Drought Town Hall- Questions and Answers

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Drought Town Hall Hosted by Supervisor David Rabbitt- Questions and Answers - September 2021

Three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) formed in Sonoma County as regulatory bodies that can manage groundwater using a variety of tools, including setting fees, requiring water use reporting, regulating how much groundwater is pumped, and monitoring wells.

In 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board established the Recycled Water Policy, requiring local water and wastewater entities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a Salt and Nutrient Management Plan (SNMP) for each groundwater basin in California. The purpose of the SNMPs is to promote local sustainable water sources and manage salts and nutrients to ensure water quality objectives are met and beneficial uses of groundwater are protected.

For more information visit:  https://www.sonomawater.org/groundwater

No, but a combination of projects will build resiliency, please visit Drought Resiliency to learn more about the Santa Rosa Plain Drought Resiliency Project

The Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project would store treated, high quality surface water in underground reservoirs, known as aquifers, during wet periods when Russian River water is plentiful.

The Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership has a variety of programs offered Region-wide, see what water use efficiency rebates and programs are available in your area by visiting SavingWaterPartnership.org 

Conserving Water Is Easy, view Water Saving Tips 

Typically, this is done with meters obtained through local water provider.

Sonoma Water provides drinking water to the following cities and special districts: 

City of Santa Rosa
www.srcity.org

Town of Windsor
www.townofwindsor.com

Marin Municipal Water District
www.marinwater.org

City of Cotati
www.ci.cotati.ca.us

City of Sonoma
www.sonomacity.org

City of Rohnert Park
www.rpcity.org

Valley of the Moon Water District
www.vomwd.com

City of Petaluma
www.cityofpetaluma.net

North Marin Water District
www.nmwd.com

Desalination could be helpful, however, this process uses an incredible amount of energy and the brine produced is difficult and expensive to dispose of properly. 

Please visit Drought Resiliency to learn more about the Santa Rosa Plain Drought Resiliency Project

The Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project would store treated, high quality surface water in underground reservoirs, known as aquifers, during wet periods when Russian River water is plentiful.

Fire suppression is part of the planning process.

The Water Supply Strategies Action Plan (Action Plan) is a key planning document for Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water). The Action Plan is an update of a 2013 plan developed in cooperation with Sonoma Water Contractors that addresses immediate and long-term challenges in providing a reliable regional water supply, including aging infrastructure vulnerable to natural hazards, and water supply uncertainties due to regulatory issues, drought, and climate change. The Action Plan focuses on water supply projects and programs.

The Water Advisory Committee (WAC) represents the major cities and water districts that receive water delivered by Sonoma Water aqueduct system. Water Shortage Contingency Plan. The committee helps make decisions regarding water supply issues in Sonoma Water's service area. The committee works within the bounds of the Restructured Agreement for Water Supply. Members of the public can participate in the meeting by visiting Water Advisory Committee's website​​​​​​​

Sonoma Water’s 2020 Urban Water Management Plan discusses and describes the following:

  • Existing water supplies and transmission system facilities;
  • Projected water demands in Sonoma Water’s service area over the next 25 years;
  • Projected water supplies available to Sonoma Water over the next 25 years, the reliability of that supply, and general schedules for water supply projects;
  • Climate change impacts to water supply;
  • Energy intensity;
  • Current and planned Sonoma Water water conservation activities;
  • An updated and separately adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan (Appendix C); and 
  • A comparison of water supply and water demand over the next 25 years under different hydrological assumptions (normal year, single dry year, multiple dry years).

Sonoma Water provides drinking water to the following cities and special districts: 

City of Santa Rosa
www.srcity.org

Town of Windsor
www.townofwindsor.com

Marin Municipal Water District
www.marinwater.org

City of Cotati
www.ci.cotati.ca.us

City of Sonoma
www.sonomacity.org

City of Rohnert Park
www.rpcity.org

Valley of the Moon Water District
www.vomwd.com

City of Petaluma
www.cityofpetaluma.net

North Marin Water District
www.nmwd.com

The dam at Lake Mendocino wasn’t built as tall as the amount of land acquired back in the early 1950’s, it would be quite expensive to raise the dam.

Removing silt is also challenging. If you piled all the sediment at the bottom of Lake Mendocino on to one football field it would be almost a mile and half high.  Or, over a million truck loads.  So if you could move 100 trucks per day it would take nearly three years to remove all the sediment.  That’s  assuming Lake Mendocino would be empty for three years.