November 2016

Water Agency Welcomes Director-Elect Hopkins

Lynda Hopkins was elected to serve as the 5th District Supervisor for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, which also serves as the Water Agency Board of Directors.  Director-elect Hopkins graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor’s Degree in Coastal Land Use and a Master’s Degree in Land Use Policy, before starting a family vegetable farm with her husband Emmett in the Russian River Valley. Director-elect Hopkins has worked in the community as the Executive Director of Sonoma County Farm Trails, as a community journalist with Sonoma West Publishers, and as a Board Secretary of Farm to Pantry. Director-elect Hopkins will replace Director Efren Carrillo, who served the Water Agency and Sonoma County for eight years.

Russian River Fish Ladder and Viewing Gallery, more tours to be scheduled in 2017

This October, the Sonoma County Water Agency was proud to open the Russian River Fish Ladder and Viewing Gallery in the heart of the water transmission system along the Russian River. The Fish Ladder allows many species of fish, including the endangered and threatened Steelhead Trout, Coho Salmon, and Chinook Salmon, to navigate around an inflatable rubber dam. The Viewing Gallery provides a submarine view of the river, and allows students and members of the public to view fish migration and other wildlife.

Members of the public are invited to view the Russian River Fish Ladder and Viewing Gallery by registering for a public tour. There are currently no upcoming tours scheduled, but more tours will be planned in the spring of 2017.

For more information please visit the public tour website.

Local Reservoir Levels – Wet Fall Continues to Fill Reservoirs

Below are the latest water supply and rainfall totals as of November 29, 2016.

Water Supply:
Lake Mendocino: 90% of targeted water supply storage
Lake Sonoma: 89% of reservoir capacity

Current Rainfall:
Average (1894-2016 water years) 5.92”
Current Water Year: 9.67” which is 163.34% of average

Santa Rosa:
Average (1950-2016 water years) 5.16"
Current Water Year:  11.65” which is 225.77% of average

To view current water supply information please visit our website.

Final public hearings for Fish Flow Project, Comment Period ends in February 2017

On November 16th and 17th, members of the community had two final chances to attend hearings about the Fish Habitat Flows and Water Rights Project (Fish Flow Project) Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The Fish Flow Project, released by the Sonoma County Water Agency, would lower minimum flow requirements in the Russian River to benefit threatened and endangered juvenile fish, change the hydrologic index to better reflect watershed conditions, and secure existing rights to 75,000 acre feet of water used to provide drinking water to 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties.

To submit additional comments please note that all written comments are due by 5 p.m., February 14, 2017 and can be sent to or to Sonoma County Water Agency, Attn: Fish Flow DEIR., 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

For more information please visit the Water Agency website.

Sewer Lateral Ordinance Update - rebates and inspections may be available for qualified residents

The Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District hosted two Community Meetings in October to discuss a proposed ordinance aimed at preventing sewer overflows that occur during heavy rains. A major factor in sanitary sewer overflows is what is known as “inflow and infiltration” as stormwater enters the sewer collection system during storms. Inflow from aging sewer mains and private sewer laterals contribute to these overflows.

The proposed Sewer Lateral Ordinance would require property owners of homes and businesses that are 30 years or older to have private sewer laterals inspected and repaired, if necessary, in order to prevent sewer overflows that contribute to pollution and result in costly fines to the District. An estimated two-thirds of the sewer laterals in Sonoma Valley are at least 30 years old and likely in need of repair.

Under the proposed ordinance, the District will offer free inspections of private sewer laterals to property owners, and for a limited time will offer rebates of up to $1,000 for repairs. A low-interest loan program is also being considered that would allow qualified property owners to pay for repairs over a period of several years.

For more information about private sewer laterals, follow this link.

For more information about the SVCSD, go to our website.

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