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Coyote Dam structure in the distance at Lake Mendocino
photo credit: (Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers)
Sonoma County officials have asked state officials to temporarily change in how state officials measure drought conditions in the region.
 If approved by state regulators, it could allow SonomaWater to hold back more water at the two main dams in the county.
 Barry Dugan is with the county agency.
 "The impact, if it's approved, would be that we would be able to store more water in our reservoirs."
Under long established rules, state regulators measure drought throughout the Russian and Eel River watersheds, and consider the area as a single entity.
But recent failures at Pacific Gas and Electric's Potter Valley Project, which redirects some Eel River water into the Russian, has severely limited the amount for the foreseeable future.
SonomaWater's petition asks regulators to consider conditions in, and management of the two watersheds separately, due to conditions at the Potter Valley Project.
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