Water Supply Curtailment Update
As California heads into a third consecutive dry year, the State Water Resources Control Board is considering revision and readoption of emergency regulation to curtail unauthorized water diversions in the Russian River watershed. Exceptionally low precipitation since the beginning of the year has led to continuing drought conditions in the watershed. The Division of Water Rights has posted a draft of the revised emergency regulation and is seeking feedback on the proposed revisions. The Division will hold a public workshop on April 14 to discuss the emergency regulation, answer questions, and receive comments. The public comment deadline on the draft regulation is April 18. State Water Board staff expects that the proposed readoption will be considered by the State Water Board at their May 10 meeting. For copies of the draft emergency regulation and changes from the 2021 regulation, curtailment status, and more, visit the State Water Board’s Russian River Drought Website.
Th emergency regulations look very similar to the existing curtailment order in effect in the Upper Russian River Watershed. The new draft emergency regulations, include proposed changes that according to the State Board, clarify requirements, refine analysis and address stakeholder feedback. Changes include:
1. Refined water availability method
2. Protection of water for fish habitat in the lower Russian River tributaries
3. Voluntary conservation programs
4. Administrative improvements
The City of Cloverdale is evaluating the emergency regulations, will have legal staff attending the public workshop and submitting comments on the draft regulations regarding the City's water rights.