Sonoma County Water Agency E-News | July 2017
The Sonoma County Water Agency has secured $1.89 million in grant funding for a flood management project in Petaluma that will provide flood protection, remove sediment, create wetland habitat, and protect open space. An agreement was reached with the state Department of Water Resources for the $1.89 million to be allocated to the Petaluma River Flood Management & Enhancement Project. 

State funding will come from the Prop. 1E Stormwater and Flood Management program. Originally, the Water Agency had planned a stormwater management project in Sonoma, but local opposition to several proposed projects halted those efforts. Water Agency staff then redirected their efforts to the Petaluma River basin and identified a willing partner in the city of Petaluma. 
The planning, design and environmental permitting for the entire project is expected to be completed in July 2018, with construction completed by 2020. 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Sonoma County Water Agency signed an agreement this week on a cost-sharing agreement for construction of a $6.3 million portion of the Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project. Under the terms of the agreement the Corps will pay for 75% of the costs ($4.76 million) and the Water Agency will Pay 25% of the costs ($1.59 million) for the habitat work to be constructed in 2018. 

To date, nearly two miles of habitat enhancement work has been completed, with another half mile of work under contract for construction in 2017. The agreement with the Corps will add an additional third of a mile of construction in 2018. The Russian River Biological Opinion requires habitat enhancement of six miles of Dry Creek to improve summer rearing conditions for endangered Coho salmon and threatened steelhead while allowing the Water Agency to maintain existing flows in Dry Creek for water supply purposes. 

The habitat enhancement project is part of the Russian River Biological Opinion that requires the Water Agency to enhance six miles of the 14-mile length of Dry Creek in order to slow the high water velocity in the creek, which was found to be detrimental to the survival of young Coho salmon and steelhead. Project elements include bank stabilization to reduce erosion, anchored log jams to provide refuge and slow the water, and constructed backwaters and side channels to give young fish places to escape summer and winter high flows, and native plants to reduce erosion and create shade. 

People who are interested in groundwater and who live in the Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley, or in Sonoma Valley groundwater basins, are urged to apply for a seat on one of the new groundwater advisory committees. The new advisory committees will provide input and feedback on policies, programs and projects to the boards of the Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley and Sonoma Valley groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs). These agencies were formed to meet the requirements of California's historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which went into effect in 2015. 

The Santa Rosa Plain Advisory Committee consists of 18 members, seven of which will be appointed by the Santa Rosa Plain GSA board. To ensure the advisory committee includes a variety of perspectives, the board is seeking two rural residential well owners, two agricultural representatives, two environmental representatives and one business representative. While the majority of the appointees must live within the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin, the board may appoint one person who lives within the larger Santa Rosa Plain watershed. 

The Petaluma Valley GSA consists of 10 members, five of which will be appointed by the Petaluma Valley GSA board. The board is seeking one rural residential well owner, one business community representative, one agricultural representative, one environmental representative, and one "at-large" community representative (preferably someone who can represent disadvantaged community interests). 

The Sonoma Valley GSA consists of 12 members, six of which will be appointed by the Sonoma Valley GSA board. The board is seeking one rural residential well owner, one agricultural representative, one environmental representative, one business representative and two "at-large" community representatives (preferably one who is a hydrogeologist or geologist). 

For all three advisory committees, terms will be two-years (after initial staggered terms), and the advisory committees will meet every other month for two to three hours. Advisory committee members should also expect to spend several hours reading materials and preparing for meetings. Strong consideration will be given to candidates who have the backing of multiple organizations or individuals within their interest group.

The deadline for submitting applications is July 31, 2017.
The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps has a new group for the summer!

The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC) is a jobs, workforce training and ecosystem education program aimed at employing youth and young adults while teaching them about environmental stewardship. The SCYEC provides youth and young adults paychecks, valuable work experience, environmental education, and the opportunity to contribute to their community through ongoing outdoor experiences.
Since its inception in 2009, more the 1300 young people have been employed through SCYEC. Over 37 miles of creek channels have been maintained, 31 miles of trails have been restored, 11 beaches have been cleaned, and many other environmental projects have been completed throughout Sonoma County.

Thanks to one of the wettest years on record, the Russian River water supply system is not currently facing drought conditions.  State mandatory conservation standards have been lifted and water supply reservoirs remain full with sufficient water to meet local demands. However, the Water Agency continues to ask its contractors and community to use water wisely.  There is never enough water to waste, and the Water Agency is committed to reducing water waste and promoting water reuse for maximum efficiency.

With high summertime temperatures, we are asking members of the community that water their lawns to consider watering at night. This reduces the amount of water that evaporates, and ensures the most efficient water use.

We thank our community for being responsible stewards of this invaluable resource and for their successful efforts as we continue to meet conservation goals.

Updated cumulative rainfall from October 1, 2016 through June 25, 2017.

Ukiah: 52.58” which is 144.57% of average and 18.57” away from breaking record annual total rainfall (WY 1998: 71.15”)  

Santa Rosa: 60.03” which is 202.96% of average and 4.57” above previous record annual total rainfall (WY 1983: 55.73)
Water Supply - As of June 28, 2017
Lake Mendocino: 95,609 acre-feet, 111.2% of target water supply storage

Lake Sonoma: 240,636 acre-feet, 98.2% of water supply pool
July Events Calendar
Employment Opportunities
We invite you to explore the career opportunities available with the Sonoma County Water Agency.
Fact of the Month
Each year the Water Agency's Stream Maintenance Program performs an inventory, including flow models, and compares each site's estimated water-carrying capacity against its design capacity. Based on the results, we prioritize approximately ten miles of streams each summer for maintenance.
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