Sonoma Water E-News | November
Sonoma Water’s Role in Keeping Mussels Out of Lake Sonoma
Sonoma Water teamed up with California Fish and Wildlife during the past year to support the Quagga and Zebra mussel testing at Lake Sonoma. Testing the waters of the lake for signs of mussels is an integral part of mussel prevention at Lake Sonoma and helps provide a better understanding of invasive species.

Two types of testing are currently performed; surface surveys and plankton tows. The surface surveys consist of shoreline surveys looking for any sign of quagga and zebra mussel shells, shell fragments, etc. This can also include using series of dark colored PVC tiles that are hung on a cable below the water’s surface. Theses tiles are affectionately referred to as a "quagga condo." The “condos” are installed and checked monthly to see if any undesirable mussels have taken up residence.

The second tests are plankton tows that require a team to go out on to the lake and drag a fine-mesh net behind the boat to catch plankton and potential mussel DNA. This is done both by dragging the net horizontally behind the boat as it moves slowly, and by dropping the net vertically below the water. Samples are collected, stabilized to prevent decaying, and sent to the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine Lab for analysis. Testing takes place from April to October. Four completed tests this year have come back negative for Lake Sonoma.

Another possible avenue for mussel infestation is from boaters. When boaters enter the Lake Sonoma recreation area they are greeted by inspectors and the Mussel Dogs. The Mussel Dogs sniff out invasive species, specifically quagga and zebra mussels. In 2019 the team inspected 6,847 boats, and in the year 2020, they inspected 12,244 boats. A record number of boaters were on the lake for the 4th of July when the Mussel Dogs inspected 336 boats in an eight-hour period, which broke the previous record of 190.

Testing and boat inspections is part of Sonoma Water’s Quagga and Zebra Mussel Prevention Program, which operates through a grant from the California Department of Boating and Waterways. 
Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership
Toilets save lives and often go unappreciated. On November 19 we celebrate World Toilet Day.

The purpose of World Toilet Day is to increase public awareness of the 4.2 billion people who live without access to sustainable sanitation systems and are consequently at greater health risk. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives, we have been reminded of the importance of sanitation and how innovations like the toilet, that have helped create a clean, sanitary world for some, are still not available to all.

Not only do toilets help keep our planet more sanitary, toilet flushing technology has become more water efficient over the years, while still providing equal or superior performance. The most efficient toilets available now use as little as 0.8 gallons per flush. By replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense labeled models, the average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent—that's nearly 13,000 gallons of water savings for your home every year! This savings equates to $140 per year in water costs, and $2,900 over the lifetime of the toilets ( Essentially, if you don’t have a high-efficiency model you are flushing money down the proverbial toilet.

Some water suppliers within Sonoma and Marin counties still offer toilet rebate incentives to reduce water usage inside your home. These water suppliers include; Cities of Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Cotati, Healdsburg; North Marin Water District, and Sonoma Water. Make sure to check your local water supplier for other water conservation rebates to help improve water use efficiency at home.
Sonoma Water named recipient of SWAT
Outstanding Public Engagement Award
The Garden Sense program seeks to assist residents with landscape transformation opportunities.

Smart Water Application Technologies, a committee of the Irrigation Association, named Sonoma Water as the recipient of the SWAT Outstanding Public Engagement Award. This award recognizes a water provider with a successful program focused on public engagement and education on smart, efficient irrigation technologies and practices.

The Garden Sense program provides interested customers with the tools and information to take their projects through to completion and reduce outdoor water demand from inefficient irrigation systems, high water use plants and poor landscaping practices.

“Sonoma Water, along with its partners, continues to show national leadership in setting the bar for engagement with its customers,” said IA Industry Development Director John Farner. “In an area continuing to be challenged by water use demands, drought and wildfire, the Garden Sense program is a prime example of how to effectively conserve water, while valuing the living landscape.”
The Garden Sense program is offered in partnership with the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County. Sonoma County, which has a population of more than 500,000, covers a geographic area of 1,768 square miles.

The 2020 Outstanding Public Engagement Award was presented virtually and announced during the WaterSmart Innovations Webinar Series.
The Russian River and its Watershed book available soon 
Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma Water, and artist Richard McDaniel have collaborated on a new book, The Russian River and Its Watershed, that includes 41 full-color paintings and essays from local authors. The book makes a wonderful gift for the river-lovers in your life. Only 220 books are available for purchase of this limited printing.
A virtual Book Release will be held on Friday, Dec. 11 at 4:30 p.m.
Visit the Sonoma Land Trust website for information to attend the virtual book release and art exhibit, click here for event information and to RSVP.
The 110-mile Russian River flows like a ribbon of silver through the valleys of Mendocino and Sonoma counties, providing drinking water, a home for fish and other riparian critters, and irrigation for thousands of acres of grapes and other crops. But only people who live on its banks or who regularly spend time on its waters can attest to the changing beauty of the Russian River. The 41 full-color paintings by artist Richard McDaniel that comprise the heart of The Russian River and Its Watershed portray a river of many colors, moods and seasons.
The voices of local essayists, including author and tribal leader Greg Sarris and historian Gaye LeBaron, add their own color to the book. From a sighting of a single osprey to a real-life fish story to a life-changing canoe trip, the stories told by the authors are as varied as the river itself.
Rainfall and Water Storage Update 
Current water supply conditions as of 
November 17, 2020: 
Lake Mendocino Target Water Supply Curve: 55,079 acre-feet 
Current Storage: 33,000 acre-feet
(59.91% of Target Water Supply Curve) 
Lake Sonoma 
Target Storage Curve: 245,000 acre-feet 
Current Storage: 168,527 acre-feet
(73.06% of Water Supply Pool) 
Current rainfall conditions
(10/1/20 – 11/16/20) 
Average (1894-2020 water years): 4.08” 
Current Water Year: 0.51”
which is 12.49% of average 
Santa Rosa: 
Average (1950-2020 water years): 3.78 " 
Current Water Year: 0.33”
which is 8.73% 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 Board meetings:
November 30 at 8:30 am special meeting
December 8 at 8:30am
December 14 at 8:30am special meeting

Board Agendas: 

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

Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board Meetings
December 17, 2020, 4:00 pm - Petaluma Valley
January 25, 2020, 4:00 pm - Sonoma Valley
December 10, 2020, 1:00 pm - Santa Rosa Plain
Fact of the Month

Don’t run the tap! Save up to 300 gallons by defrosting in the fridge.

Did you know that the safest & most water efficient method to defrost your turkey is in the refrigerator? Just remember, it can take 4-5 days to defrost your bird!
Employment Opportunities

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Public Comment Opportunities

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