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February 25, 2009

So our Sonoma County Water Agency is at it again. They are worried that there isn’t enough water for the salmon. Well, no kidding. The salmon don’t have enough water because this county has been making way for development instead. Development, in the sense of building thousands of new buildings, not in the sense of actually developing. Development that uses TONS of “new” water. So the fish go away. Then, as in the past, The Sonoma County Water Agency decides to call for our help in “saving” water. Now you need to know that the same people that head up the Sonoma County Water Agency head up the County: The Board of Supervisors. These are the people OKing all the development. If they are really that worried don’t you think maybe they would hold off on approving all the new houses, retail developments, etc? I would think so. But they don’t. Which makes me think they are just assuming that they can appeal to a new sense of “being green” to get people to cut back on water and then there is extra water for their developments. This has been their track record anyway.

I for one will not be saving water until I know it is going to the fish. I feel like by using water at my normal rate, I am banking it for them until someone decides to give it to THEM instead of taking my saved water and giving it to the new Salmon Creek housing development.

We need to think about what we are saving water for. There is no language in any county document that says that saved water goes to the fish. It really just ends up going to new subdivisions. And then the call goes out again. This time with all the new people living in those subdivisions included. Now they are being asked to take out their lawns, and I agree lawns are terribly wasteful, but WHY is this the next level? So the next development can go in. They say it’s for the fish every time but somehow the fish are always in jeopardy and the new developments never are. I would like some legally binding proof, please, as to where the “saved” water is going.

I can’t even go into the problems, (yes, still under the control of these same supervisors) of gravel mining in the water supply, depleting the water filter, making an expensive filtration plant increasingly necessary and of stealing water from the nearby Eel River to supplement our water desires.

From the Sonoma County Water Agency:

We need to talk…about water.

The Sonoma County Water Agency is hosting three meetings to inform the public about Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma water storage projections, potential mandatory water conservation, and the related impacts on residents, businesses, cities, water agencies, and agricultural communities in Mendocino and Sonoma counties. The Agency will also discuss plans to seek an Urgency Change Petition from the State Water Resources Control Board for reduced Russian River flows.

Upcoming public meetings:

Monday, March 16, 2009 – 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Ukiah City Hall
300 Seminary Avenue

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 – 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Healdsburg City Hall
401 Grove Street

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 – 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Guerneville Veterans Memorial Hall
First and Church streets

For more information contact Brad Sherwood, public information offi cer, at (707) 547-1927 or You may also visit to learn more about current and projected water storage in our reservoirs.

From David Keller, Bay Area Director, Friends of the Eel River:

Prologue to SCWA’s public meeting schedule notice for talking about the next Urgency Change Petitions to SWRCB and flow reductions:

If SCWA doesn’t have enough water for our salmon and steelhead, why do they keep building

If they don’t have enough water, when will they institute mandatory reductions and efficiencies for the water they do have

If they don’t have enough water, why do they keep taking water from the Eel River instead of fixing the mismanagement and overdrafting of the Russian River watershed

Why are existing ratepayers being forced to subsidize the costs of expanding a water supply system to support the beneficiaries of new growth?

When will SCWA shift their course to one that is truly sustainable for at least the next 150 years?

David Keller
Bay Area Director
Friends of the Eel River
1327 I St.
Petaluma, CA 94952

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