There’s a Drought On Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa along with the rest of California is experiencing record low rainfall and dry weather conditions. In July 2014, the State adopted emergency drought regulations requiring all Californians to reduce water use and includes restrictions on outdoor water-use. 

Water Supply Update

As of April 13, 2015 our water supply in Lake Sonoma is slightly below normal for this time of year.

Santa Rosa continues to closely follow the State's emergency drought regulations and the Governor's Order to reduce water use 25% statewide.

For the complete water supply update and to learn more about our response and actions to comply with the Governor's order click here (English and Spanish update).

NEW Drought Restrictions  

On April 1, 2015 Governor Brown requested a 25% statewide reduction in water use, up 5% from last year’s request of 20%. The new restrictions reflect the need for more conservation as California’s drought continues. The Governor’s Order (read full text here) requires the State Water Board to require water providers to reduce usage to achieve a 25% statewide reduction in water use when compared to usage in 2013.

For more information on drought response throughout the state (click here).

Alert! Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions Apply 

Santa Rosa City Council adopted Stage 1 – Mandatory of the City's Water Shortage Plan on August 5, 2014 to comply with the State's drought emergency regulations. 

Mandatory water-use restrictions and prohibitions include: 

  • Outdoor irrigation must occur between 8pm and 6am
  • No washing down of hardscapes, unless required for public health and safety
  • No use of potable water for street washing
  • Must use shut-off hose nozzle on all garden and utility hoses
  • Restaurants must participate in the “water-on-request” program  
  • Hotels and motels must allow guests the option of not having linens and towels laundered daily
  • Fountains may only operate if water is recirculating
  • No irrigation allowed during and up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall   

If violations occur customers will be notified and required to address the issue at the customers expense. 

Drought FAQS

Water Waste Violations and Patrols

Water watch patrols, performed by City staff, are actively looking for water wasting behaviors. Water wasters will receive a written warning with 30 days to resolve the issue at the customer’s expense. If no solution is obtained the customer will receive a written violation with 15 days to comply or non-compliance may result in water service being turned off.

Help Turn the Water Off

The City of Santa Rosa is here to help with free water saving devices, free home and business check-ups, rebates, workshops, water saving tips, and more.  

Water Saving Tips and Rebates (click here)

Request Drought Outreach Materials (click here)

Water Supply Conditions

In an average year, Santa Rosa receives approximately 33 inches of rainfall. In 2013, Santa Rosa received less than 6 inches of rainfall, following two years of below average rainfall. Dry conditions throughout California have led to low regional water supply levels in Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino. These reservoirs provide flow into the Russian River for drinking water, fire protection, agricultural, recreation, and habitat for fish and other species. Lake Sonoma is the main source of drinking water for the City of Santa Rosa.

Current Water Supply Level (as of 3/21/2015)

  • Lake Mendocino is at 81% of capacity
  • Lake Sonoma is at 86% of capacity

For up to date information on water supply conditions visit the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Current Water Supply Levels page.

Santa Rosa will continue to monitor water supply by working closely with the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership to implement appropriate water conservation programs. 

Recycled Water Supply

Santa Rosa's Laguna Treatment Plant produces tertiary treated recycled water for use in urban and agricultural irrigation, as well as to recharge the Geysers steamfields to produce renewable energy. As a result of fewer storms and reduced potable water use, storage levels for recycled water are below normal.  

To minimize the impacts of low  storage levels for recycled water Santa Rosa is working closely with our regional partners to develop an action plan to extend the recycled water supply.

Water Shortage Contingency Plan

On August 5, 2014 Santa Rosa adopted Stage 1 - 20% Mandatory of the City's Water Shortage Plan. The Water Shortage Plan outlines how the City will respond to and manage further reductions in water supply for the community.  The Implementation Plan identifies four water supply reduction Stages (Stage 1- 4) and details consumption limits, water shortage rates, and water use prohibitions applied during each of the Stages. For more information on the Water Shortage Contingency Plan click here 

Drought Messaging

The City of Santa Rosa is a partner in the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (Partnership), which consists of the of 10 water providers in Sonoma and Marin counties that have joined together to provide a regional approach to water-use efficiency.  The Partnership has launched an aggressive outreach campaign– “There’s a Drought On.  Turn the Water Off” . 

Visit www.wateroff.org for additional information on the Partnership, the outreach campaign and for water saving tips and rebate programs.

For More Information

Call (707)543-3985  Email wue@srcity.org  Visit www.srcity.org/wue



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 Water Shortage Links