RRWPC is beginning to see positive institutional changes involving the Russian River. Several projects had been in the works for quite a while, and since the fire seem to be turning in a better direction. The fire was a wakeup call forcing local agencies to deal with environmental devastation on a massive scale that taught hard lessons about the fragility and the resiliency of the natural environment. That experience seems to be informing their programs in a positive way.
Fish Flow Project EIR update…..The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) released the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Fish Flow (‘Low Flow’) Project in August, 2016. Comments were due
Endocrine Disrupting chemicals cause reproductive confusion in fish and others…..
In 1994, we were intrigued by a short two paragraph article in Science News claiming that male fish swimming downstream of wastewater treatment plants showed indications of being both male and female, as their male sexual organs had produced immature female eggs. What was going on?
Russian River issues changing rapidly and becoming far more complex….
The fire, the drought, atmospheric rivers, a warming environment and sea level rise, along with strong motivations for expansive economic growth, are all conditions currently demanding dramatic changes in water policy. Similarly, a history of poor groundwater management, and problematic land use policies have created urgent situations that need to be addressed. This letter describes some of the forces at work.
Strong pressure for new housing….
• There is strong pressure for increased housing development in Sonoma County due to a dire housing shortage. More and more apartments are being built that will accommodate more people in smaller units. Water demand will greatly increase during summer, when far less water is available. Stringent conservation will be critical and stricter regulations on water use will become the norm.