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Santa Rosa Water has been very active in outreach to our customers since we first launched a winter WaterSmart campaign in November 2020 and then transitioned to dry weather outreach beginning in February 2021. In May, Santa Rosa launched a robust drought outreach campaign in unison with the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and the Santa City Council adopted a 20% voluntary community-wide water use reduction target on May 18. On June 29th, the City Council declared a drought emergency and adopted a mandatory 20% community-wide water use reduction with prohibitions and restrictions that will help achieve this target.
Overall, as a community, we need to reduce water use by 20%. It is important that we all do our part to save water. Every gallon or drop saved preserves water in our local reservoirs. The City of Santa Rosa has adopted Stage 3 of our Water Shortage Contingency Plan consistent with a 20% reduction in water supplies available from Sonoma Water, our regional water supply wholesaler. The mandatory 20% reduction over 2020 levels in water use is a collective, community-wide, target and not necessarily an individual target. Individual water customers are asked to conserve water, comply with mandated restrictions, take advantage of the City's water conservation rebate programs, and eliminate and report water waste. Water waste, like leaks and breaks or overspray from irrigation are always prohibited per our long-standing Water Waste Ordinance.
The following prohibitions and restrictions are in place as a result of the institution of Stage 3 of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan:
The City's Water Shortage Contingency Plan includes an exemption process should you need relief from the prohibitions for health, safety, or other critical factor.
If a customer or business wishes to request an exemption from a water use prohibition or restriction, the customer must file a request in writing to:
Deputy Director, Water Resources
Santa Rosa Water
69 Stony Circle
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
The Deputy Director or designee will decide on the matter within 30 calendar days of receiving the request.
The request should include:
If a customer is not satisfied with the decision, an appeal may be filed within 30 days of the decision to:
Director of Santa Rosa Water
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
The Director will decide on the matter within 30 calendar days of receiving the appeal. The Director's decision is final.
Santa Rosa Water appreciates all our customers that have made permanent and significant efforts to reduce water use. If you have already eliminated water waste and are using water as efficiently as possible indoors and outdoors, thank you! We encourage you to continue doing so. If you're interested in exploring whether there are additional ways you can reduce water use during this drought, please visit our Water Smart Center at srcity.org/WaterSmart for potential ideas (and check out our rebate programs!).
We also request that all residents practice water-saving behaviors, look for opportunities to replace inefficient water using appliances, and consider transforming turf grass into low water use landscapes. Santa Rosa Water offers free water-saving devices, rebates, tips, and more to help customers reduce water use. Need assistance? Contact a WaterSmart technician today at WaterSmart@scrity.org or call 707-543-3985.
Home water use varies based on the number of occupants, habits, and the efficiency level of water using fixtures installed. Home water use also fluctuates seasonally based on the size and type of irrigated landscape, with outdoor use accounting for approximately 50 percent of annual water use for single-family residences even though most irrigation occurs only during the six months from May through October. To determine how efficient your water use is, check your water bill. Every bill provides information on the gallons per person per day used during the billing period.
Indoor water use can typically be met using no more than 50 gallons per person per day, with more efficient homes using as little as 25-30 gallons per person per day. For a family of four, average indoor use ranges from around 3,000 gallons to 6,000 gallons per month. Even if you aren't sure about your usage per day, you can help us achieve our critical goal of reducing water use community-wide by 20%. Please visit srcity.org/WaterSmart for a list of tips and rebates to help you eliminate water waste, reduce water use, and improve water use efficiency.
Water for landscapes can double water use from May to October. We offer weather-based watering recommendations and can complete a Water Smart outdoor assessment to help you irrigate more efficiently. We also offer rebates for some irrigation system improvements and for converting turf grass to low water use landscaping. Contact a WaterSmart technician at WaterSmart@scrity.org or call 707-543-3985 before starting a project to make sure it meets requirements to be eligible for a rebate.
Santa Rosa Water is requiring a 20% community-wide water conservation reduction, compared to 2020 water use. This is a community-wide target, and we're asking everyone to do what they can to help. As a City, we will report total City-wide water use to Sonoma Water on a monthly basis, , but Santa Rosa Water is not reviewing individual customer's water use on a monthly basis to confirm compliance. We ask that all customers do their part to save water, to the maximum extent possible at your house or business, and comply with all water use prohibitions and restrictions to help our region save 20%.
Recently, Santa Rosa Water launched the new WaterSmart Portal. With the water meter upgrade project complete and all 53,000 water customers connected to AMI (advanced metering infrastructure), customers can now track and analyze hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly water use, create customized notifications for high usage, and access water-saving tools. A postcard was mailed from Santa Rosa Water in the month of June encouraging customers to sign up. Registration is easy. To get started, all a customer needs is their customer number, account number, and last billed amount from their water bill.
More information is available at srcity.org/WaterSmartPortal
For customers that haven’t yet signed up for the WaterSmart Portal, information is also available on your water bill. Every bill provides information on the gallons per person per day used during the billing period.
Yes, Santa Rosa is enforcing the following prohibitions and restrictions on water use:
The City has implemented water waste patrols to identify properties that are not complying with the City's prohibition on water waste. When water waste is identified, Santa Rosa Water will contact property owners to inform them of the issue and to provide education and resources for efficient irrigation practices. Customers are responsible for managing and repairing their irrigation systems to avoid overspray, runoff and excessive use.
If water waste is occurring at a property, try to contact them first. If you are unable to contact the property or identify which property is responsible, report the issue to Santa Rosa by going to srcity.org/WaterWaste. Our technicians will investigate the matter and follow up as needed. You can report water waste that you see anywhere in the City to our team.
Although washing vehicles at home is allowed with some measures in place, Santa Rosa Water recommends taking all cars to a professional car wash for a few reasons. One reason is to save water -a professional car wash uses less water per car than a home car wash with the hose running. The second reason is that wash water has the potential to transport materials attached to the vehicle such as soap, metal shavings from brake dust and rotors, vehicle fluids (engine oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid) and road contaminants to the storm drain. These can be harmful to water quality and creek habitats.
If you wash at home, and have considered alternative discharge methods, such as discharging to the sewer, and those are not possible, the following practices are recommended:
If you see someone washing their car at home, please share these tips or direct them to streetstocreeks.org for more information.
Customers who reduce their water usage will see a decrease in the water usage portion of their monthly water bill.
The City offers many programs and incentives to assist customers in reducing water use, eliminating water waste, and improving water use efficiency. In addition to the rebates and incentives listed below, the City’s Water Use Efficiency team provides FREE do-it-yourself WaterSmart Home check-up kits and in-person outdoor on-site visits to assess irrigation efficiency and make recommendations.
For more information contact the Water Use Efficiency team at 707-543-3985 or WaterSmart@srcity.org.
Water supplies will continue to decrease if we do not have significant rain this fall and winter. Based on available regional water supply from Sonoma Water, the City may need to implement additional restrictions on water use as defined in the City’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan.
Every water supplier is affected by water supply shortages differently. Some water providers can store greater volumes of water or have access to more local supplies, such as groundwater or recycled water. Water use and customer type also varies from water supplier to water supplier. To respond to dry conditions, all water suppliers in California have Water Shortage Contingency Plans, which define actions to meet anticipated water supply shortfalls of up to 50%.
Other Sonoma County agencies that purchase water from Sonoma Water must also reduce their water purchases from Sonoma Water by at least a 20%. Check with the individual city or water district to determine the level of reduction required.
The City of Santa Rosa’s prudent and cost-effective long-term water supply planning means that occurrences of single and multiple dry years do not automatically mean water supply capacity is limited for planned development. The City’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (Shortage Plan) outlines how the City will respond to a reduction in water supply deliveries from Sonoma Water, our wholesale water supplier. Restrictions on new development can be activated if the City experiences a water shortage of 30% or greater. In such circumstances, the Shortage Plan requires new development to have a zero-net impact on water demand, by offsetting new water demand from their projects.
Additional information is available online at srcity.org/SaveWater or by calling the Water Use Efficiency Program at 707-543-3985. For more information on your water bill or to update the number of residents in your household, please call Santa Rosa Water at 707-543-3150.