Archived Water News

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”The CA state has promised 5-1/2 times more water rights than the water that actually exists,” said Carolee Krieger, Executive Director of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN), a member organization of the Environmental Water Caucus.

Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM PDT

Environmental Water Caucus Unveils Real-Time Drought Response

“With a history of recurring drought in California- 40% of recent years have been drought level years -California ought to be well prepared for these conditions.  Instead we have another of the usual ’emergency drought proclamations’ from the Governor,” said Nick Di Croce, Co-Facilitator of the Environmental Water Caucus.

Di Croce cited the kinds of actions that are “really needed to get us out of this recurring cycle,” as recommended by the member organizations of the Environmental Water Caucus. These include:

•    Provide funding of mandatory programs for urban and agricultural efficiencies and conservation.  This would include measures such as incentives to purchase high efficiency toilets, clothes washers and dishwashers, storm water capture, urban landscape replacement, groundwater cleanup, waste water treatment and recycling, green water infrastructure, and higher technology farm irrigation practices and equipment.  All of these actions have proven successful in the recent past, especially compared to the costs of water from new dams.

•    Develop water pricing guidelines to incentivize reduced use of urban and agricultural water with local baselines and steep upward price escalation for usage above the baselines.

•    Develop enforceable regional per capita water usage targets based on the efficiency and conservation measures adopted.


February, March 2014.

How To Survive A Future Without Water

Water agency takes steps to preserve water in Lake Mendocino

Friday, January 3, 2014 11:11 AM

The water agency manages and regulates water supply at two reservoirs, Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma, to meet the needs of more than 600,000 people in parts of Sonoma and Marin counties. Since 1986, as mandated by SWRCB, the water agency is required to release sufficient water from the reservoirs to maintain flow rates above designated minimum values along the Russian River. The values change depending on whether the water year is deemed “normal,” “dry” or “critical.” According to water agency Assistant General Manager Pam Jeane, prior to the approval of the temporary change, the agency had to look outside its watershed at Lake Pillsbury to determine release levels for Lake Mendocino.

For the revised flow regime, the agency developed criteria to gauge conditions based on the original state mandate, Jeane explained. “Hopefully that (temporary change) will be much more representative of what is going on in our watershed.”

The order will allow minimum flows in the Russian River between Lake Mendocino and Dry Creek, below Healdsburg, to drop from 75 cubic feet per second to 25 cubic feet per second to prevent the reservoir from reaching unsafe levels.

The low levels in Lake Mendocino are exacerbated, Jeane explains, because flood control precautions require the water agency to leave space in the reservoir in case of large amounts of rain, which reduces the already-small reservoir’s storage capacity.

Communities that rely on Lake Mendocino include Ukiah, Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg and unincorporated areas of Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

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