Sonoma City Council Declares Stage 2 Water Shortage

Posted on June 23, 2021

Drought update

The following is a Press Release issued by the City of Sonoma

DATE: June 22, 2021
CONTACT: Mike Brett, Water Conservation Coordinator
PHONE: 707-933-2247

Sonoma City Council Declares Stage 2 Water Shortage

All City of Sonoma water service area customers are required to reduce water use by 20% at their homes and businesses.

Brought on by a significant drought and reduction in water supply, City of Sonoma (City) is requiring a 20% reduction in water use system-wide beginning July 1, 2021.

City Council unanimously voted this week to enact the second phase of the City’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) in response to the June 14th State Water Resources Control Board order requiring Sonoma Water and its water contractors, including the City of Sonoma, to reduce total diversions from the Russian River by 20% compared to the same period of 2020 from July 1 through mid-December, 2021.

Sonoma Water formally notified the City of its 2021 Summer Allocations of water from the Russian River through the Sonoma Aqueduct last week. The table below shows the City’s use of water from the Sonoma Aqueduct for the past three years as well as the reduced allocation for 2021.

Sonoma Water Aqueduct (acre-feet)

2018 256.0 230.8 207.2 172.2
2019 225.7 235.2 222.8 191.6
2020 236.9 257.3 194.6 197.9
2018-2020 Avg 239.5 241.1 208.2 187.2
2021 (AF) 200.0 214.0 164.0 157.0

Water conservation by the City’s water customers will be needed to stay within the 2021 Summer Allocation amounts. Effective July 1st, all Sonoma residents, businesses, schools, and City facilities are required to cut their indoor and outdoor water use by 20% over 2020 levels. To meet the required reduction, the following actions will be prohibited beginning July 1, 2021:

•  Refilling or initial filling of a swimming pool from the City’s water system except as otherwise needed to maintain the water level for the proper operation of swimming pool pumps and filters;
•  Use of water for nonrecirculating ornamental fountains by commercial customers;
•  Noncommercial washing of privately owned motor vehicles, trailers, and boats except from a bucket and a hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle;
•  Any use of water from a fire hydrant except for fighting fires. Use for essential construction needs may be permitted by the director upon submittal of a permit application for construction water;
•  Use of potable water for dust control at construction sites; and
•  Residential and commercial irrigation except on Mondays and Thursdays from 8pm to 6am.

The following are exempt from irrigation restrictions:

•  Landscape irrigation zones that exclusively use drip irrigation systems
•  Watering or irrigating by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device, or for very short periods of time for the express purpose of adjusting or repairing an irrigation system
•  Irrigation of athletic fields
•  Irrigation of the City’s Plaza.

Turf irrigation in all other City parks will be restricted to two days per week.

While the Sonoma Municipal Code allows for various forms of enforcement, it is City staff’s intent to urge voluntary compliance rather than impose harsh penalties. Staff will initially enforce with reminders when violations are noticed in the normal course of City business. Direct mailed notices, media releases, and temporary signage will be provided to remind residents of the water restrictions in force.

More information, updates, and conservation resources  can be found at and

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