Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, WaterTags , , Leave a comment on Water officials cut Russian River releases from Lake Mendocino

Water officials cut Russian River releases from Lake Mendocino

Sean Scully, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Sonoma County Water Agency has cut flows in the Russian River by about 30 percent since Tuesday in an effort to preserve dwindling supplies in Lake Mendocino.

State regulators granted the agency permission to cut flows late Tuesday and the agency promptly dropped from releasing about 100 cubic feet per second at the dam, or about 748 gallons, to 90. On Thursday, the agency dropped that number down to 70 cfs, and could go lower this week or next.

“We don’t like to take it down really quickly,” agency Assistant General Manager Pam Jeane said.

That means flows in the river downstream could fall to below 55 cfs at its lowest point by early next week. During a normal rain year, the agency would need to keep that flow at around 150 cfs at the lowest point; even on a moderately dry year, it can’t cut the flow lower than 75 cfs.

But as of Thursday morning, the reservoir had just 26,280 acre feet of water in reserve, about 8.6 billion gallons, or just 38.7 percent of its capacity.

The region is coming out of a record dry year, with just 7.67 inches of rain falling in the upper reaches of the Russian River, as measured at Ukiah; the area usually sees at least 34 inches of rain.

via Water officials cut Russian River releases from Lake Mendocino | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, WaterTags Leave a comment on California on course for driest year on record

California on course for driest year on record

Peter Fimrite, SFGATE

Thirsty California may get a smidgen of rain this coming week, but it is not likely to change what, so far, has been the driest calendar year in recorded history.

No rain at all fell in San Francisco in October and only 3.95 inches has fallen since Jan. 1, the smallest amount of precipitation to date since record keeping began 164 years ago, according to the National Weather Service.

Things can still change, but the storm predicted to roll in Monday and Tuesday has already petered out, according to forecasters, who are expecting only sprinkles, if that.

"It’s absolutely dry," said Bob Benjamin, a National Weather Service forecaster. "We just went through October where there was no measurable precipitation in downtown San Francisco. That’s only happened seven times since records started."

via California on course for driest year on record – SFGate.