Our watershed is currently experiencing what may become the driest period ever recorded, but we can all do our part to preserve and extend our water supply through this dry period.
This winter, following a year of well below average rainfall totals, Santa Rosa Water preemptively launched a Winter WaterSmart Campaign to encourage water-saving behaviors. As rainfall totals remained low in 2020/21, for the second consecutive year, Santa Rosa began messaging to customers about the extremely dry weather in early spring to raise awareness and connect customers with water-saving resources. To encourage continued conservation, Santa Rosa City Council will consider adopting a 20% voluntary community-wide water conservation target on May 18.
In recognition of the ongoing drought conditions, below average rainfall and reservoir storage, California Governor Gavin Newsom officially declared a regional drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino counties on April 21, 2021. Sonoma Water, the wholesale water supplier to Santa Rosa and the region, has two reservoirs, Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma, which provide the majority of the region’s water supply and are at the lowest levels ever recorded for this time of year. To preserve water supply, it is anticipated that Sonoma Water will file an additional Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) with the State Water Resources Control Board in May. If approved by the state, the TUCP would maintain reduced flows in the upper Russian River Watershed and include reduced flows in Dry Creek and the Lower Russian River.
Water Waste Prohibitions
Santa Rosa’s Water Waste Ordinance prohibits waste of water due to breaks, leaks, or excess use. This includes:
- Leaking faucets, toilets, and appliances.
- Broken irrigation pipes, leaking irrigation valves, or broken sprinkler heads.
- Water runoff from your property outdoors. For example, overwatering your yard or mis-directed sprinklers that “water” sidewalks and runoff into gutters is considered water waste.
Santa Rosa Water is here to help you save water with tips, free water-saving devices, rebates, and more.
Outdoor Water-Saving Tips
- Make sure all hoses have an automatic shut off nozzle (we provide free nozzles!).
- Limit irrigation to the hours of 8pm to 6am (less evaporation).
- Use the City’s weekly WaterSmart irrigation recommendations to adjust irrigation schedules.
- Replace high water use turf with low water use landscaping (contact us first – you could get a rebate!)
- Sweep hard surfaces instead of using water (driveways, sidewalks, patios).
- If you need to get your car washed, go to sites that recycled the water.
- Cover pools and spas when not in use to prevent evaporation.
- Install a greywater system so you can reuse your laundry water to irrigate your yard (contact us first – you could get a rebate!).
- Install rainwater capture system so you can reuse rain water later (contact us first – you could get a rebate!).
Indoor Water-Saving Tips
- Complete a do-it-yourself WaterSmart check up (we provide kits!).
- Check toilets for leaks every few months (we provide free dye tabs!)
- Replace old showerheads with high efficiency models (we provide these to customers for free!).
- Fix leaks quickly.
- Replace old faucet aerators with high efficiency fixtures (we provide these to customers for free!)
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth or shaving.
- Only run dishwashers and clothes washers with full loads.
- Install hot water recirculating pumps (contact us first – you could get a rebate!).
Ever wondered how efficient your property is? Learn how to check your indoor water using appliances, measure the flow rates of all showerheads and faucets, check toilet flush volumes, and check for possible leaks. Free showerheads, faucet aerators and toilet flappers are provided upon request.
Santa Rosa Water has increased its Cash for Grass rebate. Now removing a square foot of grass will earn you $0.75 with a maximum rebate of $750 and save you approximately 5,500 gallons of water each year. A pre-inspection is required before any work is started though, so call 707-543-3985 today to schedule an appointment.
Ever wondered how much water you use in a day? Washing your hands, bathing, brushing your teeth, showering, cooking, cleaning, flushing … the list goes on. By implementing a few WaterSmart actions to your daily routine, you can conserve more than 20 gallons of water a day. Let the Water Savings Calculator show you exactly how much water you can save daily with simple tips!
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