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2021-2022 Mill Creek and Deer Creek Drought Response

On May 10, 2021, Governor Newsom declared a drought state of emergency for 41 counties, including all counties within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed (May 2021 Proclamation). The May 2021 Proclamation directed the State Water Board, in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), to evaluate the minimum instream flows and other actions needed to protect salmon, steelhead, and other native fishes in critical streams. Mill Creek and Deer Creek are tributaries to the Sacramento River, located in Tehama County. Both creeks support multiple self-sustaining natural populations of anadromous salmonids, including threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon and threatened California Central Valley steelhead. Protecting and restoring these populations is recognized as significant to the recovery of these threatened species.

During July and August of 2021, CDFW and the National Marine Fisheries Science (NMFS) requested that the State Water Board pursue an emergency regulation to curtail water diversions in order to provide minimum drought emergency flows for the protection of native fish on Mill and Deer Creeks similar to actions taken during the drought in 2014 and 2015. The State Water Board adopted an emergency regulation for Mill and Deer Creeks on September 22, 2021. The State Water Board readopted the emergency regulation for Mill and Deer Creeks at the August 16, 2022 Board Meeting. The emergency regulation for Mill and Deer Creeks has now expired and is no longer in effect.

Beginning July 1, 2023, Mill and Deer Creek curtailments pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 23, sections 876.5 through 879.3 are not in effect.

Deer Creek
Deer Creek

Drought Response Topics

  How to Report an Unauthorized Diversion or Water Waste

Report an Environmental Concern logo

  Visit the CalEPA Complaint System to report unauthorized diversions, such as violations of water right permits or diversions impacting fisheries.

Save Our Water logo

  Visit savewater.ca.gov to report water waste, such as leaks and overwatering, to your local water agency.

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