Santa Rosa, CA –The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) today will begin deflating its rubber dam located in the Russian River near Forestville. Sonoma Water routinely deflates the rubber dam when Russian River flows reach 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in order to prevent damage to the rubber dam from the high flows. Currently, flows are approximately 251 cfs and expected to increase significantly on Sunday and Monday following tomorrow’s heavy rains. 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. Due to the lowering of the dam, Sonoma Water will no longer be able to count the migration of salmon and steelhead with its underwater video system located in the fish ladders. While not all video has been reviewed and verified, this season Sonoma Water has counted 1,041 Chinook, 157 steelhead and 70 coho.
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, www.savingwaterpartnership.org/