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Russian River
Coho Water Resources

Russian River (SCWA)

Coho Partnership Flow-for-Fish Rebate Program

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The Flow-for-Fish Rebate Program provides small amounts of funding to water users who take action during the drought to benefit flow in the Mill, Mark West, Dutch Bill, and Green Valley Creek watersheds. Water users that release water from reservoirs or install storage tanks to reduce dry season use are eligible.

Eligible Projects

Category 1: Tank projects

  • Water user has a direct diversion (pump in the creek) from Mill Creek, Mark West Creek, Dutch Bill Creek, or Green Valley Creek (including their tributaries)
  • Water user must apply for an Emergency Small Domestic Use Registration (ESDU) for the tank storage (see below)
  • The program will fund only tanks and the ESDU filling fee ($250)
  • The program will not fund plumbing, treatment, etc.
  • Water user has already adopted or will adopt standard conservation measures (e.g., limiting outdoor irrigation, low flow toilets, aerators, etc.)
  • Water user agrees not to expand their use with the stored water
  • The water user must sign a Voluntary Drought Initiative Agreement
  • The water user retains responsibility for plumbing, maintenance and any necessary water treatment, and future water rights fees
  • The diversion must be screened
  • Priority will be given to projects installed before July 30

Category 2: Reservoir release projects

  • Funding for infrastructure associated with reservoir releases into Mill Creek, Mark West Creek, Dutch Bill Creek, or Green Valley Creek (including their tributaries)
  • The project must be covered under a VDI in coordination with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or Regional Water Quality Control Board


  • Projects that cover multiple properties (e.g., groups of landowners reducing diversion together, agreeing to rotate when diverting, etc.)
  • Tank projects installed before July 30
  • Direct diversions are prioritized over adjacent wells
  • Project is within a priority reach (identified as a Reach of Interest) on the following map:
Drought Priority Watersheds and Reaches of Interest

How to Apply

  • Fill out a short application
  • Projects will be ranked based on the criteria above (scored by the Russian River Coho Partnership and Department of Fish and Wildlife)
  • Applicants will be notified within a month
  • If a tank project is funded, the rebate will be provided to the water user when the ESDU application is filed
  • Water user must submit receipts for the tanks and photo of the installed project once the project is complete

Contact Information

Mary Ann King

Trout Unlimited



Justin Bodell

Sonoma RCD



John Green

Gold Ridge RCD



Emergency Small Domestic Use Registration - What is it?

An ESDU is an expedited appropriative water right for domestic use (a riparian right does not allow for storage longer than 30 days; an appropriative right does).

Max Quantity 4,500 gallons per day or diversion to storage of 10 acre-feet per year
Permitted Uses Domestic uses,1 plus any of the following if associated with an occupied facility: (1) fire protection, (2) recreation, (3) fish and wildlife, (4) aesthetics
Restrictions (1) Only eligible during a drought emergency, (2) must have an existing water right for domestic use, (3) rigid tanks only (no bladders), (4) must agree to forbear for at least 60 days (the length of time is calculated based on the amount of storage installed), (5) not available on stream segments that are fully appropriated for the proposed time of diversion 2
Expedited? Yes - no DFW site inspection and no individually tailored conditions required
Fee $250 (rebate program can fund)
Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement required? No
Reporting Annual report
Renewal Every 5 years
Renewal Fee $100 (water user is responsible for future fees)

1Domestic use means the use of water in homes (or other occupied facilities such as hotels, campgrounds, etc.), plus up to 1/2 acre of lawn/garden, plus watering of domestic stock for family sustenance or enjoyment (California Code of Regulations §660)

2This may limit water users in reaches of Green Valley, Atascadero and Mark West Creeks

Water Board Registration: Visit Page

Emergency Small Domestic Use Registration FAQs (Salmonid Restoration Federation): View Document

Funding Levels and Donations

A limited amount of funding is available and we are actively seeking more funds. If additional funding is received, the program will continue to provide rebates and could be expanded in the future if there is enough interest and demand.

For more information about donating, please contact Mary Ann King at mking@tu.org or 510-649-9987.

4221 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA 94608 | Email: info@cohopartnership.org | 510-528-4772
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