SC Water Agency at Water Board May 6–Information

Dear all –

I think that it will be very important for as many people as possible to attend the SWRCB Board Workshop on SCWA’s activities in Sacramento on 5/6 Tuesday, inconvenient though that might be. SCWA will be there in force with a number of contractor/city council members who will speak as well to the wonderful things that SCWA has been doing….

It is important to look at the 5 items below that are the subject of the workshop, and picking one or 2, provide environmental/fisheries stakeholder comments to the Board members – otherwise, they will hear only from the SCWA’s point of view, as usual.

If we can get a more definitive time for the start of the workshop (so far, only known to be ‘after 10.30am’), we’ll get that to you as well.

Briefly, the 5 discussion items are:
1. Decision 1610 and minimum flows in the Russian River
2. SCWA’s Russian River Water Rights Accounting Program
3. Instream flow requirements and unscheduled diversions
4. Salmon Coalition
5. 20% reduction in per capita water use by 2020

David Keller
Bay Area Director
Friends of the Eel River
1327 I St.
Petaluma, CA 94952

State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Water Rights

1001 I Street, 14th Floor ¨ Sacramento, California 95814 ¨ 916.341.53

Linda S. Adams

Secretary for Environmental Protection

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor

P.O. Box 2000 ¨ Sacramento, California 95812-2000

FAX: 916.341.5400 ¨

March 13, 2008

Mr. Randy Poole

General Manager/Chief Engineer

Sonoma County Water Agency

P.O. Box 11628

Santa Rosa CA 95406

Dear Mr. Poole:


The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) issued orders in 2004 and again in 2007 approving temporary changes in the instream flow requirements in Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Agency) water right permits. The State Water Board determined that these orders would allow the water stored in Lake Mendocino to be preserved for the fall run of chinook salmon and to meet the water needs of the Agency’s contractors. In response to State Water Board Order WR 2007-0022, the Agency provided reports describing regional efforts to conserve water that were undertaken in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties during the summer of 2007.

The need for these temporary orders and related developments indicate that new water management challenges have arisen in the Russian River watershed. Accordingly, the State Water Board has scheduled a workshop on NOW MAY 6, 2008 [was April 15, 2008] to discuss these challenges. At this workshop the State Water Board is asking the Agency to provide comments on the following issues:

1. When the State Water Board adopted Decision 1610 (D-1610) in 1986, it reserved jurisdiction to modify the instream flow requirements that are specified in this decision and, if necessary, to respond to changes in the operations of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Potter Valley Project (PVP). In light of recent changes to PVP operations, should the State Water Board conduct a proceeding to consider amending the D-1610 instream flow requirements?

2. The State Water Board has reviewed the March 2007 workplan for the Russian River Water Rights Accounting Program. The Board further understands that the Agency is developing data and analysis tools to (1) estimate the amounts of water diversion and use throughout the Russian River watershed and (2) determine the water availability for diversions and use under various types of water rights. What is the status of this program and when will it be completed?

3. The reports filed by the Agency pursuant to WR 2007-0022 state that although the Agency is required to maintain Russian River and Dry Creek instream flows, diversions of water from the Russian River and Dry Creek by other water users, particularly agricultural users, are not scheduled or coordinated to coincide with the instream flow requirements that the Agency is attempting to maintain. These unscheduled diversions impair efficient management of the area’s limited water resources, particularly the water stored in Lake Mendocino. What can the State Water Board, the Agency and the water users do to address this problem?

4. The State Water Board is aware of several ongoing community efforts in the Russian River watershed. During the proceeding held in conjunction with the Agency’s 2007 request for temporary change, the State Water Board received presentations from federal, state and local government agencies and non-governmental parties. These presentations outlined (1) the coordination efforts of the Salmon Coalition and Dry Creek Water Agricultural Water Users, and (2) the water conservation work done by Dr. Mark Greenspan with the agricultural community. Provide a status update of these and any other successful community efforts which may assist in water resource management within the Russian River watershed.

5. Recently Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has indicated that he will direct state agencies to develop a plan to achieve a statewide 20 percent reduction in per capita water use by 2020. Provide an explanation of the Agency’s authority to impose mandatory conservation measures and identify the persons and entities that may be subject to that authority. Identify steps the Agency can take to develop an aggressive plan and implementation procedures to achieve the Governor’s goal of a 20 percent reduction in per capita water use by 2020.

The State Water Board will provide public notice of this workshop item and will accept public comments on these issues. The Board may also consider follow up actions.



Victoria A. Whitney

Division Chief

cc: Barbara Spazek, Executive Director

Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control
and Water Conservation Improvement District

151 Laws Avenue, Suite D

Ukiah, CA 95482

Roland Sanford, General Manager

Mendocino County Water Agency

890 North Bush Street, Room 20

Ukiah, CA 95482
Steven Edmondson

National Marine Fisheries Service

777 Sonoma Ave. Rm 325

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Bob Klamt

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

5550 Skylane Blvd, Suite A

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Gary B. Stacey, Regional Manager Northern Region

California Department of Fish and Game

601 Locust Street

Redding, CA 96001

Chuck Armor, Regional Manager

Bay Delta Region

California Department of Fish and Game

P.O. Box 47

Yountville, CA 94599

Potter Valley Irrigation District

P. O. Box 186

Potter Valley, CA 95469

bcc: Board Members

Dorothy Rice

Tom Howard

Sherrera:jmtipps 03.13.08

U:\PERDRV\SHerrera\April 15-08 workshop Sonoma County WA invite.d

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