Sample Letter Regarding Russian River Low Flows

Hi folks:

I’m sending this out before tonight’s meeting, but I’m so late, I don’t
expect any group action tonight.  I just want you to see this attached
letter.  When this issue heats up, I hope SCWC will write a letter also.
(Sorry I didn’t get this to Stephen in a more timely email.)  I will bring
some hard copies to the meeting tonight.

The revision process for Decision 1610 is about to commence soon and we are
very concerned about how this will play out.  We produced this letter for
our supporters, but we are hopeful that many of you will ask your groups to
sign on.  It would be even better if you would use it as a template for your
own letter on your own letterhead.

I feel strongly that this issue should be a topic by itself for a “tech”
meeting sometime in the not too distant future, once SCWA has released their
proposal this fall.  Perhap we should think about having Grant, Don Seymour,
and/or Jay Jasperse attend a meeting (They seem to be in the lead on this at
this time.)


Ms. Vicky Whitney, Deputy Director
Mr. Steve Herrera, Permitting Section
Division of Water Rights
1001  I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Ms. Whitney and Mr. Herrera:
Re: Order WR 2009-0034-EXEC

I am a supporter of tourism and recreational use of the lower Russian River
and an advocate of strong Russian River water quality policies. I request
that you add my name and address to your list of concerned citizens
regarding future changes to Decision 1610. I wish to receive notices of
future meetings and availability of documents on any future proposed flow
changes to the lower Russian River. Also, please inform your Board of my

I am very concerned about the Conditional Temporary Urgency Change in Sonoma
County Water Agency’s (SCWA) Permits #12947A, 12949, 12950, and 16596,
approved May 28, 2009, allowing SCWA to lower flows to 35 cfs from the Dry
Creek confluence to the mouth of the river at Jenner.  For the following
reasons, we ask you to consider rescinding this Order.

·      There have been numerous bacteriological excursions over the last
month and popular beaches have been posted as risky for swimming on several
occasions.  This was during normal flows. The problem will be exacerbated as
flows decrease.

·      Whether or not the monitoring identifies water quality problems, we
have seen a proliferation of invasive plants such as Ludwegia and large
amounts of nasty algae that is only bound to get worse as flows diminish.

·      Even during cool weather and normal flows, water temperatures have
been exceptionally warm.  This is detrimental to the threatened species for
whom this program is being implemented.  Lowering flows will only worsen the

·      Every weekend, hundreds of canoes and kayaks can be seen wending
their way down the Russian River.  They will not be able to float when flows
go below 85 cfs.  These lower flows will effectively eliminate most
recreational use of the lower Russian River.  I am opposed!

·       Finally, while urban users have been ordered to conserve 25%, that
is based on 2004 use.  Because extensive conservation has already been
accomplished, this means that only 3-4% of new conservation is required.
Thus far, cities have not produced reports on what they are going to save
and how they will do it.  We believe that mandatory conservation should be
put in place, especially for turf irrigation.



(Signature)        (Date)