Petitions Requesting Approval of Temporary Urgency Changes in Water Right Permits 12947A, 12949, 12950, and 16596 in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties


SCH Number
Public Agency
State Water Resources Control Board
Document Title
Petitions Requesting Approval of Temporary Urgency Changes in Water Right Permits 12947A, 12949, 12950, and 16596 in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) filed Temporary Urgency Change Petitions with the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) on October 13, 2023 requesting the State Water Board make temporary urgent changes to the hydrologic flow index contained in Decision 1610 that affect its reservoir operations and minimum instream flow requirements in the Russian River. This temporary change is requested to ensure that the water supply condition for the Russian River is determined by an index that is reflective of watershed conditions. Sonoma Water states there is an urgent need to implement the proposed changes due to the significant reduction of Eel River water imports through Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) Potter Valley Project (PVP). The influence of Eel River imports on downstream hydrologic conditions in the Russian River has been and will continue to be greatly diminished, and thus use of the Eel River hydrologic index is not a reliable metric for Russian River water supply conditions. In the absence of the proposed changes, the applicable minimum instream flow requirements may require releases of water from Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma at levels that would risk significant depletions of storage levels that could cause impacts to human health and welfare and reduce water supplies needed for protection of listed salmon species in the Russian River.

Contact Information

Ken Emanuel
Agency Name
State Water Resources Control Board
Job Title
Environmental Scientist
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Connie Barton
Agency Name
Sonoma County Water Agency
Job Title
Senior Environmental Specialist
Contact Types
Project Applicant / Parties Undertaking Project


Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Ukiah
Mendocino, Sonoma
Citywide, Countywide
Other Location Info
The proposed action would occur in Mendocino and Sonoma counties at Lake Mendocino, in the Upper Russian River from Coyote Valley Dam/Lake Mendocino to the confluence with Dry Creek, and in the Lower Russian River from the confluence with Dry Creek to the Pacific Ocean. Communities and cities along the Russian River include Ukiah, Hopland, Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Forestville, Mirabel Park, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Monte Rio, Duncans Mills, and Jenner.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15301, 15307, 15308
Reasons for Exemption
The proposed action is categorically exempt under the State CEQA Guidelines Sections 15301 (i), 15307, and 15308.
County Clerks
Mendocino, Sonoma


Notice of Exemption

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