Programmatic Efforts & Partnerships

Sonoma Water is currently participating in several programs in order to facilitate the reduction of the carbon footprint of our water supply and operations. In addition, Sonoma Water is working on a national level to leverage its existing pioneering efforts with those of other communities to develop legislation and more in depth programs to empower local governments to achieve similar goals.   

Economic Impact Analysis of Eldridge Enterprise Redevelopment of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC)

This report illustrates the potential economic impacts and benefits to Sonoma County of an idea named the Eldridge Enterprise. This idea was created and developed in response to a call for possible ways to redevelop the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) site at Eldridge in the Sonoma Valley. Economic Forensics & Analytics (EFA) was contracted to estimate the economic impacts using specific assumptions about a specific commercial idea for this site. This study’s results provide a way for local decision makers, stakeholders, and leaders to evaluate the idea conceptually, economically and fiscally. Estimated economic benefits are concentrated on Sonoma County, but also shown for all of California. For more information, please read the Economic Impact Analysis and Model.

The Climate Registry

Since 2007, Sonoma Water has reported and verified its carbon footprint with The Climate Registry. TCR serves as a voluntary greenhouse gas registry to protect and promote early actions to reduce GHG emissions by organizations. Sonoma Water is known for utilizing science based solutions for measuring success in energy and resiliency projects. By reporting and publicly disclosing its emissions inventory annually, Sonoma Water is able to track its performance in GHG reduction goals, and at the same time it establishes transparency with the public. By calculating baseline data on GHG emissions, Sonoma Water will be able to take credit for the reductions in its GHG emissions when regulations on the water industry take effect. In addition, performing a GHG inventory can illuminate areas where further reductions can take place. The Climate Registry recently released the Water-Energy Nexus Registry in partnership with the CalEPA. This registry is for entities like ourselves which have water and wastewater sector specific emission quantification methodologies and GHG reporting guidance. Sonoma Water served on the technical advisory committee for the release of the new Water-Energy Nexus module as a part of their General Reporting Protocol version 3.0. Sonoma Water was recognized as a Climate Registered Platinum member, where the platinum status is the highest achievement level recognized by The Climate Registry. For more information, visit

TCR image.png

Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP)

The County of Sonoma partnered with Sonoma Water to launch this innovative program in late March 2009. The SCEIP helps home and building owners finance energy and water efficiency retrofits, as well as installation of renewable energy systems. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill, and is processed the same way as other local public benefit assessments (sidewalks, sewers) have been for decades. Depending on local legislation, PACE can be used for commercial, nonprofit and residential properties. As of march 2011, over $43MM has been disbursed to 1,367 projects to fund efficiency and renewables on private buildings. The program has been a huge success and has helped promote the growth of local green jobs. Other counties in California and across the nation are making efforts to replicate this program in their area. For more information about this project, visit the SCEIP website.


Bay Area Green Business Certification

The Bay Area Green Business Program is a partnership of environmental agencies and utilities. This partnership recognizes and certifies the efforts of businesses that protect, preserve, and sustain the environment. It also offers incentives and verifies that members conserve energy and water, minimize waste, prevent pollution, and shrink their carbon footprints. Sonoma Water received its certification on April 22, 2008. For more information, visit the Bay Area Green Business website.

Energy Efficiency Behavioral Change Study

Changing Behavior for a Better Environment was prepared by the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy for Sonoma Water to investigate best practices for stimulating energy efficiency action among citizens of Sonoma County. The study sought to answer the question: What makes people change their behavior to improve energy efficiency? Reviewing case studies around the world, the study explores policy design and implementation and the potential application to Sonoma County. The report offers recommendations such as stacking behavior change strategies and collecting feedback as ways to successfully implement an energy efficiency program efficiency in Sonoma County. For the full assessment, please read Changing Behavior for a Better Environment.

Energy Efficiency Study

Sonoma County Biomass Feasibility Study

Sonoma Water conducted a feasibility assessment of converting excess woody biomass to electric power. The assessment evaluates several alternative renewable energy technologies on the following criteria: lifecycle cost, maximize energy efficiency, minimize air pollutants, location/amount of feedstock availability, and maximize system modularity. The assessment suggests that biomass gasification would be a viable alternative for Sonoma Water to produce electric power. The assessment also provides a detailed cost benefit analysis for a pilot-scale system at three possible sites in Sonoma County. For more information, please read the assessment, Feasibility of Using Residual Woody Biomass to Generate Electricity for Sonoma County.


Applied Solutions

Applied Solutions is a group of counties and cities across the country who are working to develop replicable, integrated, and sustainable community infrastructure projects. These communities are developing infrastructure that achieves four goals: 1) reduces water use; 2) reduces energy use; 3) reduces petroleum-based single-car transportation; and 4) reduces GHG emissions. Workshops are held annually at member cities around the country to share ideas, best practices and "what works and what doesn't". Sonoma Water is one of the founding members and is very active in the development of the program, as well as the integration of Applied Solutions into the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). For more information, visit the Applied Solutions website.


At Sonoma Water, partnerships are an important factor in the success of energy and sustainability projects and legislative efforts.  Below is a list of partners who helped Sonoma Water reach its goal of achieving Carbon Free Water.  To learn more about each of Sonoma Water’s energy and sustainability partners, please click on the links below.