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Drinking Water

We don’t have enough water

in News

100,000 acre feet.

That’s the new benchmark Sonoma Water, the agency responsible for providing drinking water to more than 600,000 customers people in Sonoma County and beyond, has set for its customers.

Lake Sonoma can’t go below that number.

“This is a concrete threshold,” said Barry Dugan, Principal Program Specialist with Sonoma Water. “This is the same message: We don’t have enough water.”

As of September 23, Lake Sonoma sat at 45.3% capacity, holding 110,492 acre feet.

Dugan urges residents to turn off irrigation early, especially as we get into the winter months. Learn about key water saving tips at savingwaterpartnershiporg.

Continue Reading on Sonoma Gazette

The ‘Burn Scars’ of Wildfires Threaten the West’s Drinking Water

in News

Colorado saw its worst fire season last year, with the three largest fires in state history and more than 600,000 acres burned. But some of the effects didn’t appear until this July, when heavy rain pushed sediment from damaged forests down mountainsides, causing mudslides that shut down sections of Interstate 70 for almost two weeks.

Immense quantities of sediment choked the rivers that supply most of the state’s water. In western Colorado’s Glenwood Springs, the water became so murky that the town twice had to shut off the valves that pump water from nearby rivers to avoid overwhelming its filtration system. City managers sent alerts to the town’s 10,000 residents, telling them to minimize water use until the sediment moved downstream.

Wildfires and their lasting effects are becoming a way of life in the West as climate change and management practices cause fires to increase in number, intensity and acreage burned, while extending the length of the fire season. In “burn scars,” where fires decimated forest systems that held soil in place, an increase in droughts followed by heavy rainfall poses a different kind of threat to the water supplies that are essential to the health of communities.

Continue Reading on KHN

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