The Department of Water Resources will hold workshops in Ukiah and Santa Rosa this month to provide updates about drought impacts and response activities.

The Ukiah workshop will take place July 29, from 1:30 - 5 p.m. at the Mendocino County Water Agency, 890 Bush Street. The Santa Rosa workshop will take place July 30, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Santa Rosa State Building at 50 D Street.

Drought response for small water systems will be a special focus of both workshops, which include presentations about water conservation programs and local groundwater conditions.

Water year 2009 is California’s third consecutive dry year, with water years 2007 through 2009 representing the 12th driest three-year period in the state’s measured hydrologic record. Statewide, runoff for water year 2009 is projected to be 71 percent of average, up from the 53 and 58 percent of average in water years 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Three years of below-average precipitation has reduced runoff available to recharge groundwater sources. Additionally, the State Water Resources Control Board’s May 2009 revised water rights order concerning Sonoma County Water Agency diversions from the Russian River requires a 25 percent reduction in the agency’s diversions from the river. Moreover, there is preparation of plans for Russian River water users to achieve specified water conservation goals – 25 percent in Sonoma County and 50 percent in Mendocino County. This spring, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency due to drought conditions.

Small water systems have historically experienced the majority of drought-related health and safety impacts and water shortage emergencies. Most small system drought problems stem from dependence on an unreliable water source, commonly groundwater in fractured rock systems or in small coastal terrace groundwater basins.

Historically, particularly at-risk geographic areas have been the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Range, inland Southern California, and the North and Central Coast regions. Although small systems serve a low percentage of California’s total population, they constitute the majority of the state’s public water systems. Small systems tend to be located outside metropolitan areas, often in lightly populated rural areas where opportunities for interconnections with other systems or water transfers are nonexistent.

For background information about drought and drought preparedness, see: http://www.water.ca.gov/drought/.

— Ukiah program:

When: Wednesday, July 29th

1:30 – 5:00

Where: Mendocino County Water Agency

890 Bush Street

Ukiah

Agenda:

• Drought overview, purpose of workshop (Jeanine Jones, Department of Water Resources)

• CDPH drought activities and update on ARRA funding (Guy Schott, California Department of Public Health)

• Water conservation update (Kent Frame, DWR)

• Drought contingency planning (Jeanine Jones, Department of Water Resources)

• Facilitating temporary water transfers (Teresa Geimer, Department of Water Resources)

• Administration of the California Emergency Services Act (Greg Perry, CALEMA)

• Local groundwater conditions (Mark Nordberg, DWR)

• Planning for Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management grants (Pierre Stephens, DWR)

— Santa Rosa program:

When: Thursday, July 30

9:30 – 12:30

Where: Santa Rosa State Building

50 D Street, room 410 A/B

Santa Rosa

Agenda:

• Drought overview, purpose of workshop (Jeanine Jones, Department of Water Resources)

• CDPH drought activities and update on ARRA funding (Janice Oakley, California Department of Public Health)

• Water conservation update (Kent Frame, DWR)

• Facilitating temporary water transfers (Teresa Geimer, Department of Water Resources)

• Administration of the California Emergency Services Act (Roger Sigtermans, CALEMA)

• Local groundwater conditions (Mark Nordberg, DWR)

• Planning for Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management grants (Pierre Stephens, DWR)