Sonoma Water E-News | November 2021
Water Supply Update – Drought is Not Over
The recent rains were a good start and provided some additional storage in our reservoirs, but the drought is not over. Ongoing conservation is necessary to save water for the possibility of dry months ahead.

You can help by sharing this important information in your neighborhood, pick up a FREE yard sign at Sonoma Water, 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5pm. Signs are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Keeping everyone’s health and safety in mind, COVID safety protocols will be in effect, so please wear a mask.
The Sonoma Water weekly water supply graphic (below) provides a snapshot of water storage for our two main reservoirs, Lake Sonoma, and Lake Mendocino. You can stay informed about Current Water Supply Conditions, 2021 Drought Updates, Actions, and Information by going to: sonomawater.org/drought
On October 22, 2021 the State Water Resources Control Board issued an amended order that modified the condition that Sonoma Water must reduce cumulative diversions from July 1 through the end of the order (December 10) to 20% below 2020 diversions over the same period. The amended order suspends this requirement while water rights curtailments in the watershed are not in effect whether by suspension or recission. It also requires Sonoma Water customers that are urban water suppliers to implement the appropriate stage of their respective Water Shortage Contingency Plans, consistent with the Governor’s October 19, 2021 emergency drought proclamation.

The graph (below) shows cumulative water savings by Sonoma Water customers. Since July 1, we’ve reduced diversions from the Russian River by nearly 23%, surpassing the 20% reduced diversion goal. Please keep up the good work -- every drop we save means more water in our reservoirs!
Sonoma Water Climate Adaptation Plan Approved
On October 19, 2021 the Sonoma Water Board of Directors approved its first-ever Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP) that provides a roadmap for the agency as it navigates the impacts of climate change on its infrastructure and operations.

Sonoma Water’s mission is to protect the drinking water supply of more than 600,000 North Bay residents, manage flood control facilities in Sonoma County that impact thousands of residents and homes, and provide wastewater collection and treatment for 75,000 Sonoma County residents. Development of the CAP assumes that climate change is inevitable, it is already occurring, and the agency must adapt quickly to protect its critical infrastructure.

The CAP will direct Sonoma Water in terms of prioritizing and allocating resources towards practices and projects that will improve resiliency of its operations and facilities to climate variability and change. Largest among the impacts identified in the plan is the anticipated variability in precipitation; more severe droughts, and stronger flood events, due to the heightened role of atmospheric rivers. An increased risk of wildfires is also predicted as temperatures rise and droughts become more severe. Contained in the CAP are strategies aimed at maximizing reservoir storage, managing floodwaters for aquifer recharge, and protecting critical infrastructure from severe flooding and sea-level rise.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair and Sonoma Water Board of Directors Chair Lynda Hopkins said, “There is no question that climate change is here and it presents unprecedented risks to every aspect of our lives. The question is what are we going to do about it? How can we be more resilient and adapt our systems? This plan allows us to meet the public health and safety needs of our community as we adapt to climate change, which will drastically affect some of our most essential services.”

To learn more about climate adaptation strategies visit https://www.sonomawater.org/climate
Sonoma County Wildfire Decision Support Framework: Collaborative Partnership Prioritizes Vegetation Management, Fire Resiliency and Climate Action 
Sonoma Water has partnered with University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) to launch an integrated countywide Decision Support Framework that provides an integrated set of tools for property owners, land managers and decision makers to prioritize and make strategic investments in fuel load reduction, vegetation management, community health and safety, and the long-term resilience of Sonoma County watersheds. 

A Wildfire Fuel Mapper developed by UCCE in partnership and the Pepperwood Preserve is the first of two tools designed to be integrated at multiple scales. This parcel level scale tool is now available for landowners and land managers to assess their property and plan actions to help reduce fire hazards, manage fuels and protect people, infrastructure and ecosystems. You’ll find detailed maps, contacts for forest and fire specialists, funding information and other resources. Visit wildfirefuelmapper.org for more information or contact slarson@ucanr.edu  

A second tool is currently under development for use in 2022 is a web-based model designed to support strategic planning beyond the parcel scale, looking at wildfire risk reduction of a variety of built and natural assets such as communities, key infrastructure and ecosystems. The Decision Support Framework and its tools are designed for compatibility with Permit Sonoma’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan and other regional tools to ensure consistency and effective use of taxpayer dollars. 

For more information, please contact: susan.haydon@scwa.ca.gov  
Public Comment Period for Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (District) has released a draft of its updated Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) that creates a blueprint for reducing the damage to the District’s infrastructure from natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, fires, and earthquakes.

The LHMP forms the foundation for a community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. The planning process includes public and stakeholder involvement. The District is working with its stakeholders to complete an update of the 2016 LHMP.

Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the draft LHMP during the 21-day public comment period that opened on November 1, 2021.

You can submit questions or comments by sending an email to LHMP@scwa.ca.gov.
Low Impact Development (LID) training on Wednesday,
December 1 from 8-11am
Whether you are a contractor installing rainwater landscaping features known as Low Impact Design (LID) features, a landscaper maintaining features, a civil design engineer, or a municipal staff construction inspector or LID compliance inspector, you won't want to miss this once-a-year local virtual training opportunity offered by the Municipal NPDES Co-Permittees in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.

Learn about requirements to appropriately install, inspect, and transfer ownership of LID features such as rain gardens, vegetated swales, and permeable pavement. Make sure your LID features meet conformance standards required for project acceptance and connect with local municipalities that oversee stormwater compliance for LID features.

Learn about how compliance inspections are completed, how to maintain, care, and protect LID landscapes, identify approved plants that do well in these features, and stay compliant with annual inspections for all engineered LID features such as rain gardens, swales, and bioretention planters.

The Russian River watershed Phase I MS4 Co-Permittees would like to invite you to the annual free virtual stormwater Low Impact Development (LID) training on Wednesday, December 1 from 8-11am.

Space is limited, please register in advance.

Rainfall and Water Storage Update

Current water supply conditions as of 11/9/2021:   
    
Lake Mendocino Target Water Supply Curve: 54,956 acre-feet   
Current Storage: 18,748 acre-feet (34.15% of Target Water Supply Curve)   
    
Lake Sonoma Target Storage
Curve: 245,000 acre-feet
Current Storage: 120,692 acre-feet (49.26% of Water Supply Pool)   
    
Current rainfall conditions (10/1/21 – 11/8/21)   
    
Ukiah:   
Average (1894-2021 water years): 2.64”   
Current Water Year: 8.26” which is 313.3% of average   
    
Santa Rosa:   
Average (1950-2021 water years): 2.44"   
Current Water Year: 13.28” which is 544.3% 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.

•Nov. 16, Virtual/BSC
Nov. 19, Virtual/BSC- Special Closed Session
•Dec. 7, Virtual/BSC
•Dec. 10, Virtual/BSC- Special Closed Session

Board Agendas: 

Please visit SoCoEmergency.org for additional information and resources

Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board Meetings

Sonoma Valley -
Dec. 6, 2021 4:00pm

Petaluma Valley -
Dec. 8, 2021 5:30pm

Santa Rosa Plain -
Dec. 9, 2021 1pm

Fact of the Month

Are flushable wipes really flushable?

No, flushable wipes don’t break down quickly, they can clog drains in your home or business. This can result in costly plumbing repairs, particularly if a clog causes a leak.

Remember the 3 P's Pee, Poo, Paper. No Wipes Down The Pipes!
Employment Opportunities

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