Turning Water into Wine

The unregulated growth of California’s wine industry in the state’s coastal regions is depleting groundwater supplies and devastating rivers and fisheries. By: Will Parish Published: May 27, 2015 in the East Bay Express Read article online in East Bay Express Along the border of Sonoma and Napa counties, roughly seven miles northeast of Santa Rosa, … Read more

Feds OK plan to keep more water in Lake Pillsbury reservoir

Federal authorities have granted temporary flow reductions aimed at keeping more water in Lake Pillsbury, a small but crucial reservoir high in the Mendocino National Forest that supplies water to the Eel River, Lake Mendocino, the Russian River and the people, farmers and fish dependent on them. The move is aimed at ensuring healthier river … Read more

Federal Water Decision that Could Affect Russian River Flows Imminent

Federal approval of a drought-related request to reduce flows from Lake Pillsbury could come Friday or early next week, relieving concerns shared by PG&E, North Bay water managers and ranchers in Potter Valley. If the remote reservoir on the Eel River in Lake County falls too low this summer, it could trigger a dramatic cutback … Read more

Shrinking Lake County Reservoir Prompts North Bay Supply Concerns

Water supplies for Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties this summer could hinge partly on the dwindling storage in a remote, drought-starved reservoir on the Eel River that serves as a cornerstone to the region’s water system. Water managers, fisheries biologists, environmentalists and PG&E have their eyes on Lake Pillsbury, a diminishing Lake County reservoir where … Read more

California Has About One Year of Water Left. Will You Ration Now?

Op-Ed published in LA Times March 12, 2015 By: Jay Famiglietti Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California’s winter was as well. As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall … 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

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

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