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What is allowed, still not allowed now that Santa Rosa has ended its drought emergency

in Community

With Santa Rosa’s drought emergency ending, residents will be allowed to water their lawn any time of day and will soon be able to clean their patios and driveways without water restrictions.

But some measures remain in effect.

Water users must comply with statewide water savings measures issued by the State Water Resources Control Board. State measures call for residential and commercial water users to reduce their water use by prohibiting or limiting:

— Washing vehicles without a shut-off nozzle.

— Washing hard surfaces like driveways or sidewalks.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

California reservoir levels still measuring low after the rainfall

in Community

While the last rainstorm was good news for California’s water storage, the state is not out of the drought yet.

Lexington Reservoir in Los Gatos rose 10 feet after the last storm, but it is still less than 30% capacity. Reservoirs across the state are also measuring well below average.

Continue Reading on Fox

Sonoma County Government: Sonoma Water Files Petition To Maximize Reservoir Storage

in Community

The Potter Valley Project (PVP) diverts water from the Eel River through a tunnel and hydropower facility operated by PG&E. The water flows through the Potter Valley and into Lake Mendocino. Typically, the water supply condition, which establishes minimum instream flows in the Russian River, is determined by inflow into Lake Pillsbury, located upstream of the Potter Valley Project. But because the water imported from the Eel River into the Russian River will be greatly diminished due to the hydropower plant failure, there will be little to no correlation between cumulative inflow into Lake Pillsbury and the hydrologic conditions in the Russian River watershed.

Continue Reading on Patch

Sonoma and California Face Major Long Range Problems: Coronavirus and Drought!

in People

The Plague affects us all. Each day the local papers tell of us that “help is coming!” Yet, no clear direction has been given of what to do. At the same time reports arrive of citizens in other counties having access to inoculations. Hopefully delivery systems in Sonoma County will soon be active and lives will be saved.

Will there be water rationing?

The second problem facing all citizens, not agriculture alone, is the coming drought. This writer doesn’t know how little rain must fall for authorities to officially declare a drought exists. However, at this point in the rain year we may be there. The Santa Rosa PD reviewed the problem in a January Sunday edition (Jan. 17, 2021). Our water supplies from Lakes Mendocino and Sonoma are significantly dry and below normal.

One can view the seriousness of the problem by looking at rainfall figures here in the Springs. This writer has registered rainfall (or lack of it) every day with CoCoRAHS (Community Coordinated Rain and Hail Studies at Colorado State University) since rain year 2004-05. The data is transmitted to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Continue Reading on Sonoma County Gazette

Santa Rosa mulls enforcement action at apartment complex without hot water

in People

Santa Rosa may force a large apartment complex to house tenants in a hotel after property managers offered up two vacant units for showers to make up for days without hot water, despite the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Code enforcement staff Monday and Tuesday investigated two separate water-related issues affecting residents of the 390-unit Annadel Apartments complex on Jennings Avenue in north Santa Rosa, according to Jesse Oswald, the city’s chief building official.

Not having running water, in the cold of December or in any month, flies in the face of California’s health and safety codes for habitable spaces.

“For something like this, we would want them to get it taken care of as immediately as possible,” Oswald said.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Unsafe to drink: Wildfires threaten rural towns with tainted water

in People

The damage to water systems can linger for years. The cost in just one small town: as much as $150 million.

For more than a month after a wildfire raced through his lakeside community and destroyed his Napa County home, Kody Petrini couldn’t drink the water from the taps. He wasn’t even supposed to boil it.

And, worried about harming his 16-month-old, Petrini wouldn’t wash his youngest son Levi with it. Instead, he took the extraordinary precaution of bathing him in bottled water.

Continue Reading on The Counter

Santa Rosa Neighborhood Faces Water Crisis After Fire Evacuations

in People

SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — Apart from wildfires, residents in one Santa Rosa neighborhood are dealing with another crisis: it could be weeks before people have access to  safe drinking water.

The flames were coming over a ridge when a group of men, led by a retired Cal Fire firefighter, saved more than 35 homes in the Stonegate neighborhood on Brand Road just off Hwy 12. They held off the flames until a full strike team arrived to take over.

What they could not save was the water well pump and holding tank at the top of the hill which supplied water to the entire subdivision. It was all destroyed and must be now replaced.

Continue Reading on CBS SF Bayarea

Unsafe to drink: Wildfires threaten rural California towns with tainted water

in News

For more than a month after a wildfire raced through his lakeside community and destroyed his Napa County home, Kody Petrini couldn’t drink the water from the taps. He wasn’t even supposed to boil it.

And, worried about harming his 16-month-old, Petrini wouldn’t wash his youngest son Levi with it. Instead, he took the extraordinary precaution of bathing him in bottled water.

Among the largest wildfires in California history, the LNU Lightning Complex fires killed five people and destroyed nearly 1,500 structures — including whole blocks of the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood where Petrini’s home stood.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Sonoma County Water-Wise Gardening & Firescaping, designing home landscape to reduce vulnerability to fire

in People

As we experience the “new normal” of destructive wildfires paired with recent record-breaking temperatures over the past few years in California, it’s easy to feel hopeless about the effects of climate change. According to Climate Ready Sonoma County: Climate Hazards and Vulnerabilities, a report prepared by North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative for the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority, climate change will affect Sonoma County by bringing higher average temperatures, more extreme heat events, more frequent and intense droughts, and more variable rain. This water year, Sonoma County only received one-third of our average annual rainfall, making it the third driest year on record for the last 127 years.

One small way to help our community mitigate and adapt to climate change is through gardening. Our residential landscapes are an opportunity to plant beautiful, low water use plants that attract bees and butterflies, and provide food and shelter for local birds. Our gardens are also an opportunity to slow, sink and spread rainwater offsetting water quality impacts to our creeks, and to provide shade for our sidewalks and houses to reduce high temperatures. Residential landscapes can also help reduce a property’s vulnerability to fire. Firescaping, the idea of designing a home landscape in such a way to reduce vulnerability to fire, can benefit the whole community.

Continue Reading on Sonoma County Gazette

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