Act NOW: Stop the Plan to Cut the Water Flow in the Russian River

Next week, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will discuss the Sonoma County Water Agency’s plan to permanently reduce summer Russian River water flows by up to 50%.

Even though the agency’s own environmental impact report states that the plan to reduce water flows could very well result in a violation of water quality standards or degrade water quality, it’s very possible that the Board of Supervisors will approve the plan.

If the Board approves the low flow plan, it could mean summer after summer of toxic blue-green algae, impacting our community’s economy, health and way of life.

Please turn out for the Board of Supervisors hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 3 PM and/or email the supervisors who represent Russian River communities!

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Hearing
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 3 PM
Board of Supervisors Chambers
575 Administrative Drive
Santa Rosa

Email or call the Supervisors who represent Russian River communities:

James Gore, District 4, represents Healdsburg and Windsor
Email:  Tel. 707-565-2241

Efren Carillo, District 5, represents Guerneville, Monte Rio, other lower Russian River communities
Tel: 707-565-2241

Other supervisors will be voting as well. Please send along the same message to:

Shirlee Zane, District 3,

David Rabbit, District 2,

Susan Gorin, District 1,

For more information, see:
Russian River Water Protection Committee

The Draft EIR is available at:


Here’s a sample email:

Dear Supervisor ________

I’m writing to urge you to oppose the Water Agency’s proposal to permanently reduce the water flows in the Russian River.

According to the agency’s Fish Habitat Flows and Water Rights Project Draft Environmental Impact Report, the plan to reduce water flows “could result in a violation of water quality standards of waste discharge requirements or otherwise degrade water quality relating to biostimulatory substances in the Russian River.”

This means that we could see toxic blue green algae in the river more frequently, like we did this summer and in 2015. As you know, toxic algae can be dangerous for children and deadly for pets. Last summer, a dog died from ingesting toxic algae while on a Russian River rafting trip with its owners.

It is troubling that the water agency does not propose any means to address the degradation of water quality that could result from its plan. This issue must be studied more and mitigation measures must be developed before the low flow plan is considered for implementation.

If the low flow plan results in more summers of a river tainted by toxic algae, our Russian River communities will be negatively impacted in several ways:

Tourism and our local economy could be impacted.

We would need to be concerned about the health of our children and pets when they are around the river.

And our way of life, which includes spending time swimming, kayaking, and wading on the river’s shores could be dramatically altered.

Supervisor, please do not support the implementation of the low flow plan without insisting the water agency address the negative impacts the plan could create for those of us who live along the Russian River. I care about saving the fish, but we need to come up with a plan to save them that doesn’t harm our community.

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