October 2016

They're Back! Chinook Return!

They're back!  Russian River adult Chinook salmon have returned.  For the past 15 years the Water Agency has operated underwater video cameras to count adult Chinook.  The average annual count is about 3,000 Chinook but as many as, 6,700 have been observed in a single season.

Chinook, which are a threatened species, spend one to three years at sea where they can reach 40 pounds or more.  Adults return to the Russian River to spawn in the fall and early winter.  They construct a nest in the stream bed and deposit thousands of eggs into the nest.  The eggs incubate for several weeks before hatching.  The hatchlings live in the gravel for a few weeks.  Then they emerge from the gravel and live in the stream for a few months before moving downstream and out to sea.

For more information, please visit our fisheries webpage.

Water Supply Update

Lake Mendocino:  89% of targeted water supply

Lake Sonoma:  86% of water supply capacity

Installation of Isolation Valves Begins

There is a 63 percent probability that the San Francisco Bay Region will experience a magnitude 6.7 earthquake between 2007 and 2036.  In order to mitigate the risk from significant seismic events, the Sonoma County Water Agency has been awarded a $1,930,181 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to install 14 isolation valves throughout the water transmission system.  These isolation valves will increase the Water Agency’s operational capacity to restore reliable water supply, minimize risk to life and property, maximize the number of residents who can remain in service, and prevent water quality impairment that could likely result from a transmission pipeline failure immediately following a major seismic event.

Installation of these isolation valves began this month at sites throughout Sonoma County. Construction at each site will take two to three weeks, with no anticipated water service interruptions for residents.

Fore more information, visit our website.

Explore the Power of Maps at GIS Day

The Sonoma County Water Agency, along with Sonoma County, and Piner High School’s Geospatial Program, are sponsoring GIS Day on November 16th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa.  GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.  This free event is open to the public and showcases how GIS is being used in your community, and at local schools.

For more information about the data, events, exhibitors, presentations, and educational opportunities for school children, please visit the North Bay GIS Users Group website.

Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership Selected for national WaterSense Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership with a 2016 WaterSense® Excellence Award and Partner of the Year Award as a leader in saving water for future generations.  The Partnership, which represents 11 utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties, including the Sonoma County Water Agency, were honored at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference on October 6, 2016, for promoting water efficiency and the WaterSense program in 2015.

The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership was responsible for several influential projects during 2015, which were acknowledged through these awards.  In 2015, the Partnership worked to expand its WaterSense labeled Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification program. The Partnership promoted WaterSense labeled products through its Drought Drive-Up events which allowed 1,200 participants to build their own custom drought tool kit made up of WaterSense labeled shower heads and other water saving products. 

For more information about this award, please see SCWA's Press Release.

For more information about WaterSense®, please visit this website.

Medicine Disposal Ordinance in Development

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, also serving as the Water Agency's Board of Directors, has directed the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, and the Safe Medicine Disposal Collaborative to develop an ordinance by the end of 2016 which could require pharmaceutical companies to provide sustainable funding for the Safe Medicine Disposal Program in Sonoma County.

Based on the concept of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), the ordinance under consideration could require pharmaceutical companies to develop, implement, and pay for the collection, transportation, and final destruction of the products they manufacture or distribute.

For more information, or to find a Safe Medicine Disposal Site, please visit this website.

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