Glenda Anderson, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Forced by drought to take dramatic action, California officials are poised to curtail rights to draw water from the Russian River above Healdsburg for the first time anyone can recall.
“It’s unprecedented,” said Janet Pauli, a Mendocino County rancher who sits on the boards of multiple water organizations.
The state Water Resources Control Board could begin ordering people with junior appropriative water rights — generally those issued by the state after 1914 — to stop drawing water from the river as early as Monday, officials said. The date initially was April 15, but the board postponed making a decision on the Russian River. It did move forward, however, on creating new regulations to curtail water use on three Sacramento River tributaries and the Scott River in Siskiyou County to ensure there is sufficient water in those streams to protect salmon and steelhead.