2012 State Water board Order
The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) is our region's water provider and supplies nearly all of Santa Rosa's drinking water. Our water supply comes from the Russian River and SCWA is responsible for managing and operating the Russian River system, which includes Lake Sonoma, Lake Mendocino and Dry Creek. In addition to providing water supply, the SCWA must manage the Russian River system to meet the needs of the aquatic life living in the Russian River, including three endangered fish species, and to provide flows for recreational purposes. The amount of water that can be taken from the Russian River system for water supply and the amount of flow that must remain in the Russian River for aquatic life and recreational purposes is governed by permits issued by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board).
To help protect the three endangered fish species, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a Biological Opinion regarding the operation of the Russian River system, requiring SCWA to implement a number of measures to restore the fish population and habitat. Included is a requirement for SCWA to petition the State Board every year to allow reduced flow in the Russian River during the months of June through October.
In April 2012, SCWA petitioned the State Board for a reduction in flows this summer. The State Board issued an Order approving the flow reduction from May 2nd through October 15th and also requiring SCWA to work with its customers to provide an update on water conservation activities.
How does the State Board Order affect Santa Rosa utility customers?
The Utilities Department is asking all customers to use water efficiently by continuing the same water use efficiency measures and habits that were implemented these last few years.
Does the State Board Order require a reduction in water use this summer?
The State Board Order does not require a reduction in water use this summer.
How can I get assistance in reducing my water use?
The Water Use Efficiency Program offers many incentive and rebate programs to assist customers in reducing their outdoor water use. Click here for information on these assistance programs.
How can I get more information on the State Board Order?
Click here for a copy of this year' State Board Order. For additional information or to answer any questions regarding how the State Board Order affects Santa Rosa customers this summer, please call the Water Use Efficiency Hotline at 707-543-3985.
Conservation successful - Thank you! (October 6th)
Thank you to our customers for doing a great job reducing water use this summer. Due to the incredible response by our customers, we have been successful in meeting and surpassing the Stage 1 community-wide goal. In addition, due to your efforts, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the City's wholesale water supplier, has been successful in preserving water supply in Lake Mendocino as well as meeting the requirements of the State Board Order to reduce Russian River diversions by 25% from June 15 - October 2, compared to the same time period in 2004.
On September 29th, the City Council declared an end to the water shortage emergency and rescinded Stage 1 effective October 3rd. The City highly encourages customers to continue using water efficiently and to make these summer efficiency measures a lifelong habit. For more information on the numerous water conservation rebate, incentive and assistance programs that the City offers or to take advantage of these programs, please click here.