May 2020 Update
On May 13, 2020 the NOI parties (Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, Sonoma County Water Agency, California Trout, Inc., the County of Humboldt and the Round Valley Indian Tribes) submitted the required feasibility study report for the Project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The Proposed Project Plan filed with FERC on May 13 is not a commitment. Between today and the April 2022 deadline there are many tasks to be completed including a series of studies that are necessary for us to understand whether the Proposed Plan will result in our Partnership’s co-equal goals of water supply reliability and fishery restoration.
In the report, the Project Plan as proposed consists of several elements including:
- Removal of Scott Dam
- Lake Pillsbury Sediment Management
- Lake Pillsbury Vegetation Management
- Van Arsdale Diversion Modifications
- Cape Horn Dam Fish Passage Modifications
- Revised Operational Plan
Also, as noted on page 6-7 of the report, there are a few key points to think about. 1) the NOI Parties may modify the Proposed Project as they undertake further studies and proceed towards development of a new license application, as appropriate to advance the Shared objectives and 2) the NOI Parties will conduct detailed studies to analyze the potential effects of Scott Dam removal and address uncertainties around Scott Dam removal and water supply reliability.
The filing is just one of the beginning steps to move toward the ultimate licensing deadline of April 14, 2022. The process will continue to evolve and we will all have to continue to be engaged to work to shape the final outcome.
We encourage you to read the full feasibility study report (click link below).
As a reminder, you can view any filings related to the Potter Valley Project by visiting the FERC E-Library website and searching for “Potter Valley” or P-77 as the project number. The FERC E-Library website can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the water for the Potter Valley Project come from?
The headwaters originate in Lake and Mendocino Counties
Waters from the tributaries above Scott Dam provide the water supply for Lake Pillsbury. Below Scott Dam, waters that are released combine with tributaries that originate in Mendocino County.
Once water is diverted from the Eel River, where does it go?
Water is diverted through a tunnel at the north end of the Russian River watershed in Potter Valley into the east branch of the Russian River. From there, the water flows downstream into Lake Mendocino and below Coyote Valley Dam in the Russian River to the ocean at Jenner.Learn More
Why should I care?
It is important to maintain local control of the Project to continue providing a crucial water source for the communities and environment that have developed around the water supply over the last 100+ years.
We want to ensure that we continue to have reliable water storage with year round supply.Learn More
How much will this cost?
It is important to maintain local control of the Project to continue providing a crucial water source for the communities and environment that have grown up around the water supply during the last 100+ years. We want to ensure that we continue to have a reliable year-round water supply.
What are elected representatives doing about this?
Our federal, state and local elected officials are engaged in safeguarding control of local water and environmental concerns surrounding the Potter Valley Project. They include:
- Congressman Jared Huffman
- Senator Mike McGuire
- Assembly Member Jim Wood
- Couty Board of Supervisors
- Other local Elected Officials