Water Conservation

Sonoma Valley is facing severe water challenges. Water is in short supply for many homes, farms and businesses, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  Conservation is one of the key strategies of a comprehensive solution to the Valley’s water challenges – and it’s something we can all do today.


1. Reduce irrigation by 20%.
2. Find and repair leaks now.
3. Inspect and tune up irrigation system monthly.
4. Irrigate between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss evaporation and wind.
5. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveway, deck and patio.
6. Use a bucket and a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when you wash the car.
7. Cover pools and hot tubs to reduce evaporation.
8. Use front-loading washing machines.
9. Run the dishwasher and clothes washer with full loads only.
10. Prevent and report water waste.



City of Sonoma Water Supply Self-Certification for 2016

The May 2016 Drought Emergency Water Conservation Regulation adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board allows local water conservation standards to be developed based on the City of Sonoma’s specific water supply circumstances. The regulation requires the City of Sonoma to conduct a “stress test” and self-certify the level of water supply available assuming three additional dry years mirroring the 2013, 2014 and 2015 water years. The third year supply projection is then compared to a future water demand based on the average of actual 2013 and 2014 calendar year demands to determine the amount of necessary water conservation.

City of Sonoma customers receive a majority of their water supply from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) supplemented with local water supply from local municipal wells. SCWA calculated water supply availability for the City of Sonoma and other urban water suppliers using the Russian River system based on the hydrology specified in the Emergency Regualtion described above.

More Information

SCWA calculated that after three additional drought years the available water supply stored in Lake Sonoma would be 178,398 Acre-Feet. The cumulative amount of water to be supplied to the City of Sonoma and other urban water suppliers receiving SCWA supply will be substantially lower than the available supply from Lake Sonoma and the local supply sources for each urban water supplier. For the City of Sonoma the analysis shows that 2,175 Acre-Feet will be needed and this water demand can be met with water supply available from Lake Sonoma and local municipal wells. Therefore, the City of Sonoma, along with the other urban water suppliers using the Russian River, have determined that no mandated water conservation is required from June 1 through January 2017 while the May 2016 Emergency Regulation remains in effect. This calculation is documented in the following spreadsheet.

Self-Certification of Supply Reliability pdf

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