Sonoma Water E-News | DECEMBER
Water Supply Update
Sonoma Water is preparing to continue water saving efforts at Lake Mendocino due to low water supply storage levels and lack of significant rainfall to date. 

The Russian River basin experienced its third driest year on record for water year 2020 and conditions continue to remain dry. 
Lake Mendocino is currently only 55% percent of targeted water supply storage and
Lake Sonoma is 66 percent of water supply capacity.

A water supply management tool currently being used to save water in Lake Mendocino, known as a Temporary Urgency Change Petition, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board earlier this year, will expire on December 27.  
With no significant rain in the forecast and Lake Mendocino water supply levels decreasing, Sonoma Water is beginning discussions with the State Water Board and local stakeholders to continue water saving efforts at Lake Mendocino. This could mean temporarily changing Sonoma Water’s water rights to base Lake Mendocino water releases on current water supply levels at Lake Mendocino, and not reliant on Lake Pillsbury cumulative inflow, as required by Sonoma Water’s water right permits and Decision 1610. This management tool would provide more flexibility for how much water is released from Lake Mendocino into the Russian River by matching Russian River minimum instream flows with actual water supply conditions in the Russian River watershed. Current water supply and weather conditions are like 2013. In 2013, Sonoma Water filed a Temporary Urgency Change Petition with the State Water Board requesting similar changes. The State Water Board approved the Petition and the requested changes successfully managed water supply storage at Lake Mendocino during the serious drought conditions that continued through 2014. 

Sonoma Water appreciates our community’s water saving efforts. There is never enough water to waste and the more water saved, the more water remains in our reservoirs. 
Local Quagga/Zebra Mussel Prevention Program Receives Federal Funding Authorization as Part of Water Resources Legislation
Rep. Huffman this week delivered good news to Sonoma Water and County of Mendocino; federal funding is being authorized to support invasive quagga and zebra mussel prevention efforts such as the mussel-sniffing dogs at Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino as part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020. 

The bicameral agreement passed the House of Representatives, now moves to the Senate for final approval.
Winter Sewer Rates
Did you know that your winter water habits have an impact on your sewer rates all year long?

Sewer service providers with volumetric based rates calculate the volumetric portion of the sewer charges based on your winter water usage. High winter water use will result in higher volumetric based sewer charges for the entire year.

Using less water during the winter months can keep the volumetric portion of your sewer charges lower. Be sure to turn off your outdoor irrigation, fix leaks and resist the urge to take those long, hot showers on those cold winter mornings.

Water conservation is not seasonal, conservation is a way of life!
Water Education Thrives Online
This year, our programs are rapidly adapting to support teachers through distance learning. Our educators are redesigning our current programs and creating new resources.

Our goal is to continue to offer our traditional programs that inspire students to examine our local water and energy resources through an inquisitive, scientific lens. 
Rainfall and Water Storage Update 
Current water supply conditions as of 12/18/2020:  
Lake Mendocino Target Water Supply Curve: 59,840 acre-feet  
Current Storage: 29,571 acre-feet (49.42% of Target Water Supply Curve)  
Lake Sonoma  
Target Storage Curve: 245,000 acre-feet  
Current Storage: 161,270 acre-feet (65.82% of Water Supply Pool)  
Current rainfall conditions (10/1/20 – 12/17/20)  
Average (1894-2020 water years): 10.21”  
Current Water Year: 3.41” which is 33.4% of average  
Santa Rosa:  
Average (1950-2020 water years): 8.91 "  
Current Water Year: 3.24” which is 36.4% of average  
Upcoming Events

The Board normally holds its regular meetings on Tuesdays, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will be facilitated virtually through Zoom.

Upcoming 2021 Board meetings:
  • January 5
  • January 25 Special Meeting
  • January 26

Board Agendas: 

Please visit for additional information on Coronavirus and fire recovery from Sonoma County.

  • Petaluma Valley - January 28, 4:00 pm
  • Sonoma Valley - January 25, 4:00 pm
  • Santa Rosa Plain - January 28, 1:00 pm

Water Facts

Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub.
In fact, a shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a bath uses up to 70 gallons!
Public Comment Opportunities

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Employment Opportunities

We invite you to explore the career opportunities available with the Sonoma County Water Agency.
Sonoma Water | 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 |