There’s Never Enough To Waste – Turn the Water Off

The Official Dishwasher of Sonoma County
It's 6am, do you know what your sprinklers are doing?
The official shower time of Sonoma County
The official landscape makeover of Sonoma County

With record low rainfall in the North Bay and across the state, we need your help to conserve water.

There are a variety of easy ways to conserve water as well as many water-efficient products that save water without impacting your lifestyle. Save money while saving water!

About the Drought

The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership’s service area has experienced three consecutive dry years resulting in today’s drought.  While our region received some rainfall from two atmospheric river storm events this past winter, it was not enough to pull us out from drought conditions.  However, the rainfall did help increase reservoir storage levels in our region’s two primary water supply reservoirs, Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino.  Now it is up to our community to save every drop of that water; there is never enough to waste.

Below are highlights of the drought and its impacts to our region:


What do we need to get out of this drought? Three things…

  1. We need above average rainfall this fall and winter (32 inches of average annual rainfall in Santa Rosa for example).
  2. Timing of rainfall is critical. We need a steady stream of rainfall throughout the fall, winter and spring months, not one large storm, due to how Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino are operated under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s flood control operation manual. In a large storm the Corps’ flood control manual require that much of the water be released to retain flood control space.
  3. Save what we get. The rain we do get needs to be saved in case we don’t get any more this year.  Keep up those conservation habits.


Drought Resources:


All Californians Need to Save

The new prohibitions in the Executive Order apply to all Californians and will take effect immediately upon approval. These include:

  • Irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians;
  • Irrigation with potable water outside of newly constructed homes and buildings not in accordance with emergency regulations or other requirements established in the California Building Standards Code.
  • Using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways;
  • Allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water;
  • Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars;
  • Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water;
  • Irrigating outdoors during and within 48 hours following measurable rainfall; and
  • Restaurants from serving water to their customers unless the customer requests it.


What are local agencies doing?

Each Partner Agency has a drought contingency plan (updated every five years) and Partners are adhering to the guidelines established in the plan. Conservation is not just part of a plan for drought – it is a way of life for our region with year-round conservation measures. Each Partner has pursued water conservation goals in a manner unique to the needs of their respective community. A variety of water efficiency rebate programs are being offered by the Partners and many Partners also have water conservation task forces or pilot water conservation programs. Additionally, the Partners have come together as the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership to jointly issue the same water conservation message to create a bigger impact. Partners also meet with key stakeholders to craft voluntary solutions to address pressing water supply challenges and some Partners are also implementing water reuse programs.

Each member of the Partnership is a signatory to the California Urban Water Conservation Council’s Memorandum of Understanding, pledging good faith effort towards implementing Best Management Practices regarding urban water conservation. The Partners also agreed to establish a regional alliance to comply with SBx7-7, The Water Conservation Act of 2009, requiring a statewide 20% reduction in per capita water consumption by 2020. To date, all Partners are on track to meet this goal.


How can you help?

There are a variety of easy ways to conserve water as well as many water-efficient products that save water without impacting your lifestyle.  Save money while saving water!