1. HOW WILL DROP IN STREAM STAGE BE ASSESSED?
Use of Sound Science
The NCWC believes in using sound science to address the elements of the Regulation. An expert will provide a Risk Assessment identifying the reasons for any anomalies that the data may identify. If frost protection is determined to be the cause, than a reporting of findings and corrective actions will be developed by the expert and the landowner. These assessments and land owner agreed-to corrective actions will be forwarded to the State Water Board to ensure compliance with the Regulation.
2. WHAT WILL NCWC DO TO ENSURE THAT I AM IN COMPLIANCE?
ALL vineyards that divert water from the Russian River stream system, including the pumping of hydraulically connected groundwater, for purposes of frost protection from March 15 through May 15, must file a WDMP by February 15th of each year with the State Water Board. The components of the NCWC WDMP include the following elements:
- An Inventory of frost protection vineyard sites
- A map identifying streams of priority for fishery resources
- Placement of gauges as agreed to with National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
- Installation and operation of gauges in selected streams
- A Risk Assessment based upon data gathered and water use impacts to fishery resources
- Corrective Measures to address problems identified in Risk Assessment (if needed)
- Provide notice to growers along stream where corrective measures are needed
- Implement corrective measures as needed
- Submit to State Water Board diversion and stream monitoring data (by Sub-Watershed and or identified critical stream reaches), Risk Assessments and Corrective Actions with Program Updates as specified by Regulation by September 1 of each year.
NCWC will provide services to compile all the required information above, meet with the NMFS and CDFW to understand required gauges and placement, install gauges and monitor data, coordinate with experts to develop the Risk Assessment and subsequent Corrective Measures (if appropriate) and submit all reports to the State Water Board by September 15th of each year.
An expert will provide a Risk Assessment identifying the reasons for any problem that the data may identify. If frost protection is determined to be the cause, than a reporting of findings and corrective actions will be developed by the expert and landowner(s). These assessments and land owner agreed-to corrective actions will be forwarded to the State Water Board to ensure compliance with the Regulation.
3. IS MY INFORMATION MORE SECURE IF I PARTICIPATE IN THE NCWC WDMP?
Filing individual WDMPs will mean easy access to location of gauges and information collected of an individual landowner. Cooperative monitoring will allow for development of data specific to sub-watershed and a few critical stream reaches. In nearly all cases this data will be collected across a number of property owners. NCWC is working with the State Water Board to develop a process to protect landowner privacy and guard against vandalism and theft of gauges. The Water Board has agreed to a system where information made available to the public will be coded so that landowner identity is protected.
4. WHAT IS THE COST TO LANDOWNERS OF PARTICIPATING?
Landowners will be assessed $3 per frost-protected acre. All checks will be made payable to:
Russian River Water Conservation Council
And mailed to:
North Coast Water Coalition
513 Center Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
5. WILL A GAUGE BE PLACED ON MY PROPERTY?
Landowners will be part of the program. During the first year all gauge locations have been identified and any placement on private lands has been agreed to by the landowner and the State Water Board. If additional gauges are needed, then we will work with willing landowners to determine sites for placement.
6. HOW WILL THE GAUGES BE READ AND WHO WILL BE COLLECTING AND ASSESSING THE DATA?
Timing for gauge readings (monthly, bi-monthly or weekly) has yet to be determined. Whatever the schedule may be, NCWC staff will be reading the data and providing the collected data to the contract expert for analysis. No information will be forwarded to the public agencies prior to the expert analysis. If an anomaly in data occurs the expert and the affected landowners will work with NCWC to determine the cause. If the cause is related to frost protection, a corrective measure will be developed by the landowner, the expert and NCWC to ensure that the landowner is in compliance with the regulation.