Sonoma County Water Agency E-News | April 2018
Water Agency Budget Approved
At their meeting Tuesday, April 17, the Water Agency Board of Directors approved a resolution establishing rates and charges for the Water Agency’s Water Transmission System for the upcoming Fiscal Year (2018-2019). The rates have been increased slightly due to ongoing low water delivery figures resulting from the drought. While water sales decreased, many costs of supplying water remain fixed. 

The proposed budget for FY 2018/2019 is based on accomplishing a focused set of goals centered around the Water Agency’s Water Supply Strategy Action Plan, including the required elements of the Biological Opinion, continued implementation of hazard mitigation and reliability projects, and maintenance of facilities. Whenever possible, alternative sources of revenue such as federal and state grants, existing fund balances, and bond financing will be used to finance capital projects. Additionally, per agreement with the Water Advisory Committee, a discretionary aqueduct capital charge is included in the budget to build fund balance for future capital projects and avert rate spikes in subsequent years. This budget allows the Agency to meet the operations, maintenance, capital, and regulatory demands of the system, assumes reasonable deliveries in line with recent years, maintains fund balances within policy for prudent reserve, and provides rate increases that are in line with the Long Range Financial Plan target of 4 to 6%.

The Water Transmission Budget funds the ongoing maintenance of miles of underground pipelines, supporting facilities, and capital projects. Wholesale water rates are determined using an agreed upon calculation set by the Restructured Agreement for Water Supply. The rates are reviewed and approved by the Water Agency Board of Directors by April 30th of each year. Wholesale water rates contribute to the funding of regulatory obligations to secure our water supply, and capital projects.
Refilling the Reservoirs
After a dry winter and a particularly low-precipitation February, stormy weather has come to Sonoma County. The recent storms have transformed our reservoirs, bringing water supply levels close to normal levels. As noted below, Lake Mendocino storage has reached its target supply level, and Lake Sonoma storage has reached over 93% of its supply capacity. 
Click below to read about the recent rains in The Press Democrat. For data and information about rainfall in Sonoma County, visit the recently-launched OneRain website. Click below to visit the new site.
Water Storage and Rainfall
Current water supply conditions (4/16/18)

Lake Mendocino
Target Storage Curve:83,967 acre-feet
Current Storage: 84,036 acre-feet (100.08% of Target)

Lake Sonoma
Target Storage Curve: 245,000 acre-feet
Current Storage: 229,351 acre-feet (93.61% of Water Supply Pool)
Current rainfall conditions (10/1/17 - 4/16/18)

Average (1894-2017 water years): 34.23"
Current Water Year: 23.37" which is 68.27% of average
Santa Rosa:
Average (1950-2017 water years): 28.34"
Current Water Year: 24.97" which is 88.10% of average
Earth Day is coming!
Many different Earth Day celebrations are happening around Sonoma County. Please consider supporting one or more of the programs set up to help make our county a beautiful, healthy place to live.
North Jenner Beach & Estuary Cleanup
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8:30 am
Jenner Visitor Center
10439 Hwy 1, Jenner
Registration required:

Cleanup on the Greenway
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 9:30 am
Olive Park, 1698 Hazel St., Santa Rosa

Earth Day OnStage
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 12:00 pm
Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa
Register for the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour
The 2018 Eco-Friendly Garden Tour is coming up soon! On Saturday May 5th, attend this FREE public outreach and educational program to view inspiring, eco-friendly gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin Counties while also learning about sustainable landscaping practices. The tour has events at various gardens including garden demonstrations, workshops, plant sales, art studios, and a harvest market! There will be a professional landscaper, designer or homeowner at each location to provide information about the garden and answer questions.

This year’s tour features the new Sustainable Education Garden at Santa Rosa City Hall. City of Santa Rosa staff will be providing irrigation controller programming workshops and tours of the new garden! The California Native Plant Society (Milo Baker Chapter) will be presenting California native gardens in Santa Rosa and will be holding a native plant sale at the Laguna Environmental Center. We are also excited to announce that Marin Municipal Water District will be presenting a selection of gardens in the San Rafael area!
The tour is hosted by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, a group of 10 water utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties that have joined together to provide a regional approach to water use efficiency. The utilities are the cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Cotati; North Marin, Valley of the Moon and Marin Municipal Water Districts; Town of Windsor; and the Sonoma County Water Agency.
Who? Anyone can attend this fun event for FREE !
When? Saturday, May 5th, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where? Santa Rosa , Sonoma Valley , Petaluma, Novato and San Rafael
To learn more about the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour or to register, please click "More information." Registration is required!
Public Comment Period to Open for Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Water Agency) updated draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) that creates a blueprint for reducing the damage to Water Agency infrastructure from natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, fires, and earthquakes.

The 30-day public comment period will open on April 18, 2018. To review the draft LHMP and provide input, click "More information," below.

An 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 Sonoma County Water Agency is working with its stakeholders to complete an update of the 2013 LHMP.

The Water Agency must update its LHMP every five years to ensure it remains relevant to current events and system conditions and to meet requirements set forth by FEMA. In particular, staff will review the Water Agency’s vulnerabilities and risks, as well as the prioritized listing of hazard mitigation projects. 
LHMPs are public documents that create a framework for risk-based decision making to reduce damage to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, and floods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) utilizes LHMPs to issue grant funding for pre-disaster and hazard mitigation projects.

In 2004 the Sonoma County Water Agency initiated a natural hazard assessment, which was instrumental in creating the Water Agency’s first LHMP in 2008. This LHMP was updated in 2013, and includes a priority listing of hazard mitigation projects.

If you are interested in following the LHMP preparation, approval, and adoption process or providing input, click "More information." All LHMP drafts for public review, staff reports, public hearing notices, hazard maps, etc., will be posted for public review on this page. You can submit questions or comments by sending an email to
North Bay Water Reuse Authority to Host Public Meetings to Review Phase 2 Recycled Water Projects
The North Bay Water Reuse Authority (NBWRA) has prepared a joint Draft Environmental Impact Report/ Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) to assess potential environmental effects of the proposed Phase 2 of the North Bay Water Reuse Program or NBWRP. The 45-day review period opened on April 4, 2018, and close on May 18, 2018. The Draft EIR/EIS is available for review electronically at
Written comments on the Draft EIR/EIS may be submitted to: Sonoma County Water Agency, Attn: Anne Crealock, 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. You may also submit your comments electronically at the following website: . Or via e-mail to:

The projects proposed in the Phase 2 Program would include construction and operation of treatment capacity improvements, distribution facilities, and storage facilities (seasonal and operational) to provide recycled water for environmental, agricultural, and municipal reuse in the North San Pablo Bay region, which encompasses approximately 318 square miles in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.
Public Hearings:  A series of four public meetings will be held within the collective NBWRA service area during the 45-day Draft EIR/EIS review period. (The same content will be presented at each meeting.) The meetings will be held on the following dates:

May 7, 2018 (Monday)
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
American Canyon City Hall (Council Chambers)
4381 Broadway, Suite 201, American Canyon

May 9, 2018 (Wednesday)
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
San Rafael Community Center Auditorium
618 B Street, San Rafael 

May 10, 2018 (Thursday)
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Petaluma Community Center, Craft Room 1
320 North McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma

May 14, 2018 (Monday)
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Sonoma Community Center, Room 110
276 East Napa Street, Sonoma
If you have a disability, which requires an accommodation, an alternative format, or requires another person to assist you while attending these meetings or reviewing associated materials, please contact the Water Agency at 707-524-8378, as soon as possible to ensure arrangements for accommodation.

Deadline: Comments on the Draft EIR/EIS must be received by the end of the 45-day public review period, which is May 18, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Before including your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, or other
personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.

Submi t comments in writing to Anne Crealock, Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA  95403 or via email to .

For more information, click below. To contact NBWRA, call (707) 235-8965 or email
Russian River Estuary Management Project Community Meeting
The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, May 31, 2018 to update the community on the Russian River Estuary Management Project. The meeting will be held at the Jenner Community Center, 10398 Highway 1, Jenner, from 6-7:30 p.m.

The meeting will consist of a presentation on the Russian River Estuary Management Project, which will include information about the 2017 Lagoon Management Season, updates on biological and water quality monitoring programs, and a preview of the 2018 Lagoon Management Season. There will be a question and answer session following the presentations.

The Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in September 2008 required the Water Agency to change the way the estuary is managed in the summer. The purpose of the Estuary Management Project is to enhance summer habitat for young steelhead while minimizing flood risk in the estuary. The May 15 meeting is the ninth community meeting discussing the estuary since the Biological Opinion was issued.
Since the mid-1990s, the Water Agency has artificially breached the sandbar when it closes and increasing water levels in the estuary threaten low-lying properties. The Biological Opinion calls for managing the estuary as a summer lagoon with an outlet channel in place to enhance conditions for steelhead to grow and thrive, giving them a better chance to survive ocean conditions, while continuing to minimize flood risk. 

For more information about the Russian River Estuary Management Project click "More information" or contact Barry Dugan at 547-1930 or
Reserve your spot today for a Wastewater Treatment and Recycled Water Production Facilities Tour
The Water Agency is pleased to host free public tours of the Russian River County Sanitation District and the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District. Come learn about where your water goes after if flows down the drain, how wastewater is treated, and how water is recycled and reused as a new resource after treatment. 
Sonoma Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant Tours
Saturday, April 28, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (ENGLISH)
Russian River Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour

Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (ENGLISH)
Tour registration is required. To learn more and to register, please click "More information," below. Registration will be confirmed via email.

Children must be 12 years old to attend a tour, and must be accompanied by an adult.

Questions? Please contact Sophie Porcelli at (707) 524-6430 or  
Upcoming Events
  • April 17, 2018, 8:30 am
  • April 24, 2018, 8:30 am (Special Closed Session)
  • May 8, 2018, 8:30 am

Public Tours
Sonoma Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant Tours
  • April 28, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (ENGLISH)
Russian River Wastewater Treatment Plant Tours
  • Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (ENGLISH)
Employment Opportunities
We invite you to explore the career opportunities available with the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Current Opportunities:
  • Water Agency Lead Maintenance Worker-Collections PROMOTIONAL (Closes 4/30/18)
Fact of the Month
The Water Agency provides reliable, clean drinking water to over 600,000 people throughout Sonoma and Marin Counties.
This E-News is produced by the Water Agency's Community & Government Affairs Department. We want to hear from you!  Contact us with your questions. 
Sonoma County Water Agency