Water Right Applications and Reporting

The Willow County Water District (District) provides potable water to a variety of users in the Ukiah area through several well fields adjacent to the Russian River. Horizon Water and Environment (Horizon) provided the District with water rights expertise and permitting services.

Horizon developed and submitted a water rights petition to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The new water rights will add additional points of diversion from the Russian River and will help the District avoid seasonal Russian River pumping restrictions imposed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Horizon has provided the SWRCB with the necessary technical information to support the water rights petition, including CEQA compliance documentation, and has coordinated directly with the SWRCB on behalf of the District. Due to the sensitivity of Russian River flows to support Salmonid habitat, there were additional concerns with obtaining these water rights from the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Horizon successfully negotiated with these two agencies to dismiss their protests to the water rights petition.

To further support the District’s needs, Horizon also applied for and obtained a Streambed Alteration Agreement (SAA) from CDFG. Finally, Horizon undertook streamflow accounting analysis to complete the necessary reporting requirements of the SWRCB and other regulatory agencies. This effort has involved a detailed review of historical stream discharges and instream flow requirements for the Russian River.