PG&E Requests Variance to Conduct Work on Powerhouse

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, owners of the Potter Valley Project (PVP), are beholden to regulations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). When PG&E needs to alter management of the project, including changes to water releases which affect stream flow, they must first receive approval from FERC. The below excerpt from the Press Democrat … Read more

Amid California's Drought, A Bruising Battle for Cheap Water

Agriculture in the Westlands Water District is a contentious issue. Farming in a desert and growing particularly water-intensive crops like almonds and pistachios requires pumping groundwater and taking water from less arid regions. Groundwater supplies can only go so far before the land subsides in a serious way, and what happens during a widespread drought … Read more

California's North Coast Water Relics

By: Will Parrish October 15, 2014 In roughly three weeks, the relatively slim percentage of Californians who vote in the Nov. 2014 election will decide on a politically contentious (is there any other kind of water politics in California?) $7.5 billion state general obligation bond, Proposition 1, entitled “THE State Water Bond” (emphasis added). A … Read more

Would the Real NCRA Please Stand Up?

Railroad Agency Ducking Environmental Review to Avoid Disclosing Harms to River River advocates have been encouraged, if not surprised, by the rapid return of salmon after the two Elwha River dams in Washington state’s Olympic National Park were removed. Even a century’s absence won’t keep fish out once barriers are removed. Our generation’s best chance … Read more

Rains Ramp up Flows in the Eel River

During the last month, dry patches along the Eel River began reaching lengths of hundreds of yards, but the recent rains began connecting some of these areas back together. Friends of the Eel River Executive Director Scott Greacen said that one spell of rain will not make up for the deficit caused by the … Read more

Here's How Hundreds of People Are Working to Fix the Eel River Delta

The Eel was once one of the largest salmon-producing rivers in the state, and much of the delta’s river system was deep enough to host hundred-ton shipping vessels carrying goods from San Francisco and beyond. A hundred and fifty years ago, the delta’s river system would drain naturally with the rains and tides. But in … Read more

Why the Eel River Disappeared and What It Means for Fish

A YouTube video posted yesterday to SFGate.com claimed that the Eel has stopped flowing altogether, which is not strictly accurate. The video above, which was shot this morning, shows that the Eel simply goes underground for a stretch, running beneath the surface of the gravel riverbed before reemerging about 100-200 yards north. Regardless, this is … Read more

Setting Rivers Free: As Dams Are Torn Down, Nature is Quickly Recovering

BENTON FALLS, MAINE — “Look underneath you,” commands Nate Gray, a burly biologist for the state of Maine. He reaches down to the grate floor of a steel cage perched on a dam straddling the Sebasticook River, and pulls back a board revealing the roiling river 30 feet below. “All you see is fish.” Below, undulating in … Read more

Right vs. Reason in Severe Drought Conditions

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, August 2014 Responding to one of the most severe and persistent droughts in the history of California, state agencies are now moving to shut down water diversions that harm fisheries and wildlife, using a mixture of unusual and unprecedented measures. The State Water Board is issuing “curtailment notices” … Read more