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Wrapping Up Water Year 2023

This post was originally published in the Sonoma Water E-Newsletter, October 11, 2023 October is the start of a new Water Year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30), and like any new year, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past and make resolutions for the future. Statewide, the theme of Water Year 2023 was weather whiplash. Illustrating the dramatic extremes of California’s climate, the governor’s emergency proclamations for both drought and flood were in place simultaneously in the latter part of the water year.Here in Sonoma County, we moved from historic drought to torrential rain and even some…

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Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership wins WaterSense Partner of the Year, Sustained Excellence awards 

The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership earned multiple awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its work promoting the EPA WaterSense program and water efficiency in 2022.  The awards were presented at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and included a Partner of the Year Award and a WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award for the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, the organization’s second and seventh WaterSense awards, respectively. In total, nine Partner of the Year awards were presented at the conference, along with 13 Sustained Excellence awards.  WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the EPA, is both a label…

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Fall is arriving. New season, new gardening tasks.

Shorter days mean shorter run times for your irrigation system. Plants need less water in the fall as growth winds down and plants prepare for winter. Reduce your run times by 20% now and up to 40% in late fall, or check out this Irrigation Scheduling Tool to get a custom schedule. Fall is also time to prune perennials and cool season grasses, and to clear out dead, woody materials and dry leaves for fire season. For more info, check out the Maintenance Calendar in the Water Smart Gardens Maintenance Manual – your guide to a garden that thrives.

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Sustainable Garden at the Sonoma County Fair

Join us at the Sonoma County Fair, August 3-13th. The Sonoma-Marin Saving Partnership and the UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County have partnered together to showcase a beautiful, sustainable, low water use garden that is designed to thrive in Sonoma County's climate. Our garden demonstration will be on display outside of the Hall of Flowers, stop by to learn about sustainable gardening practices.

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July is Smart Irrigation Month

Ever wondered how to correctly schedule your irrigation controller based on weather, plants or irrigation application? Well, we have a solution for you! The Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership developed the Irrigation Scheduling Tool to simplify and enhance the accuracy of irrigation controller scheduling. This innovative web-based tool retrieves data from local weather stations daily, providing users with precise calculations of the optimal water requirements for plants during the week. By considering various plant types and irrigation emission devices, the tool generates a recommended irrigation schedule. The irrigation scheduling tool also includes a User Guide to assist users. Pro Tip: How do you find a leak…

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Drought Tolerant Garden Design Tips and Ideas

The folks at Fine Gardening have published an informative and inspirational article on drought tolerant plants. Two key design strategies are discussed: matching plant density to the space and a focus on color or texture. Check it out here.

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Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

This article is courtesy of the EPA Water Sense: If you want to celebrate the Earth this year, don’t forget to include water. More than 70 percent of the surface of our planet is water, but almost all of that is ocean water so full of salt, so we can’t drink it! Because water is such a precious resource, we all need to do our part to save it. Here are some ways you can start saving water on Earth Day—and every day:  1. Stop the flow. Water doesn’t need to be flowing while you are busy brushing your teeth,…

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Resilient Landscapes Coalition Launches New Website

The Resilient Landscapes Coalition works to provide practical information to homeowners, landscape professionals and defensible space inspectors on how to implement fire-wise landscapes. The new website features resources on home hardening, landscape considerations, maintenance tips, plant selection and more. The creation of the website was funded by a grant from Ag+Open Space, as part of the PG&E settlement funds. The Resilient Landscapes Coalition is a partnership among Fire Safe Sonoma, Habitat Corridor Project, Sonoma Ecology Center, and the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County. 

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Thank You for Doing Your Part

Following a series of atmospheric river storms in January 2023, our region’s water supply reservoirs have rebounded from record low levels in December 2022 to be at or near full. This is truly great news after three consecutive years of low rainfall and dwindling surface water supplies at Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino. Our sincere thanks go out to everyone that did their part to use less water and that helped to bring us through this drought crisis. While it is important to celebrate this positive change and applaud our community’s water saving efforts, it is also important to recognize that…

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Year in Review

See a recap the year's activities and progress towards water use efficiency goals. The Partnership's fiscal year 2021/2022 Annual Report is now available. Explore what our Partners and the community achieved here. FY 2021/2022 Annual Report View all Annual Reports

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Join the 7th Biennial Russian River-Friendly Landscaping Event

Join landscape professionals on February 7th to discuss practical practices to capture rainwater, carbon and greater potential in urban landscapes.

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Effect of Rainfall on Water Supply

The welcome rainfall is a good start but hasn’t – yet -- appreciably improved local water supply conditions. The good news: The rain is providing welcome relief to thirsty animals, plants, fields and forests.Also on the positive side: Conditions in Lake Mendocino are marginally improving, with a slight increase in storage over the last week, reversing several months of declining levels.The not-so-great-news: Water storage levels in Lake Sonoma continue to decline, falling by 963 acre-feet over the last week, but recent storms have slowed down the rate of loss in storage. Lake Sonoma is now at its lowest level since…

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