Russian River Inflatable Dam Being Deflated Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 2, 2019

CONTACT - Barry Dugan: 707-547-1930 (office), 707-331-2040 (cell)

Santa Rosa, CA –The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) today began the process of deflating its rubber dam located in the Russian River near Forestville. Sonoma Water routinely deflates the rubber dam when Russian River flow forecasts show the river reaching 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in order to prevent damage to the rubber dam from the high flows. Following numerous days of rain, flows in the river are approximately 3,100 cfs with more rain forecast for later in the week. When completely deflated, the rubber dam rests flat on the bottom of the Russian River.  

The rubber dam is located just downstream of the Wohler Bridge on the Russian River and is normally raised in the spring or early summer when water demands increase. The rubber dam creates a pool of water that enhances Sonoma Water’s well levels in the area.  Permanent fish ladders provide fish passage when the rubber dam is raised and also allow Sonoma Water to count the migration of adult salmon and steelhead with its underwater video system located in the fish ladders.

Even with the wet weather, Sonoma Water encourages people to continue to use water efficiently.  Now is the time to adjust or deactivate irrigation systems (if you haven’t already done so) and to repair leaky faucets and toilets. Additional water conservation tips are available at the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership website,


Sonoma Water provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at

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