Temporary Urgency Change Petition
2017 Temporary Urgency Change Petition
On April 19, 2017, Sonoma County Water Agency (Petitioner) filed temporary urgency change petitions with the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), Division of Water Rights (Division) requesting approval of temporary changes to water right Permits 12947A, 12949, 12950, and 16596 (Applications 12919A, 15736, 15737, and 19351) pursuant to Chapter 6.6 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Water Code. The petitions seek authorization to temporarily reduce the minimum instream flow requirements specified under the subject permits due to operational constraints placed on the Petitioner pursuant to the September 24, 2008, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion for Water Supply, Flood Control Operations, and Channel Maintenance conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, SCWA, and the Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District in the Russian River watershed (Biological Opinion).
The requested changes to the instream flows are as follows:
- From May 1 through October 15, 2017, reduce instream flow requirements for the upper Russian River (from its confluence with the East Fork of the Russian River to its confluence with Dry Creek) from 185 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 125 cfs.
- From May 1 through October 15, 2017, reduce instream flow requirements for the lower Russian River (from its confluence with Dry Creek to the Pacific Ocean) from 125 cfs to 70 cfs.
Frequently asked questions:
Are river flows being reduced due to the drought?
Our region is currently not facing drought conditions. Flows are being reduced due to requirements set forth in the Biological Opinion to enhance the environment for juvenile salmonids in the Russian River. Learn more about Decision 1610 Permanent Flow Changes
How does reducing the flow help juvenile fish?
Reducing the velocity of the Russian River’s flow provides more habitat for juvenile salmonids to grow.
Will the reduced flows impact recreation on the Russian River?
We do not anticipate any impacts to recreational activities on the Russian River. We encourage the community to contact local recreational businesses to learn about current recreational conditions.