Mary Callahan, PRESS DEMOCRAT
Water managers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties seek to preserve water transfer infrastructure as part of PG&E license surrender for Potter Valley power plant.
Water managers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties have submitted a conceptual proposal to PG&E to buy and maintain portions of the utility’s defunct Potter Valley power plant to enable future water transfers.
The move would be a critical step toward preserving seasonal diversions of Eel River water to supplement supplies in Lake Mendocino and the Russian River.
Working with the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission and the Round Valley Indian Tribes, the Sonoma County Water Agency is seeking to preserve elements of the power plant through which water is channeled from the Eel River to the East Fork Russian River. No electricity would be generated as a part of the plan.
Pacific Gas & Electric has planned to surrender its license for the 1908 plant with the intent of decommissioning it. Without a proposal to save it, the diversion infrastructure would eventually be removed, leaving upper Russian River communities and agriculture users without sufficient water.