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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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sonoma County Water Agency Updates

State Water Board approves temporary flow changes
The State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) on June 1, 2011 issued an Order approving the Sonoma County Water Agency's Temporary Urgency Change Petition to temporarily reduce minimum flow requirements in the Russian River until October 15, 2011.

A Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2008 requires the Water Agency to annually ask the State Board to reduce flow requirements in the Russian River. Slowing the velocity of water during the summer improves conditions for young steelhead that live in the Russian River before migrating to the ocean.

The order allows the Water Agency to reduce flows in the upper Russian River from 185 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) to 125 cfs and in the lower Russian River from 125 cfs to 70 cfs. The Water Agency must maintain approximately 85 cfs at the Hacienda gage as practicably feasible.

Read the State Board's Order
Learn more about the Russian River Biological Opinion and the Water Agency's Petition. 

Public review begins for Dry Creek Demonstration Project study update

The public has until 5 p.m. on July 18, 2011 to comment on the Sonoma County Water Agency's (Water Agency) Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (Initial Study) for the proposed Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project (Project). The Project would implement habitat enhancement projects within the first one-mile section of Dry Creek near Lambert Bridge as required by the Russian River Biological Opinion - a federally mandated 15-year blueprint to save endangered ?fish and ensure water supply. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate to regulators, landowners, and local decision makers the feasibility of Dry Creek habitat enhancements. The project will help demonstrate how habitat enhancements may be constructed, what they may look like, and how effective they are.

An electronic copy of the Initial Study is available at Hard copies of the Initial Study are available for purchase by request at or at the Water Agency's Administrative Office (404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa).

Hard copies are also available for public viewing at the following locations:

- Healdsburg Regional Library: 139 Piper Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448

- Windsor Regional Library: 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Bldg. 100, Windsor, CA 95492

Agencies and interested members of the public are invited to review and comment on the Initial Study. Please include a name, address, and telephone number of a contact person in your agency for all future correspondence on this subject.

Please send your comments to:

David Cuneo
Sonoma County Water Agency
404 Aviation Blvd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

For questions regarding obtaining copies of this document, you may contact David Cuneo at 707-547-1935. Read More…

Department of Fish and Game awards $250,000 Grant for Mirabel Fish Ladder
The Department of Fish and Game has awarded the Sonoma County Water Agency with a $250,000 Fisheries Restoration Grant to help fund the design of the Mirabel Fish Ladder Replacement Project (Project). The Project will replace an existing fish ladder located at the Water Agency's Mirabel inflatable dam near the town of Forestville, CA in order to provide unimpeded passage of salmonids, eliminating the need to alter dam inflation to accommodate fish passage, and enhance opportunities for fish migration monitoring. The Project will also allow the public to view fish migrating through the fish ladder with the installation of an observation chamber and window. The Project's design work is expected to cost $500,000 and construction is slated to begin in 2013.

View the fish ladder design.

Learn more about the fish ladder design and the Russian River Biological Opinion. 

Monitoring well construction begins in Sonoma Valley
Drilling preparations for two specially designed 500-foot deep groundwater monitoring wells in the Sonoma Valley basin commenced Tuesday, May 31, 2011 as a part of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Program (SVGMP). The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Monitoring Wells Project (Project) is managed by the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) with oversight from the Basin Advisory Panel of the SVGMP. The Basin Advisory Panel is a collaborative group of Sonoma Valley stakeholders representing varied groundwater interests formed in 2006 to develop and adopt the SVGMP. The Project is slated for completion by mid-July.

Sewer main, recycled water pipeline projects in Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District
Preparation work has begun in the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation (District) for two pipeline construction projects - replacement of a 5,700 foot section of the District's main sewer trunk and the installation of a recycled water pipeline for the North Bay Water Reuse Authority's (Authority) North Bay Water Recycling Program.

The District's sewer replacement project is a component of its capital improvement plan to replace aging and structurally deficient pipes that collect wastewater and deliver it to the District's treatment plant. The replacement project is taking place between Watmaugh Road East (east of Shainsky Road) and the District's wastewater treatment plant located at 22675 8th Street East. The 50-year-old existing sewer, constructed of reinforced concrete pipe, will be replaced with new PVC pipe material ranging in size from 30 inches to 42 inches in diameter. Construction activities will include open-cut trenching and trenchless construction methods under a portion of Schell Creek. Construction activities will take place on 16 private properties. Construction is slated to be completed by November 1, 2011. The total cost of the replacement project is approximately $1.8 million and was included in the District's FY 2010/2011 Capital Replacement Budget.

The installation of a recycled water main pipe for the Authority will parallel the District's main sewer trunk replacement project. The two pipes are being installed at the same time to save money for both the District and Authority. Construction for both pipeline projects will be performed under contract with Sierra Mountain Construction, Inc., a San Francisco pipeline construction firm, for the contract amount of $2,337,197. The project is being funded in part with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds administered by the Bureau of Reclamation. In May 2010, the Authority was awarded $7.3 million by the ARRA towards the construction of projects that will expand recycled water use in the region.

Learn more. Read More…

Sanitation tours scheduled
Public tours of the Russian River and Sonoma Valley County Sanitation Districts' wastewater treatment plants have been scheduled. Registration is required to attend and space is reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. Space is limited. Each tour will include a guided walking tour of the treatment plant and staff will discuss current and future capital improvement projects.

Russian River County Sanitation District tour:

Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: 18400 Neeley Road, Guerneville, CA 95446
Register: Call Brad Sherwood at (707) 547-1927 or e-mail him at and provide your full name, street address and e-mail.

Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District tour:

Date: Friday, August 19, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: 22675 8th Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476
Register: Call Carly Cabrera at (707) 547-1966 or e-mail her at and provide your full name, street address and e-mail. Read More…

Water supply report
As of 6/07/11

Lake Sonoma
98% of water supply capacity
Storage: 240,427 acre-feet (Water Supply Capacity: 245,000 acre-feet)
Rate of Release: 101 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs)
Required Dry Creek Flow Rate: 80 cfs

Lake Mendocino
77% of water supply capacity
Storage: 85,829 acre-feet (Water Supply Pool Capacity: 111,000 acre feet)
Rate of Release: 183 cfs
Required Upper Russian River Flow Rate: 125 cfs

Lake Pillsbury (PG&E Facility)
Reservoir is currently 96% full (Storage: 71,903 acre-feet)
Rate of Release: 1,530 cfs
Cumulative inflow: 534,129 acre-feet

Lake Van Arsdale (PG&E Facility)
Potter Valley Diversion: 129 cfs
Eel River Release: 1,656 cfs

Hacienda Bridge
Rate of Flow: 946 cfs
Required Lower Russian River Flow Rate: 70 cfs

For more water supply information, please visit Read More…

Public meetings, notices
Public Meetings:

Board of Directors

The Water Agency's Board of Directors welcomes you to its meetings which are regularly scheduled each Tuesday. View the current agenda.

Location: Supervisors' Chambers
Sonoma County Administration Bldg.
575 Administration Dr., Room 102A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403-2887
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Contact: Phone 707-565-2241

Water Advisory Committee

Location: City of Santa Rosa, Utilities Field Operation Building 35 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa
Time: 9-11:30 a.m.
Date: August 1, November 7, 2011

Technical Advisory Committee
Location: City of Santa Rosa, Utilities Field Operation Building 35 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa
Time: 9-11:30 a.m.
Date: July 11, August 1, September 12, October 3, November 7, December 5, 2011 

Learn More...

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