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June 23, 2021
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Governor Newsom provides emergency drought assistance to Russian River Watershed

April 30, 2021

Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) joined Governor Newsom at a parched Lake Mendocino for the announcement of an executive order to help drought-stricken watershed’s such as the Russian River watershed.

 Sonoma Water and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair Lynda Hopkins said, “Thank you to Governor Newsom for taking action on the drought today and providing our region with immediate assistance.  The Russian River watershed and our entire region, including Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, are experiencing a severe drought that has resulted in historically low water storage levels at Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma.  I look forward to collaborating with the Governor’s Office, state and federal agencies and our local water managers to ensure every tool is used to beat this drought.  But the most important tool to implement right now is for every resident to start saving water.  There is no water to waste.”

Sonoma Water Director and Sonoma County Board of Supervisor David Rabbitt said, “The drought is impacting not only our municipal water utilities, but also our rural and agricultural communities, including livestock and dairies.  Emergency assistance is needed to help our dairies and agricultural communities as this drought continues and water supplies become unavailable from municipal sources as mandatory conservation orders are issued later this summer.  The assistance from Governor Newsom and our state and federal leaders is appreciated.” 

Sonoma Water Director and Sonoma County Board of Supervisor James Gore said, “Thank you to Governor Newsom and to our partners for helping bring much needed drought emergency resources to our region.  We are thankful that Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) was implemented at Lake Mendocino last year, saving 11,000 acre-feet, or about a third of Lake Mendocino’s water storage.  Further investment in water management technologies and atmospheric river forecasting across our region and state is needed to ensure innovation remains a priority as we battle this drought and climate change.”