Sheep munching new grass
PVID Status Update February 20, 2019
As of 1-22-19 the water storage level at Lake Pillsbury is above the spill crest of Scott Dam and above target storage curve. This allows PG&E to divert flows through the project in excess of the minimum of 40 CFS this time of year. They have been diverting flows at a rate of 80 CFS all winter, and on 1-25-19 after the high Eel River storm flow event has cleared the river of large debris that might jeopardize the operation of the fish screen intake to the diversion, will increase diversion to full load, approximately 230 CFS.
Everyone is wondering what is going on with PG&E. FERC Relicensing, Sale of the Project, Non- Disclosure Agreements, Disastrous Fires, Bankruptcy, and now it seems they have chosen to surrender their FERC License! How can we hope to keep track of all of this information? How can we make our voices heard to protect our beneficial use of the water in question?
Follow the website information with the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, MC Farm Bureau, Potter Valley Irrigation District, and talk with your local and regional representatives.
I recommend reading a very concise report on the PG&E status and time line posted in the January 2019 issue of Mendocino Country Life published by the MC Farm Bureau.
The 2018 Ranch Fire created a lot of heavy equipment traffic over some of the district delivery pipeline systems. Some of these collapsed and had to be replaced under emergency conditions. This work took priority over some of the other projects that were planned for 2018. No worries, we will continue as time and weather permits.
Our 2019 infrastructure improvement plan, if approved by the Board of Directors will allow for the installation of pipe in approximately 2,000 feet of the open ditch lateral #17. We will continue our work on the Busch Creek Flume, rebuild Drain Gate #2, replace the 4 foot diameter property access culvert at Gate #2, and we are in the planning phase for the reconstruction of the East Pump delivery system. We will continue with normal maintenance projects as well. We are also working on our 2019 proposed budget, and annual in house 2018 financial audit performed by Robert Johnson Accountancy out of Sacramento.
I would like to remind everyone that our water rates will increase on May 1, 2019. PVID will be paying $15.00 per acre foot and water customers will be paying $17.50 per acre foot as our contract with PG&E stipulates. Garden Pumps discharging less than 25.0 GPM will be charged $100.00 per year rate.
Just a reminder, if you purchase water from PVID, please maintain an accurate record of each irrigation, and stay in contact with your Water Tender. A calendar works well for logging the start date & time, and the stop date & time. Please remember, we require at least a 2 hour notice with your request to have your water turned off. This policy allows the water tender time to arrange moving your water to the next waiting customer. If you are irrigating a different parcel of property this year please contact the District office to set up a new water account, 707-743-1109.
The PVID Board of Directors is doing everything they can think of to insure the PV Project diversion continues beyond 2022.
Potter Valley Irrigation District
MCFB statement on PG&E's intent to abandon Potter Valley Project relicensing - January 25, 2019
We want you to know that Mendocino County Farm Bureau is very active in
the numerous issues related to the Potter Valley Project and will
continue to keep you updated.
Please share this information so we can keep the community well
informed. It is times like this that your membership is essential to our united
Today at approximately 12:15 PM, we received the following notice from
PG&E via email:
Today PG&E submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) providing our "Notice of Withdrawal of Notice Of
Intent to File License Application and Pre-Application Document" for
the Potter Valley Project. As a result, PG&E will expeditiously cease
all activities related to the relicensing of the Project. Our decision
to cease Project relicensing will also result in the stoppage of our
efforts to sell the Project via the Request for Offers (RFO) process.
This action is being taken to ensure limited available funds are
deployed to the highest priority activities. We recognize the gravity of
this action, but believe it is appropriate given PG&E's current
Although the timing is unclear at this point, we anticipate that
PG&E's action will result in FERC initiating its Orphan Project
process. In accordance with the Orphan process, FERC will provide
interested parties the opportunity to submit an application for a new
Project license. We believe this path will allow interested parties more
time to prepare for the acquisition of the Project and the ability to
submit a License Application on their own terms rather than assuming
PG&E’s current application. If the Orphan process does not result in
the issuance of a new Project License, it is expected FERC will order
PG&E to prepare and submit a Surrender Application and Decommissioning
PG&E will continue to own and operate the Project in accordance with the
terms and conditions of the current Project license and all laws, rules,
and regulations governing the operation of the Project until a new
license is issued or the Project is decommissioned. PG&E also intends to
support the Orphan process through provision of work products and
information developed to date in the relicensing process to those who
apply to FERC for a new Project license.
PG&E recognizes that many stakeholders have invested significant effort
in the relicensing process and we are very appreciative. We apologize
for any challenges or inconvenience this action might cause.
What this means??????????
Although it is unclear at this time what the ramifications are from this
latest decision, Mendocino County Farm Bureau is in contact with
appropriate entities to determine what the next steps in the process may
look like for the re-licensing and sale of the Potter Valley Project.
However, some take-aways from the letter above include:
The fact that this action will provide interested parties, such as,
Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission additional time to
organize and consider the submittal of a Request for Offers (RFO) past
the current February 1st deadline.
Also, PG&E will, "continue to own and operate the Project in
accordance with terms and conditions of the current Project license and
all laws, rules, and regulations governing the operation of the Project
until a new license is issued or the Project is decommissioned."
The objective of maintaining the Project under local control has not
changed with this new information. Mendocino County Farm Bureau will
continue to be involved in this issue and work on education and outreach
opportunities for our membership and the general public. We know that
this latest development is concerning, but until additional information
is provided, we need to move forward with supporting the Project and the
related water supply.
MCFB will continue to actively promote the preservation of local control
over the Potter Valley Water Project. We are taking donations to assist
this effort. If you would like to contribute; please make the check out
to MCFB Water Education & Outreach Fund. Or you can donate with a credit
card by clicking the button below, please specify the purpose of the
donation towards the Water Education & Outreach Fund.
Current Lake Storage
A River's Last Chance - Eel River movie event January 24th at Mendocino College
Is the Potter Valley Project in danger of being decommissioned? Will Russian River water supplies be impacted?
If you are interested in these questions and learning more about the beneficial uses of water and the issues around the
Eel and Russian Rivers and the Potter Valley Project, come to see the movie A River's Last Chance at Mendocino College
Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Little Theater (building 700).
There is no cost to attend, but due to seating restrictions, registration is required. Please register by Wednesday, January 23 at Mendocino County Farm Bureau.
The movie will be followed by a live Q&A panel discussion featuring panelists who appear in the movie.
This is a valuable chance to become informed about the issues and we encourage all Potter Valley stakeholders to attend.
PG&E Announces plans to sell the Potter Valley Project
PG&E Official Notice of Potter Valley Project Sale, May 10, 2018
PVID Status Update June 20, 2018
Some years we begin our water season the middle of March following frost season. It was the middle of May before water season got into full swing this year. Frost season was near non-existent, and Lake Pillsbury has filled. Cumulative inflow to Pillsbury has fallen short of the required amount to move us out of the Dry Year Flow Plan. Though flows have been consistently above the minimum requirements below Cape Horn Dam, flows being released through the Project into the East Branch Russian River will remain a maximum of 80 CFS through the summer.
Everyone is talking about PG&E and their decision to divest themselves of the Potter Valley Hydro Project. PVID is fully engaged in this process with other public entities to insure the continued viability of the Potter Valley Project. PG&E is required to continue with the current relicensing process including all studies as required. I will attempt to keep you informed as we move through this process. Keep an eye on our website!
PVID has been extremely busy since it stopped raining. We have installed 660 feet of 18 inch pipe in lateral #36 above and under Hawncreek Road. We are installing 2,140 feet of 18 inch heavy wall PVC pipe in lateral #50 along Main Street. All of this work is being done between customer irrigation demand.
Minor repairs are being completed at gates #75, #31, #80, #36-3-4. Hand cleaning of all open ditch laterals is an ongoing process.
I would like to remind everyone that our water rates for 2018 through May of 2019 will remain the same as 2017 as our contract with PG&E stipulates. PVID is paying $10.00 per acre foot and our customers will be charged $12.50 per acre foot.
Just a reminder, please maintain a record of each irrigation, and stay in contact with your Water Tender. A calendar works well for logging the start date & time, and the stop date & time.
PVID Update February 21, 2018
Everyone is aware that we are well below our average rainfall for this time of year. Storage level at Lake Pillsbury is currently at 13.5 feet below the spill crest of Scott Dam. PVID has impressed upon PG&E, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and members of the Potter Valley Drought Working Group (PVDWG), of which all agree, that weather patterns and snow pack must be analyzed closely in February and March so the gates on Scott Dam can be closed early enough to fill the lake. The mechanics of accomplishing this are varied and too lengthy to explain here. Needless to say, we are working on it. There will be a PVDWG meeting on February 28, 2018 to do just that.
PG&E is currently working with FERC and they have released a Study Plan Determination for the Potter Valley Project Relicensing. This is a 30 page document that addresses the type and extent, of studies that FERC has approved. Go to the PG&E Relicensing website to view this document or visit the PVID website at www.pottervalleywater.org.
The dry weather since January has allowed us to finish the cleanup of our main canals and laterals after the terrible fires and wind storm of October 8, 2017. Our infrastructure improvement plan, if approved by the Board of Directors, will allow for the installation of pipe in approximately 3,000 feet of open ditch laterals along Main Street and Lateral #36. Maintenance projects are ongoing at Busch Creek Flume, Gate #69 and Gate #86-3 just to mention a few. We are also working on our 2018 proposed budget, and preparing for the 2017 financial audit.
PVID would like to commend “Water Solutions” a new local public outreach group of water conscious folks for their efforts to inform the public at large of the Potter Valley Project Relicensing.
They were instrumental in setting up the townhall meeting held on January 10, 2018 to inform our local community of the scope of the 5 year PG&E Relicensing process, and how it will affect not only the future of water in Potter Valley on the East Branch of the Russian River, but also south to the ocean at Jenner. This meeting was well attended by more than 150 people.
I would like to remind everyone that our water rates through April 30, 2019 will remain the same as 2017. On May 1, 2019 the rate will be increased. PVID will be paying $15.00 per acre foot and water customers will be paying $17.50 per acre foot as our contract with PG&E stipulates.
Just a reminder, if you purchase water from PVID, please maintain a record of each irrigation, and stay in contact with your Water Tender. A calendar works well for logging the start date & time, and the stop date & time. Please remember, we require at least a 2 hour notice with your request to have your water turned off. This policy allows the water tender time to arrange moving your water to the next waiting customer.
We need more rain! As of 2-15-18 our total rain fall of 16 inches is well below the average.
Potter Valley Irrigation District
Potter Valley Project Relicensing
In order to continue operating Lake Pillsbury, Scott Dam, and Van Arsdale Dam, along with the diversion that runs the Potter Valley Project 9.4 MW hydropower plant and provides water to the Potter Valley Irrigation district past 2022,
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) must obtain a new FERC license. At the current time PG&E is not proposing to add capacity or make any major modifications to the Project or its operation.
The initial documents have been submitted and the process is underway. The Potter Valley Project is a critical water resource for Potter Valley.
A new group has formed, Water Solutions, that is closely following the relicensing process
and the impacts of it on the Eel River and Russian River watersheds. You can sign up with them to get email updates with news
about the relicensing, including updates on public comment periods.
On January 10, 2018, at 6pm in the Potter Valley School multipurpose room, the PVID Board will be hosting a public presentation detailing the project, the relicensing process, and how you can help.
There will be opportunities for questions, and refreshments will be provided.
Documents relating to the process, including presentations shown at the March 2017 public meeting,
can be found at http://www.pge.com/pottervalley.
You can also find instructions there to be notified by email of FERC activity on this project, and this overview of the project that includes many historical and contextual images of the Project.
Scoping Document #2, which lists issues to be considered in the Environmental Impact Report, is now available.
Read more on the Potter Valley Project Relicensing page.
page collects scientific papers, government reports, regulatory documents, and other relevant data and information
for the Eel River and Russian River systems. In some cases, we have scanned or acquired papers that were not previously available in electronic format
to make them available here, such as