Lake Mendocino: (September 2016)
As a result of a normal year of precipitation and reduced flows from the 2016 Temporary Use Change Petition from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), the amount of water remaining in Lake Mendocino is greater than it was at this same time last year. Other areas of the state remain at drought or severe drought levels, but Mendocino County is considered abnormally dry, the lowest state of drought as monitored by the US Drought Monitor (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/). To assist in better management of water storage in Lake Mendocino, the District has coordinated this summer with SCWA and the terms of its 2016 TUCP to revise minimum instream flows to 125 cfs. The lower flows have helped conserve water in the lake for downstream diverters through the hottest days of the year.
Managing flows at the lower levels can be difficult; releases from the lake for downstream users can take several days to reach where needed. To continue better water supply management policies, improve fish habitat and conserve storage in Lake Mendocino, we continue to ask that RRFC contractors notify the Sonoma County Water Agency of intended diversions. As in previous years, notification can easily be done by using the online tool at the Upper Russian River Mendocino Diversion Forecasts website to report your planned diversions.
In addition, we are continuing to urge all diverters in the Upper Basin to use our water resources wisely and conserve whenever possible.
Additional drought information is available here http://www.scwa.ca.gov/current-water-supply-levels/.