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Corte Madera, CA                                                                                                        January 2012
The Inside Source is produced by Marin Municipal Water District to inform local decisionmakers and opinion leaders on issues affecting Marin's water, people and environment.

Features
Fire Chiefs Support Fire Flow Program
Water Main Flushing Maintains Water Quality
2012 NBWA Conference Set for Friday the 13th
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MMWD Board of Directors 
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Public Meetings
 
Thurs., Feb. 2, 7:30 pm
BOARD MEETING
 
Board Room


Thurs., Feb. 16, 7:30 pm
BOARD MEETING
 
Board Room  

JANUARY BRINGS GOOD NEWS ON THE RAINFALL FRONT  

Although rainfall for this winter is still below average, the 8.20 inches of rain we received over a four-day period mid-month nearly doubled this year's rainfall, which had been 8.72 inches. We also received some good run-off in the reservoirs as a result.

Here are the most current water statistics:
  • Rainfall - Rainfall from July 1, 2011 to January 30, 2012  totals 16.93 inches. Average for the same period is 29.52 inches.      
  • Reservoir Levels - As of January 30, reservoir levels are 78 percent of capacity, or 62,241 acre-feet.* The average for this date is 82 percent (65,040 acre-feet).  
  • Water Use - Water use for the last seven days averaged 16.5 million gallons, slightly below last year's average of 16.8 million gallons.  
  • Creek Releases - For the month of December 2011 MMWD released 410 million gallons, or a total of 1,258 acre-feet, into Lagunitas and Walker creeks in west Marin. These figures are much higher than those of December 2010, when we released 237 million gallons, or 727 acre-feet. The higher volume of water released this winter was necessary to make up for the lack of rain in December. We release water throughout the year to maintain adequate flows for the fishery per our agreement with the State of California.  

Current water use and reservoir figures can be found on the homepage of our website.

 

*One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.


  

MMWD TURNS 100 THIS YEAR
Centennial LogoFormed in 1912, MMWD is the oldest municipal water district in the state of California and is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year.

The district will be celebrating the centennial with community events, the publication of a history photo book and special watershed programs.

The next scheduled event is a "Leap Day" Amphibian Hike on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed on Wednesday, February 29. Click here for more information. 

  

DIRECTOR KOEHLER NEW 2012 BOARD PRESIDENT
Director Cynthia Koehler of Mill Valley was elected president of the MMWD Board of Directors for 2012, taking over from outgoing president Director Jack Gibson of Sleepy Hollow. Director Larry Russell of Tiburon was elected vice president.

Director Koehler was first elected to the MMWD board in 2004 and represents MMWD Division IV, which includes Mill Valley, Corte Madera, and Larkspur. Director Koehler is the California water legislative director for the Environmental Defense Fund and has been a leader in California water policy for two decades. In 2011, she received the Marin Conservation League's Ted Wellman Water Award for her advocacy on behalf of water conservation and ecosystem preservation. Director Koehler is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.

Larry Russell, also a board member since 2004, represents Division V, which includes portions of Corte Madera, Strawberry, Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito and Marin City. Director Russell has a doctorate in civil/environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and is a licensed professional civil, chemical and corrosion engineer. Director Russell is a life member of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.

The other three members of MMWD's board are directors David Behar of San Anselmo, Jack Gibson of Sleepy Hollow and Armando Quintero of San Rafael.

  

FIRE CHIEFS' SUPPORT FOR FIRE FLOW IMPROVEMENTS EXTENDS INTO FUTURE
Since 1997 MMWD has worked closely with the Marin County Fire Chiefs Association (MCFCA) on the Fire Flow Master Plan (FFMP). The FFMP is funded by a $75 annual fee property owners have paid over a 15-year period. These funds have allowed for the investment of more than $64 million of water system improvements, including the replacement of 60 miles of undersized pipe, the installation of 750 new or larger hydrants and seismic retrofits to critical facilities.

With the FFMP concluding in 2012, MMWD and MCFCA have been reviewing the program's objectives and accomplishments. The FFMP did not account for inflation, thus rising construction costs have prevented the district from completing all of the projects. In addition, MMWD, again with input from MCFCA, has been re-evaluating the fire-fighting capacity of the entire water system. While a detailed assessment is still in progress, MMWD received a letter in 2011 from MCFCA requesting that the fire flow program be continued beyond the original 15 years to fund the remaining projects from the plan and additional projects. MMWD's Board of Directors is expected to consider this request at a February 2012 board meeting.

  

2012 WATER MAIN FLUSHING PROGRAM HELPS MAINTAIN WATER QUALITY
Each year MMWD "flushes," or scours, approximately 20 percent of the pipes in the water system to help maintain the high quality of the water flowing through the pipes. Water main flushing is recommended by the California Department of Health Services to remove sediment buildup in transmission and distribution pipelines because this buildup can impair water quality. Sediment buildup can be particularly high in areas with dead-end pipes and in neighborhoods with older cast iron mains.

To flush a water main, selected hydrants along a section of the main are opened. The high velocity of the released water scours the main, removing any collected sediment. The water is released onto the street, the chlorine is removed, and the water enters the storm drain run-off system. Flushing takes about 15 minutes for each hydrant. MMWD performs unidirectional flushing of the water mains, which uses significantly less water than conventional flushing. This means we isolate the flush runs, which increases water velocity.

In the past, MMWD performed flushing at night to minimize the impact on residents. In the last few years, however, in an effort to reduce costs, MMWD is flushing the pipes during the day from approximately 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to save the overtime costs of sending crews out at night.

The next scheduled flushing date is February 2 in Mill Valley. Click here for the complete 2012 schedule.


REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: NBWA 2012 CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 13
The North Bay Watershed Association is holding its biennial conference on Friday, April 13, 2012 at the Sheraton Petaluma. The theme is, "Climate Change: How Can We Be Ready?" The conference objective is to explore state, regional and local efforts to adapt to climate change including water supply, sea level rise, flood management and habitat. The keynote speaker is California State Assemblymember Jared Huffman.

Leaders in government, business, science and environmental organizations are encouraged to attend. Registration is $80 per person. The conference begins at 8:30 am and concludes at 4:15 pm. The last hour is a wine tasting hosted by Jackson Family Wines. Registration also includes a continental breakfast and lunch. For more information visit the NBWA conference page.

 

NEW FROM THE BLOG
Check out these recent blog posts:
  • Seeing the beauty in a winter garden (click here). 
  • Rain good news for salmon (includes great action photo) (click here).
  • Please take it with you (click here). 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
We welcome your comments and need your help raising awareness about water in Marin.  Please share this information with your colleagues and constituents. Thank you!

Libby Pischel, Public Information Officer
Marin Municipal Water District
lpischel@marinwater.org
(415) 945-1421