Last year, a woman from Seattle had spent enough time in Sonoma County that she became fascinated with how committed people are to our home, how much in love with Sonoma County so many people are, and how we approach conflicts that put us at odds with each other.
Judie Messier is in the business of Conflict Resolution, so her fascination became a study in Sonoma County’s biggest issue - water. She approached Gazette community columnists and me, then embarked on a series of interviews with people who are in some way impacted by our water shortage, and for some - have the ability to shape how our county deals with water, water services, water conservation and water use.
Meetings Slated to Update Well Owners on New Groundwater Agencies
A series of community meetings are scheduled to update well owners and others on the creation of three new agencies to locally implement California's new groundwater law. The meetings will take place in Sonoma County's three groundwater basins immediately affected by California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA): Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma Valley and Petaluma Valley (meeting details below).
“During the dry years, the people forgot about the rich years, and when the wet years returned, they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.” John Steinbeck, East of Eden.
Will we reduce our water use permanently or be unprepared for the next drought?
County Storm Update #3: County Emergency Operations Center To Deactivate Friday, 2/10/17 at 6pm
Heavy rainfall from a large atmospheric river resulted in several wastewater overflows within the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (District). Nearly 2 inches of rain was measured during a 24-hour period ending Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Sonoma Valley wastewater treatment plant. Other areas of the valley reported 3 inches of rain overnight.
Last month I wrote about how the Russian River has lost 75% of its former area and how that has eliminated thousands of acres of upstream flood storage. We saw this fact play out in the January flooding in the lower Russian River and Santa Rosa plain. During post-flood cleanups over several weeks we witnessed the reality of having no off-ramps for pollutants like sediment. Instead of ending up in wetlands or floodplains upstream, it ended up covering everything in the lower river that was under water with a slimy fine mud, when the floodwater dropped. The good news is all that water will help in improving conditions for recreation and our endangered salmon this coming summer.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Agrees to Hold Back Water in Lake Mendocino
Minor deviation will save 5,825 acre-feet behind Coyote Valley Dam
Emergency Operations Center continues to respond to flood recovery and monitoring upcoming storm
While another winter storm is expected to hit Sonoma County starting Wednesday, January 18, the California Nevada River Forecast Center does not forecast flooding of the Russian River as a result. River levels are expected to remain at normal level (below 28.5 feet) throughout the week and into the weekend. The County’s Emergency Operations Center continues to remain active to assist with flood recovery efforts and provide updated information on this coming storm to Sonoma County residents.