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Published on Jan 20, 2017
The “Salmon Creek Dairy Water Conservation Project” was constructed in the summer of 2015 on an organic dairy near Bodega, California. It addresses the issue of low summer stream discharge in critical coho salmon rearing habitat by eliminating one of the largest water diversions in that reach. This project eliminates this direct diversion of water from Salmon Creek by the Westview Jersey’s Organic Dairy through a water storage pond that is fed by rain water collected from barn roofs. The pond has sufficient capacity to store the entire summer demand for the dairy operation - the project estimated that the daily demand of drinking water needed for the herd of 230 cows is approximately 7,000 gallons per day. By itself, 7000 gallons per day will not have a large impact on streamflow, as it equates to about .01 cfs. However, the project was designed and implemented in conjunction with multiple other water conservation projects throughout the Bodega Valley.
Dairies are currently both significant water users forced to draw from sources influencing riparian flows, and integral contributors to the agriculture-based economy of their surrounding communities. This project further advances the RCD’s expanding water conservation program. It provides immediate benefits to riparian systems while advancing technologies to prepare its communities for less predictable rainfall patterns in the long run.
The development, planning, design, and construction of this project have been completed, through funding provided by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Coastal Commission, the California Department of Water Resources, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Gold Ridge RCD worked in partnership with the North Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council to manage the project. Prunuske Chatham Inc. designed the pond and Schaefer Engineering performed the construction.