Thursday, March 30, 2023

Fort Bragg Water Update: Residents Reduce Water Use Significantly and Desalinization is On The Way


The following is a press release issued by the City of Fort Bragg:

On Monday night, the City Council unanimously passed a Resolution ratifying a Water Warning which implements mandatory Stage 2 water conservation restrictions targeting a 10-20% reduction in seasonal water use. The declaration of the Stage 2 Water Warning followed a significant decrease in the Noyo River flows, which provides a good portion of the City’s water during late summer and early fall.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of our residents, businesses and public partners, who since Tuesday have reduced water usage to the lowest level the City has recorded in several months. Please continue to support our community with your ongoing conservation efforts. A full list of Stage 2 Water Restrictions is available on the City’s website along with additional ways to conserve water.

We would also like to thank the Fort Bragg Unified School District for turning off landscape irrigation and for collaborating with the City to potentially provide access to its well water, adding to the City’s water sources. The well water has the potential to supplement an estimated 5% to the daily water supply needs of the City.

To further subsidize the City’s surface water sources, in June, the City ordered a Desalination Reverse Osmosis Treatment System from Aquaclear that will allow it to continue to pump water from the Noyo River during high tides when salinity reaches levels which cannot be processed by the City’s Water Treatment Plant. The water with higher salinity levels will be placed in one of the two raw water holding ponds at the City’s Water Treatment Plant to be processed through the Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System prior to entering the City’s Water Treatment Plant. The Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System is expected to be delivered and online in early September. The City is also exploring the possibility of purchasing water from the City of Willits and transporting it to the City water system by rail on the Skunk Train.

Representatives from Camp Noyo, working with California Fish and Wildlife, have reached out to the City Manager and Mayor Bernie Norvell, offering to work with the City to put the Camp Noyo diverted water to its best use during this drought. Mr. Hemphill, an owner and longtime operator of the facility committed to assisting with water releases consistent with their California Fish and Wildlife permit requirements


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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