News & Operations Blog

Change Order

Posted on Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
The following change order for releases at Nimbus Dam was issued today:
Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)
4/8/21               0001                     1750                        2000
Note:  SWRCB D1641 – Delta Outflow

Change Order

Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021
Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)
4/1/21               0001                     1500                        1750
Note:  SWRCB D1641 – Delta Outflow

Change Order

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2021

Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)

3/31/21               0001                     1200                      1500

Note:  SWRCB D1641 – Delta Outflow

Media Statement: Sacramento Region Ready to Address Grim Forecast

Posted on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Sacramento, Calif.The following statement was released today by Jim Peifer, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, and Jessica Law, Executive Director of the Water Forum, in response to announcements by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources about very low water allocations in 2021.

“The announcements today sound the alarm about just how dry conditions are around the state.

“For the last several months, the Regional Water Authority, working with local water providers, and the Water Forum, which brings together water providers, environmental groups, and local government and business groups, have been coordinating with each other, as well as federal and state agencies, on the possibility of drought this year and what can be done to alleviate its effects. As we move toward April, it has become increasingly clear that this will be a serious dry year.

“We are continuing to work together to understand the scope of impacts on the Lower American River, and the region. Recognizing that this is the second dry year in a row, we are looking ahead, knowing that dry conditions in 2021 and beyond could have lasting impact.

“While managing a worsening water supply situation on top of an ongoing health crisis may seem daunting, it’s important to recognize that we’ve been here before—and frankly, we will be here again. The positive news is that the Sacramento region is in a stronger position to meet human and environmental needs in consecutive dry years, which are becoming a more frequent and intense part of life in California due to climate change.

“Since the last drought, when water levels in Folsom and the Lower American River dropped to historically low levels, local water providers have implemented nearly 20 projects—from new pipelines that move water across communities to pumps that can move water in new directions—all designed to strengthen the Sacramento region’s resiliency to drought conditions.

“The region is working together to identify additional actions that can be taken in the next few months to reduce the region’s reliance on Folsom Reservoir, protect the health of the Lower American River, and continue to serve the communities in our region.

“Plans include:

  • Shifting to using more groundwater: Over the past several decades local water providers have been working together to strategically shift the region’s water use to surface water or groundwater according to availability. This has allowed more groundwater to be available for dry times. This approach was successful during California’s most recent drought. For example, the Sacramento region used more groundwater than typical in order to leave more in our waterways for fish and wildlife. We are planning to do the same in 2021.
  • Sharing water around the region: Since the last drought, water providers have invested in new pipelines, interties, pumps and groundwater wells to move water where it’s needed. This system is ready to assist the communities most directly impacted by lower levels at Folsom.
  • Asking customers to be vigilant about stopping water waste: We ask our customers to use water efficiently no matter the weather. Now, they must be even more focused on efficiency and stopping water waste. During the last drought, local residents reached some of the state’s highest conservation rates and ultimately contributed 12 percent of the state’s total water savings even with only 5 percent of the population. We know our customers will answer the call to conserve when needed.

“We appreciate the collaboration and partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates Folsom Reservoir, to help ensure sufficient storage in Folsom and adequate flows in the Lower American River for local drinking water and environmental needs while working to meet water needs elsewhere. We are also ready to work in coordination with state agencies to help make sure the state’s water needs can be met.

“Beyond this year or even next, we’re working hard to prepare for the more frequent and intense cycles of drought projected to come with climate change.

“The region’s water providers have developed a comprehensive water resilience portfolio called WaterFuture, which encompasses our entire ‘supershed’ from the mountain tops of the American River watershed to the groundwater basin below the valley floor. You can learn more about this at”

The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is a joint powers authority representing 20 water providers serving 2 million people in the greater Sacramento region. Formed in 2001, its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources. Learn more at

The Sacramento Water Forum is a diverse group of business and agricultural leaders, citizen groups, environmentalists, water managers and local governments working together to balance two co-equal objectives: to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region’s long-term growth and economic health; and to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River. Learn more at

Change Order

Posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

The following change order for releases at Nimbus Dam was issued today for Delta Needs:


Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)

3/2/21             0900                   950                          1075

                         1100                   1075                        1200


Change Order

Posted on Monday, March 1st, 2021

The following change order for releases at Nimbus Dam was issued today for Delta Needs:


Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)

3/3/21                 0001                      950                        1075

                             0200                      1075                      1200

Change Order

Posted on Friday, January 15th, 2021
The following change order for releases at Nimbus Dam was issued today to conserve storage:
   Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)
1/20/21              0100                      1185                       1085
                             0400                      1085                       985
                             0800                      985                         950

Three-Story Tall Mural Mark’s the Water Forum’s 20th Anniversary, Celebrates the Lower American River

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

On a cold, cloudy December day, high above the Sacramento County Administration Building plaza in downtown Sacramento, two men begin the process of installing a new three-story-tall work of art.

Commissioned by the Sacramento Water Forum for its 20th Anniversary, the artwork celebrates the beauty and wonder of the Lower American River, the Sacramento region’s crown jewel and the only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River running through a major metropolitan area.

Slowly over the next three days, the two men would transform an expansive blank brick canvas into a startling image teeming with Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, beaver, otter, raccoon, coyote and people enjoying the river as the walk, bicycle and play along the shore.

“It’s just stunning, and very fitting for our work,” said Water Forum Executive Director Tom Gohring as he watches the team working from a swing-stage suspended from the building’s roof. “The Water Forum is about building partnerships among diverse interests—water providers, environmentalists, the business community—to balance the water needs of people vs the environment. That requires participants to understand perspectives far different from their own. This mural invites us to do that.”

The artwork takes an underwater perspective, looking up from the bottom of the river as an otter might, notes artist Stephanie Taylor. “It’s immersive,” Taylor said. “Seeing it in person, looking from the ground to the river’s surface, you feel as if you are standing within the river,” she said, noting how the river and this project was her peace during this crazy pandemic year.

The mural was created from Taylor’s original painting, The Lower American River, which was digitally printed onto a vinyl wall wrap 60 feet wide by 45 feet tall and cut into 15 long strips. Installation began at the roofline. Installers Chris Bonus and Anthony Hrusovsky carefully unrolled and placed each strip from the rooftop to the treetops below, gently removing the adhesive lining from the vinyl as they went, hand pressing the material to the wall. They then used heat and pressure to adhere the wrap to the brick. Slowly, at about 3 inches per second, they moved a hand-held heat gun firing at 1,000 degrees across the mural, conforming the artwork to the wall.

You can see the complete process in a time-lapse video here:

Sacramento County was a primary driver of the Water Forum negotiations and agreement two decades ago, and so it is fitting that the County Administration Building is serving as the canvas for this tribute to the river and the region’s progress toward reaching the Water Forum’s co-equal goals of providing a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region’s long-term economic health and preserving the fishery, wildlife, recreational and aesthetic values of the Lower American River, said District Two Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, who spearheaded efforts to place the mural on the County’s empty brick wall.

“This is a perfect place for peaceful reflection about the river as a source of community pride, as well as our commitment to preserve and protect it through the Water Forum Agreement—now and for generations to come,” Kennedy said.

The artwork is expected to remain in place for the next two to three years at the Sacramento County Administration Building at 700 H Street (on the I Street side) and was made possible by the support of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and sponsors: the Sacramento County Water Agency, the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities, San Juan Water District, SMUD and the Sacramento Association of Realtors.

Change Order

Posted on Monday, December 28th, 2020
The following change order for releases at Nimbus Dam was issued today to conserve storage:
   Date                 Time                  From (cfs)               To (cfs)
1/01/21              0100                      1250                       1185