Water Supply Strategies

The 2018 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.

View the 2018 Water Supply Strategies Action Plan (PDF, 2MB)


In April 2009, Sonoma Water’s Board of Directors (Board) held a workshop to discuss the challenges Sonoma Water faces in providing a reliable regional water supply, including the economy, aging infrastructure, regulatory concerns, drought, and climate change. The Board directed staff to seek input from the Water Contractors and the community. Staff completed this outreach and reported to the Board in Sept. 2009. The Board directed staff, with input from the Water Contractors and other interested parties, “to commence and continue the development of new water supply projects, plans, and strategies to meet the reasonable expected future water demands of Sonoma Water’s Contractors, taking into account the National Marine Fisheries Service Russian River Biological Opinion constraints and reduced Potter Valley Project flows, and incorporating the water supply strategies, climate change analysis, maximum levels of water conservation and efficiency measures, recycled water, conjunctive use and low impact development strategies.”

In response to this Board direction, staff developed a draft Action Plan, conducted additional public outreach, received comments, and refined the draft Action Plan. On Sept. 21, 2010, the Board approved the strategies and directed Sonoma Water’s General Manager to finalize the Action Plan. The 2010 Action Plan described how each of the nine strategies was being carried out through specific activities and projects, identified involved parties, provided the status of each item, included a prioritization (Immediate, Near- or Long-term), and provided funding information. The Action Plan was updated in 2011 and 2013.

2018 Water Supply Strategies Action Plan Update

The 2018 Action Plan describes accomplishments, progress made, and actions reprioritized from the 2013 Action Plan. New activities initiated since 2018 have also been added. The original nine strategies have been updated to seven strategies, shown below, which directly align with Sonoma Water’s 2017 internal Strategic Plan. 

  • Strategy 1: Protect Drinking Water Supply & Promote Water-Use Efficiency
  • Strategy 2: Maintain & Improve the Reliability of the Water Transmission System 
  • Strategy 3: Utilize Regional Planning to Increase Water Supply Resiliency
  • Strategy 4: Respond & Adapt to Climate Change
  • Strategy 5: Improve the Energy Efficiency of the Water Transmission System & Increase Renewable Power Use
  • Strategy 6: Increase Emergency Preparation & Improve Response to Natural Disasters 
  • Strategy 7: Seek Federal & State Funding

Sonoma Water staff coordinated with Water Contractor staff in developing the updated Action Plan. The updated Action Plan contains:  (1) an executive summary; (2) a list of acronyms; (3) descriptions of the seven strategies with prioritized actions, projects and activities; (4) a summary of changes to the updated plan relative to the 2013 plan; (5) FY18-19 Long Range Financial Plan Project List; and (6) a summary of Water Contractor’s water supply and reliability projects projected for the next 10 years.

The 2018 Action Plan describes in detail important projects and activities which were completed since 2013, including Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project Mile 1 and tributary restoration as required by the Biological Opinion, hazard mitigation projects to mitigate damage from liquefaction and earthquakes, and launching Community Choice Aggregation in partnership with Sonoma Clean Power.

In addition, significant progress has been achieved on critical programs and projects, including formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, development of Storm Water Resource Plans, and Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations.

Looking forward, several projects have been reprioritized or added to the Action Plan. Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project Miles 4, 5 and 6 has moved to an immediate activity; increased coordination with upper Russian River Water Managers has been added. Other new actions include the grant funded Advanced Quantitative Precipitation Information Project, implementation of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, fire response activities and development of a comprehensive climate adaptation plan.

Important considerations of the Action Plan are that: (1) coordination and partnerships are essential to achieving reliable, efficient and sustainable water resource management; (2) the strategies are interconnected; (3) the Action Plan is a living document and should be updated as progress is made and conditions change; and (4) transparency is critical to success.

This Action Plan continues Sonoma Water's commitment to an open, transparent, and inclusive water supply planning process. Staff continues to coordinate with the Water Contractors’ Technical Advisory Committee to develop the updated Action Plan. The draft Action Plan was presented at the Jan. 7, 2019 Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Comments were received and the Action Plan was revised. The Action Plan was also presented to the Board on Sept. 30, 2019.

View the 2018 Water Supply Strategies Action Plan (PDF, 2MB)

Contact Information

Please email Sonoma Water at sonoma.water@scwa.ca.gov if you have any questions, concerns or input.