Sonoma Water E-News | June 2021
Drought Drop-By on June 12 from 9am to 1pm,
curbside pick-up for a FREE water-saving kit
Sonoma Water and its partners in the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership encourage all of our 600,000 water customers to continue to save water. To help, the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership is coordinating a Drought Drop By event to support our community in reducing water use by 20%.

Free drought toolkits— including water reuse buckets with high-efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, digital shower timers, leak detection tools, and informational handouts — will be distributed to participants who drop by on a first-come, first serve basis.

Locations: All locations are outdoors with curbside and walk-up pickup available.

Sonoma County
  • Cloverdale – Cloverdale Plaza – 124 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale
  • Cotati – Cotati City Hall – 201 W Sierra Ave, Cotati
  • Healdsburg – Healdsburg Community Center (Parking Lot) – 1552 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
  • El Verano – Valley of the Moon Water District – 19039 Bay St, Sonoma
  • Forestville – El Molino High School (Faculty Parking Lot) – 7050 Covey Rd, Forestville
  • Petaluma – Petaluma Community Center at Luchessi Park (Parking Lot) – 320 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma
  • Rohnert Park – Rohnert Park Community Center (Parking Lot) – 5401 Snyder Ln, Rohnert Park
  • Santa Rosa – Jockey Club (Sonoma County Fairgrounds Parking Lot) 1650 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa
  • Sonoma – Sonoma Town Plaza – One The Plaza, Sonoma
  • Windsor – Town of Windsor Corporation Yard – 8400 Windsor Rd, Windsor

Marin County
  • Corte Madera – Marin Water – 220 Nellen Ave, Corte Madera
  • Mill Valley – Mill Valley Community Center (Parking Lot) – 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley
  • Novato – North Marin Water District – 999 Rush Creek Pl, Novato
  • San Rafael – San Rafael Community Center (Parking Lot) – 618 B St, San Rafael

Mendocino County
  • Redwood Valley – Redwood Valley Grange – 8650 East Rd, Redwood Valley
  • Ukiah – Club Calpella Parking Lot – 6190 N State St, Ukiah

At this outdoor event, local COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols. If you are experiencing any of the following, please do not attend the event: Fever above 100°F, cough, chills, sore throat, feeling achy, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting, unusual or new headache within the last 24 hours, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or tingling or numbness.
Water Supply Update: Drought is Here. Save Water 
The Russian River watershed is in a historic drought. Our region just experienced the third driest water year on record over the last 127 years. Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino water supply levels have reached historically low levels. Without additional rainfall, it is critical that aggressive water saving by our communities occurs now.

Sonoma Water is encouraging communities to make changes to everyday habits by eliminating water waste and reducing water use by at least 20%. The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership ( is a resource for community members seeking water saving tips. Every drop saved helps maintain water flows in the Russian River and extend reservoir storage levels.

To help raise awareness of water supply conditions, Sonoma Water is publishing a water supply graphic (below) weekly, to provide a snapshot of the rainfall and water storage for our two main reservoirs, Lake Sonoma, and Lake Mendocino. Please stay informed about current water supply conditions as we progress further into the driest time of the year - Summer.
Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP)
On May 14, 2021, Sonoma Water filed a new Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) to preserve water in Lake Sonoma. Sonoma Water filed a TUCP with the State Water Resources Control Board to reduce minimum instream flow requirements in the lower Russian River by requesting that the water year classification be temporarily changed from Dry to Critical, reducing the minimum instream flow requirement from 85 cubic feet per second (CFS) to 35 CFS. This action will preserve storage in Lake Sonoma and avoid violating the Russian River Biological Opinion Incidental Take Statement for Dry Creek. The Russian River watershed is facing severe drought conditions. Both the Governor and County of Sonoma have declared a drought emergency for the Russian River watershed.

Recognizing that the request is partially being driven by low storage levels at Lake Sonoma due to the drought, Sonoma Water is committing to reduce its diversions from the Russian River between July 1 and October 31 by 20 percent compared to last year, along with several other actions. In addition, the current order approving temporary changes to the upper Russian River expires July 26, which would result in the water year classification for the upper Russian River changing from Critical to Dry. Meeting a minimum instream flow on the upper Russian River of 75 CFS would drain Lake Mendocino by the middle of September.

Lower minimum flows will allow for less water to be released from Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino. The storage goal at Lake Mendocino is 20,000 acre-feet on October 1 (there is currently 36,831 acre-feet in Lake Mendocino). The storage goal for Lake Sonoma is greater than 100,000 acre-feet on October 1 (there is currently 147,804 acre-feet in Lake Sonoma).

Due to the tremendous uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of the proposed temporary requested changes to prevent Lake Mendocino from declining to unsafe levels that could impair the availability of water released from Lake Mendocino for human health and safety needs, Sonoma Water may file an amendment to the TUCP requesting changes determined in consultation with staff from the State Water Resources Control Board, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, National Marine Fisheries Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Matanzas Creek Dam and Reservoir

National Dam Safety Awareness Day
Sonoma Water recognized National Dam Safety Awareness Day on May 31 to promote and encourage individual and community responsibility for dam safety. 

While dams provide many benefits to communities, such as the storage of drinking water and the improvement of wildlife habitats, they can also pose a significant flood risk if they fail. Dam safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone is encouraged to learn more about the risk and benefits, know their role, and take action. 

Sonoma Water oversees and maintains the Central Sonoma Watershed Project, which was constructed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Soil Conservation Service (now called the Natural Resource Conservation Service or NRCS). 

Project components included the construction of floodwater retarding structures and the straightening, shaping, and stabilization of waterways. The project alleviates flooding in the Santa Rosa urban area.

The Central Sonoma Watershed project includes flood protection reservoirs that were built in the late 1960s to reduce flooding in the Santa Rosa area.

These reservoirs are:
• Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir (also known as Spring Lake)
• Matanzas Creek Reservoir
• Piner Creek Reservoir (on Paulin Creek)
• Brush Creek Middle Fork Reservoir

FEMA also provides a number of resources and publications on dam safety click here
Water Education Center FREE Public Tour Series 
Have you ever wondered where your water comes from? 

Sonoma Water is pleased to invite community members to sign up for a free public tour of our Water Education Center and explore along the Russian River. The Water Education Center is family-friendly with hands-on exhibits, including a new “Where Our Drinking Water Comes From” display. Tour participants will learn about the water supply system that provides drinking water to over 600,000 people.

Tours are available in English and Spanish. Each tour has a capacity of 5 households or 15 participants, whichever is fewer, and spots are first-come, first-served.

To learn more about tours and to register visit,

Rainfall and Water Storage Update
Current water supply conditions as of 6/8/2021:   
Lake Mendocino Target Water Supply Curve: 86,827 acre-feet   
Current Storage: 33,987 acre-feet (38.65% of Target Water Supply Curve)   
Lake Sonoma Target Storage
Curve: 245,000 acre-feet
Current Storage: 136,732 acre-feet (55.81% of Water Supply Pool)   
Current rainfall conditions (10/1/20 – 6/7/21)   
Average (1894-2020 water years): 36.27”   
Current Water Year: 12.53” which is 34.5% of average   
Santa Rosa:   
Average (1950-2020 water years): 30.07"   
Current Water Year: 12.86” which is 42.76% 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 and at Board of Supervisors Chambers (BSC) 575 Administration Drive 102A.

•June 15, 2021, virtual & BSC
•June 16. 2021, virtual & BSC
•June 17, 2021, special closed session
•June 18, 2021, virtual & BSC
•June 21, 2021, BSC
•June 22, 2021, BSC
•June 23, 2021, BSC
•June 24, 2021, BSC
•June 25, 2021, BSC
•July 13, 2021, BSC

Board Agendas: 

Please visit for additional information and resources

Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board Meetings

Sonoma Valley - June 28, 2021 4pm
Petaluma Valley - July 22, 2021 4pm
Santa Rosa Plain - August 12, 2021 1pm

Fact of the Month

During an average year, California's 515 alluvial groundwater basins and subbasins contribute approximately 38 percent toward the State's total water supply.

During dry years, groundwater contributes up to 46 percent (or more) of the statewide annual supply, and serves as a critical buffer against the impacts of drought and climate change.
Employment Opportunities

Sonoma Water has job openings for people with a variety of skills and experience.

  • Water Agency Mechanic (Continuous)

  • Water Agency Business Systems Analyst - Extra-Help (Closes 5/18/2021)

  • Water Agency Engineering Technician I,II, or III (Continuous)

  • Water Agency Maintenance Worker I - Extra-Help (Continuous)

  • Licensed Land Surveyor - Water Agency (Continuous)
Sonoma Water | 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 |