance Project, there may be only a few locations along the Russian River that are suitable for the Agency to install water diversion structures and pipelines.

In addition, the features that make a site suitable for a river discharge location may also be the same features that make a site suitable for water diversion facilities. The Agency is concerned that the City’s Discharge Compliance Project could have detrimental impacts on the planned infrastructure necessary for the Agency’s water supply project and may cause significant delays in the Agency’s environmental review process.

Attached is a map from the Agency’s Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the Agency’s Water Supply, Transmission and Reliability Project which shows the area of interest for the Agency’s future water supply facilities along the Russian River.

The Agency recommends that the City coordinate with the Agency so that the City’s Discharge Compliance Project doesn’t impact the Agency’s ability to construct future water supply facilities. The Agency and its customers (including the City) have benefited from having water supply facilities that provide a high quality source of drinking water that is relatively inexpensive to operate.

The only treatment necessary beyond the natural filtering provided by the sand and gravel materials along the Russian River is: 1) the addition of chlorine to provide a residual amount of disinfectant throughout the transmission system; and 2) the addition of sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH of the water. The Agency and its customers have not had to share in the expense of constructing and operating a surface water treatment plant.

The potential impact of a new wastewater discharge location on the Russian River, which could jeopardize the way the Agency’s existing water supply facilities are operated, needs to be considered. Accordingly, the Agency has brought this item before the Technical Advisory Committee of the Water Advisory Committee (TAC/WAC) in October (2006) to have the TAC/WAC provide direction on what position the Agency should take with regards to the City of Santa Rosa’s Discharge Compliance Project.

***additional comments from TAC/WAC to be added here***

Attached are copies of comments from the Agency submitted to the City January 12, 1987 and October 7, 1996 with regards to a proposed Russian River wastewater discharge associated with the City’s Long- Range Wastewater Management Plan and Subregional Long-Term Wastewater Project. These comments from 1987 and 1996 express the Agency’s concerns with how a direct wastewater discharge into the Russian River could impact the Agency’s water supply facilities due to the presence of pathogens and inorganic and organic compounds that may be present in the wastewater.

The concerns brought up in these comment letters are still valid and currently there are additional concerns that need to be addressed associated with the emerging issue of pharmaceuticals and personal care products that may remain in treated wastewater. Pharmaceutically active compounds (e.g., caffeine, nicotine, and aspirin) and numerous personal care products (such as fragrances and sunscreens) and drugs from a wide spectrum of therapeutic classes can enter waterways through a variety of routes including treated wastewater.
The City should study what potential impacts to water supplies and the aquatic environment could occur as a result of discharging the City’s wastewater into the Russian River. Since 1991, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has listed twenty-six Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) of salmonids on the Pacific Coast as endangered or threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA requires that recovery plans be developed and implemented for the conservation and survival of these species.

For recovery planning, NMFS has divided the ESUs on the Pacific Coast into nine geographic domains and will develop recovery plans for each. The Russian River watershed is part of the North-Central California Coast Recovery Planning Domain (Planning Domain), which encompasses watersheds from Mendocino County to Santa Cruz County and supports populations of coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead.

These populations of salmonids have been federally listed as Threatened or Endangered since the late 1990’s. Efforts to restore habitat and identify what is needed to recover these populations have been ongoing ever since. In the Russian River some of these efforts have included implementation of the coho salmon broodstock program at the Don Clausen Hatchery, many habitat restoration and fish passage projects funded through the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (and other state and local funding sources), as well as, completion of a state recovery strategy for California coho salmon.

While these efforts have fostered the development of federal-state- local partnerships in salmonid recovery and conservation, little real progress can be made without the commitment and involvement of the state and local entities affected by the listings.

Recognizing this, beginning in February and again in June of 2006, the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Water Agency approved funding assistance to NMFS to facilitate the development of federal recovery plans for coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead in our region. Additionally, the Agency’s Board approved funding to support the development of a local plan to begin implementing early recovery actions as specified in the state’s coho recovery strategy and to support a position at NMFS to work with agencies and landowners toward development of a salmonid conservation plan for Alexander and Dry Creek valleys.

To these ends the Agency has provided over $700,000 in funds and proposes to continue supporting development of recovery plans on two fronts. The first, by identifying local solutions that address salmonid fisheries and that are compatible with local responsibilities, and the second by acquiring, collecting, and developing the data needed to assess factors limiting salmonid recovery in all the watersheds that make up the ESU.

On September 11, 2006, NMFS published their intent in the Federal Register to prepare recovery plans for all the listed ESUs of salmon and distinct population segments (DPS) of steelhead in California by January 2008. Given the considerable federal, state and local effort to support recovery plan development for the salmonid populations in our Planning Domain, the City should in the Discharge Compliance Project EIR evaluate how the City’s project could impact these three listed fish species in the Russian River watershed and identify ways in which the City can help with recovery planning efforts.

The Agency recommends that instead of looking at disposal into the Russian River that the City view this wastewater as a valuable resource that can be utilized to offset potable water use through urban reuse to directly offset Russian River water and for agricultural reuse (such as that being studied for the proposed North Sonoma County Agricultural Reuse Project) which can help reduce the reliance on groundwater and help reduce the need for surface water diversions. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on this project.

If you have any questions regarding the comments, please contact me at 547-1900.

Randy D. Poole General Manager/Chief Engineer

What? Business Considers Sustainability?

In case any of you missed this in the PD:
Ben Stone, coordinator of the county’s Economic Development Board, said his office would convene a private industry task force to translate the meaning of “sustainability” for individual businesses.

“It challenges our assumptions that there will always be water when we turn on the tap,” Stone said. “Our local economy has been on cruising speed for 20 years, and yet the work force is changing, our water supply is running out and our landfill is so full we are hauling out our garbage.”

Stone said the task force should consider such scenarios as the wine industry’s being affected by ground-water depletion, labor shortages and shifting consumer tastes.

“This should be a point of reflection on our major assumptions,” Stone said. “If they reach the point of rationing water, how exactly are the businesspeople going to react before they hit the red panic button?”

Read the full article at the Press Democrat

So, we’re “running out of water.” That’s official. As if WE didn’t know…


Comment Letter on Laguna’s 303 (d) Listing

Nancy Kay Webb
Attorney at Law
126 Steiner Court,
Santa Rosa, CA, 95404

September 21, 2006

Craig J. Wilson, Chief
Water Quality Assessment Unit
Division of Water Quality
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 100
Sacramento, CA 95812-0100

SUBJECT: 2004 Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List
Laguna de Santa Rosa Phosphorus & Nitrogen

Dear Mr. Wilson,

On behalf of the following local organizations:

Coast Action Group, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, California Trout, Friends of the River, Russian Riverkeeper, Russian River Watershed Protection Committee, Redwood Chapter Sierra Club, Community Clean Water Institute, Petaluma River Council, Friends of the Eel River, Blucher Creek Watershed Council, Sebastopol Water Information Group.

I want to thank you and the State Water Resources Control Board for your work on the current 303(d) list.

Our comments consist of wholehearted support for the continued listing of the Laguna de Santa Rosa listing as impaired for excess nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, temperature and low dissolved oxygen (DO).

The scientific data on the record shows that the Laguna is a severely impaired waterbody. High nutrient levels are adversely affecting the Laguna’s beneficial uses. All sampling data indicates nutrient levels grossly exceed levels acceptable for swimming (REC-1) The nutrient levels, with associated eutrophication and associated low DO, are sufficient to limit fishery migration, survival, and incubation (REC-2 and COLD).

The high nutrient levels in the Laguna fuel the growth rate of algae and invasive aquatic plants like Ludwigia hexapetala (Ludwigia). The huge Ludwigia infestation in the Laguna constitutes an expensive nuisance as well as a health hazard by providing breeding habitat for mosquito species that transmit West Nile Virus.

The listing of the Laguna segment of the Russian River for biostimulants will go a long way towards protecting and restoring beneficial uses and is consistent with the Clean Water Act Section 303(d).


Nancy Kay Webb, Esq.


Alan Levine
Coast Action Group
P.O. Box 215
Point Arena, CA 95468
(707) 542-4408

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA)
California Contact: Vivian Helliwell
PO Box 11170
Eugene, OR 97440-3370
(707) 445-1976

Thomas J. Weseloh, Northcoast Manager
California Trout
1976 Archer Rd.
McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 839-1056

Steven L. Evans, Conservation Director
Friends of the River
915 20th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-3155 x221

Don McEnhill
Russian Riverkeeper
PO Box 1335
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-1958

Brenda S. Adelman, Chair
Russian River Watershed Protection Committee (RRWPC)
P.O.Box 501
Guerneville, CA 95446
(707) 869-0410

Margaret Pennington, Chair
Redwood Chapter Sierra Club
PO Box 466 SR, CA 95402
(707) 829-2294

Mike Sandler, Program Coordinator
Community Clean Water Institute
6741 Sebastopol Ave. Suite 140
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 824-4370

David Keller, Director
Petaluma River Council
1327 I St.
Petaluma, CA 94952

David Keller, Bay Area Director
Friends of the Eel River
PO Box 2305
Redway, CA 95560

Jeannette Baumgardner, Chair
Blucher Creek Watershed Council
2100 Blucher Valley Rd.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-1452

Jane Nielson
Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWiG)
3727 Burnside Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Letter to SR Council on NPDES

Dear Council:

The jungle drums are telling me you are thinking of appealing and or
litigating your new waste water permit.

This permit was a compromise in your favor. I would be careful about
re-opening the issue.

I can easily be argued that the permit is not restrictive enough and not
compliant with both the federal Clean Water Act , Porter-Cologne, and the
Basin Plan for the North Coast.

The permit allows the City to comply – over time – with limits that you can
easily meet. And – to develop you own monitoring plan.

The Basin Plan says that additional inputs of pollutants from controllable
sources – must be limited to zero. It this were to happen – you all will
have a very difficult time meeting that standard – plus other standards
that have not been met by the NPDES (i.e. no numeric limits for phosphorus).

I am thinking you will not listen to this warning. Proceed at your own risk.

The money that you have, and will, spend trying to evade your
responsibility to the state’s waters (Santa Rosa Creek, the Laguna, and the
Russian River) would do more good working for solutions.

Alan Levine

Comments and questions:

Excellent letter and advice to the City Council.

I am having some difficulty tracking the point of paragraph 5, concerning “additional inputs from controllable sources”. I would appreciate a short explanation as to how that would work.

Thanks in advance.

Len Holt

Good question Len.

This question is at the center of the issue of pollutant inputs and Impaired Waterbodies – including some recent changes of emphasis in the Basin Plan and what might be argued to support a stronger NPDES permit for the City of Santa Rosa discharges.

Staying up on the quality issues is just as important as watching the supply side issues. They are linked in our goals.

In the Basin Plan there is Anti-degradation Language. In part this language is taken from the Clean Water Act. The language is in the Basin Plan as follows:

Basin Plan Anti-degradation Policy: “Controllable water quality factors shall conform to the water quality objectives contained [in the Basin Plan]. When other factors result in the degradation of water quality beyond the levels or limits established [in the Basin Plan] as water quality objectives, then controllable factors shall not cause further degradation of water quality. Controllable water quality factors are those actions, conditions, or circumstances resulting from man’s activities that may influence the quality of waters of the State and that may reasonably be controlled.”

Pollutants from the SR Waste water plant that are delivered to the Laguna are controllable and are linked to the existing degradation. Interim (pre TMDL) permitting should not allow additional pollutants to be delivered.

The City’s NPDES permit allows ratcheting down some pollutants – over time. It also allows the delivery of pollutants in excess of what should be permissible. We will have to push the opposite direction of the City’s appeal. The City says it wants out of the Laguna. But, they also say they want to pollute there.

Santa Rosa Water Management Comments

Santa Rosa Creek (and tribs) is a mess. The waterbody is listed as impaired for pathogens, temperature, sediment, nutrients, etc.. Not much is going on, in the case of the City, in terms of restoration and/or protect beneficial uses by limiting pollutant inputs. This problem exacerbates conditions on the Laguna – which intern compromises with the City’s waste water NPDES permit.

The City’s Stormwater Ordinance and implementation program is out to lunc (ineffective and not be enforced). This adversely influences the problems mentioned above.

My suggestions to start to initiate remedy (areas where the City can start working )are:

* Put more toilets where indigent folks can have access and not poop in the Creek(s).

* Do better enforcement on storm water issues.

* Initiate an education and enforcement program for dog poop control

* Do more waste water recycling for irrigation. This suggests less need for nutrients to support plant growth as the recycled water is nutrient rich.

* Ask SR residents, via an education program, to use less nutrients for lawns and gardens

* Work with, and/or comment on, Sonoma County programs (i.e. GP 2020) where the County has jurisdiction on responsibility for activities that effect Santa Rosa Creek and Laguna resources.

* Get expert opinion for basis in Santa Rosa Creek (and tributary) activities that would provide protection and restorative process.

Finally: The Laguna ( and Russian River) TMDL will indicate activity necessary to comply with beneficial uses protection for Santa Rosa Creek as well as the Laguna. Consultation with the Regional Board staff to address issue will be necessary. It would be wise to start this process immediately so as not to waste money and resources.

Alan Levine

SR Urban Water Reuse Project Update

In case you did not see this summary (by Anne Seeley) of Santa Rosa’s BPU UWRP meeting on Tuesday, .. and there was an interesting follow up that I’ve included below.



The Santa Rosa City Council study session today was billed as an update on the Urban Reuse alternative of the Incremental Recycled Water Program (IRWP).

Dr. David Smith, a consultant, presented information about the wastewater side of the equation. He identified 2200 Million gallons per year additional need for reclaimed water disposal by 2020.
Virginia Porter described the water supply side, saying that if no additional water supply comes on line by 2017, the calculated “mid-point supply will run out.” Dick Dowd later said that the option of using Lake Sonoma water had been found to be incredibly expensive.
There were lots of graphs and details, but what I want to tell you about is BPU Chairman Dick Dowd’s declaration. He said that he has reached the understanding that with the conversion of the factors of increased water supply needs and increased wastewater production, the only answer he sees is the successful implementation of an urban reuse program. And, he said, we’d better get busy now in investing in the infrastructure.
Each quadrant of the city is projected to cost about $110 million, in order to build just the main trunks to supply irrigation water. Some policy assumptions are: existing users may or may not connect with the new lines, but new construction will be required to; the target is non-single family irrigation water use; demand (hook-up) fees should be equal to potable water demand fees; and the user rate structure should reflect the value of the resource.
Chairman Dowd made the point that we have partners in the wastewater system in whom we must create cooperation and a level playing field. I suggested that Rohnert Park would benefit from using some of the formerly identified storage sites east and south of that city to serve their program. He said they’d be looking everywhere for storage.
Brenda Adelman countered some of the assumptions made about future wastewater production, observing that flows in this very rainy year didn’t match future assumptions about wet weather years. She recommended a combination of increased conservation, a much accelerated I&I program (replacement of sewer pipes to prevent inflow and infiltration), and increased flow to the Geysers. Dowd countered that the BPU had concluded that the I&I program would cost $600 million and would take 20 years. We’re now spending $7 to $10 million a year for replacement.
The EIR process has been announced for the Urban Reuse Project.

And a note from a recent PD article that followed:

Ben Stone, coordinator of the county’s Economic Development Board, said his office would convene a private industry task force to translate the meaning of “sustainability” for individual businesses.

“It challenges our assumptions that there will always be water when we turn on the tap,” Stone said. “Our local economy has been on cruising speed for 20 years, and yet the work force is changing, our water supply is running out and our landfill is so full we are hauling out our garbage.”

Stone said the task force should consider such scenarios as the wine industry’s being affected by ground-water depletion, labor shortages and shifting consumer tastes.

“This should be a point of reflection on our major assumptions,” Stone said. “If they reach the point of rationing water, how exactly are the businesspeople going to react before they hit the red panic button?”

Read the Full article at the Press Democrat

Public Comment on 303 (d) Listings for Northcoast Waters

The public is invited to comment on the proposed 2006 Clean Water Act section 303(d) list of water quality limited segments. The revised list and supporting documents are posted at:

Public comments will be accepted until October 20, 2006 (5 PM). The State Water Board will consider approval of the list on October 25, 2006. For additional information, please see the attached document.

This is a message from the State Water Resources Control Board.