Email Vesta
Blog Home Page

Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Russian River Water Crisis - YOU can HELP!

Continuing drought and probable flow reductions in the Russian River have left us in the middle of a “water crisis!”
Lack of water will greatly affect our drinking water supplies
and endangered salmon such as Coho.

Come learn how to test stream flow at The First Saturday Cleanup on June 6th at the Pierson Street Bridge on Santa Rosa Creek at 10 am! So we can keep ourselves and local government aware of exactly how our watersheds are doing! This information will help guide our daily water use and will help agencies make informed decisions regarding water policy. Great skill to learn for anyone interested in green and water focused jobs!

This training is part of First Saturday Cleanup (FSC), which is a great mentoring and stewardship program where youth of Chops Teen Center work with the community in cleaning up Santa Rosa Creek. The teens and supervising adults pick up trash, plant native vegetation, and remove graffiti. We will conclude the training and cleanup with a potluck lunch, so bring your favorite dish to share.

For more info about FSC visit
This will be the first of many presentations and workshops hosted by Community Clean Water Institute thanks to the Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project!

Check them out at

For a list of upcoming workshops and events go to

Stream Flow Monitoring Guide

What is stream flow?
Stream flow is the movement of an amount of water over a designated point per a determined period of time. It is usually measured in cubic feet per second (ft3/sec).

Why is it important?
Flow rates have a significant effect on wildlife presence and diversity, and the habitat and water quality of a stream. As the volume of water in a stream increases, so does the velocity, resulting in a healthier waterway that is more resilient to pollution. Certain types of organisms are dependent on these fast moving streams, while others need isolated pool habitats.

Fast-moving streams often have higher levels dissolved oxygen, as the currents help to aerate the water. When sediment enters a slow-moving waterway, either through runoff or bank erosion, the particles fall right through the water column to the bottom. This can create challenges for salmon as the sediment settles into the crevices within a gravel bed, covering food and filling in hiding and resting spots for fry.

Streams with lower water volume are prone to increased water temperatures. Water at higher temperatures contains more kinetic energy, which inhibits its ability to hold on to gasses such as oxygen. Warmer stream waters can also have higher conductivity levels. Conductivity is the ability of water to conduct an electrical current through dissolved ions in the water, and is a secondary indicator of pollution.

Monitoring stream flow reveals how much water is moving off the watershed into the waterway, which is influenced by the weather conditions of the region as well as how pervious the surrounding land is. Stream flow levels are also affected by human activity; water withdrawals for irrigation or industry can deplete flow levels, and dams block the flow of a stream and create altered flow patterns.

Rainstorms can cause in an increase in stream flow, while summer and fall months often have lower and sometimes even no flow. Shortage of rainfall, high evaporation rates, along with increased use of water by riparian vegetation are all natural causes of low stream flow during the summer and fall, with the lowest during the months of August and September.

Terrance Fleming
Community Clean Water Institute
Program Coordinator
707/824.4370 v
707/824.4372 f

Labels: , ,