Frost Protection Workshop Comments Due Next Tuesday, 11/10

Hi all,

This is just a friendly reminder that comments to SWRCB for the frost
protection workshop are due NEXT Tuesday, 11/10 at NOON. See below.

You have probably all seen this Ukiah Daily Journal article about a
recent Farm Bureau and FFF meeting and the 11/18 SWRCB workshop. As the
FB noted in the article, "Whoever is in that auditorium is going to make
the difference." I agree, and I hope lots of people can attend. 

Also attached is the NOAA letter referenced in the article. 

Following are a few issues that I believe will be discussed. The most
consequential threshold question is the first.

* Will be a SWRCB reasonable use regulation, as NMFS has stated there
should be, or whether it will continue to be an informal and 'opt-in'
program? I don't believe there is any way to get broad action within the
industry without a rulemaking. Although a few farmers have made large
investments to make things better on their property (and I believe they
should get credit for acting), there will always be many who will not
participate without regulation. Similarly, it's not fair to those who do
act to let others be free riders.

* Will there be an emergency rulemaking for this year, as well as a
permanent rulemaking for the future? 

* Will the rulemaking require compliance with other laws? (Water rights,
streambed alteration agreements, etc.)

* Will it require automatic recording and reporting of the timing and
quantity of diversions?

* Will it require monitoring of stream conditions?

* Will there be a focus on tributaries?

* Under what conditions, if any, will diversions for frost protection be
allowed? (I.e., will it be a flat prohibition, or a requirement that
diverters prove no harm to fish before diversions, or will the state be
required to show harm to fish for diversions to be curtailed, etc. Will
it follow the Napa model and allow diversions only if there are
regulating ponds and a rotation system for refills?)

I'd be happy to discuss comments with any of you in advance. Just let me


Brian J. Johnson

The State Water Resources Control Board has issued a notice of public
workshop to consider recommendations for actions to address the effects
of water diversion practices for frost protection of crops on salmonids
in the Russian River watershed in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.  The
public workshop will commence on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 1 p.m.
in the Coastal Hearing Room at the Cal-EPA Building in Sacramento,
California.  Comment deadline is November 10, 2009 by 12 noon.

Please find attached the notice of public workshop.  The notice will
also be available shortly at the Division of Water Rights' website at

If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact Jean
McCue, at (916) 341-5351 or, or Dana Heinrich,
at (916) 341-5188 or