The Russian River watershed is in severe drought and the hottest days of summer are still to come. Scant rainfall and alarmingly low reservoirs mean there simply isn’t enough water to go around.

The State Water Board is considering passing emergency measures to address dire water shortages in the Russian River watershed. These proposed regulations are similar to those put in place during the 2015 drought. We need to save every drop we can right now to ensure that we have enough water for people to drink and fish to swim. If we don’t, the Russian River risks becoming disconnected or even running dry.

The State Water Board needs to hear from people like you, who are stewards of your river. Speak up at the virtual hearing on 6/15.

1. Sign up for a Speaker Card.

2. Choose Agenda Item #5, Russian River for the emergency regulations.

3. You’ll only have a minute or two to voice your support of the emergency regulations due to volume of speakers.

4. The hearing starts at 9am on Tuesday June 15, 2021, but Item #5 and comments will not start right at 9am so you may need to keep open in background until time.

5. Start off by stating that you support the adoption of emergency regulations and share your personal story on how the current drought, lack of water, and harm to River is or will negatively impact you this year.

Here are some talking points and tips, if you need help organizing what you’re going to say.

  • It’s officially the driest year on record for the Russian River.
  • Everyone and everything on the River is going to be feeling the pain this year.
  • Human health and the River’s ecological health must be protected and given priority over private economic interests—the longterm health of region is dependent on it.
  • Must significantly reduce demand to protect human health, the River, and endangered salmon. 
  • Strong and enforceable emergency regulations are necessary to reduce demand as water use over the last few months demonstrates the inability to reduce necessary demand on own.
  • Must consider likelihood of a a third dry year, and maybe even more.
  • Fire risk is already elevated due to the dry period, so must ensure sufficient water levels for fire protection purposes.

If don’t want to speak and just want to watch the hearing, you can do so on Calepa website here.

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