The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
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Water News and Issues

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Sonoma County Water Agency - Russian River Fish Ladder YOUR COMMENTS NEEDED by January 29th
January 2, 2013
The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) recently released an environmental analysis of a proposed fish screen and fish ladder at its water supply facilities on the Russian River near Forestville.
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Sonoma County Groundwater recharge map Into the Future - Judie Messier Interviews Sonoma County
February 1, 2015

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.

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Beach Watch volunteers documenting dead birds Who Won When We Banned Plastic Bags?
October 30, 2014
We are Beach Watch. This is a program brought forth by the Gulf of the Farralones National Marine Sanctuary. We are the monitors for our coast; we look for and record living and dead animals on our beaches. We are also the volunteer coordinators for debris cleanup for the Sonoma Coast State Park and the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
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Fix a leak week dripping faucet Sonoma County Fix a Leak Week Photo Contest
March 19, 2013
by Brad Sherwood - SCWA
Fix a Leak Week officially kicked off in Sonoma County and across the nation.  The Water Agency’s Board of Directors last week declared March 18th through the 24th as Fix a Leak Week in Sonoma County. The annual water awareness campaign is sponsored nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program.
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Laguna de Santa Rosa - Lynn Millar Partners for Better Water
October 4, 2012
On Thursday, September 20th, a group that has been working together for decades marked the start of a new program to responsibly manage water and nutrients in the Russian River. The participants and interested parties met at the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant in Santa Rosa to mark the start of a municipal water quality credit trading market mechanism. Partners in this group include dairymen, municipal utilities, local resource conservation districts, regulators, and interested citizens.
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Recycled Water Runoff - Brenda Adleman Recycled Water vs. Clean Water
October 4, 2012
by Brenda Adelman
Water Supply needs prioritized over clean water: Increased State approved recycled wastewater may run off into city streets next summer as regulatory oversight is about to become less rigorous, reflecting strong pressures to increase wastewater reuse to stretch the summer potable water supplies.  The goal is to offset California’s potable water use by 2.5 million acre feet (about 812 billion gallons) with irrigated wastewater by the year 2030.
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Public Meeting on Local Fish Habitat Restoration Projects Public Meeting on Local Fish Habitat Restoration Projects
March 7, 2017
On Monday, March 13, the Public Policy Facilitating Committee (PPFC) will take a virtual tour of milestones and projects that are helping to restore endangered and threatened fish to the Russian River watershed, while maintaining the region’s primary water supply (meeting details below).
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Applications Being Accepted for TeenNat Pepperwood’s Youth Summer Conservation Science Internship Applications Being Accepted for TeenNat Pepperwood’s Youth Summer Conservation Science Internship
March 1, 2017
While some teens will be spending their days playing video games, this summer young people at Pepperwood will have fun exploring the forests and grasslands, chaparral and ponds, all while collecting critical conservation data to be used by researchers around the world.
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Slow it. Spread it. Sink it. The S4 Guide for Water Conservation Slow it. Spread it. Sink it. The S4 Guide for Water Conservation
March 1, 2017
It is apparent from the recent onslaught of storms, and extensive damage from flooding and erosion, that being prepared for this variable weather is key to protecting property and natural resources.
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OUR WATER Future at Risk- Lake Sonoma OUR WATER Future at Risk
March 1, 2017

“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?

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Russian River Confluence What IS - What Could Be
March 1, 2017
You might have caught wind of an upcoming event; the Russian River Confluence March 24th at SRJC’s Shone Farm and wonder what is this all about?
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Russian River Crests at Monte Rio Bridge Russian River Crests, Clean-Up Begins
February 10, 2017

County Storm Update #3: County Emergency Operations Center To Deactivate Friday, 2/10/17 at 6pm

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Sweetwater Springs Water District Drinking Water Warning for the Guerneville Water System
February 9, 2017
If we need to operate our wells while the flood water is up, the District will notify Guerneville customers via automated telephone message system that a Precautionary Drinking Water Warning is in effect. We will also advise local public agencies, and the media. Additionally there will be signs with the announcement of the warning set out in various areas of downtown Guerneville, Rio Nido, Vacation Beach, Neeley Road, Guernewood Park, etc.
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Heavy Rains Cause Sonoma Valley Wastewater Overflows Heavy Rains Cause Sonoma Valley Wastewater Overflows
February 7, 2017

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.


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Riverkeeper View of Fish-Flow  & Water Rights Project - Part 2 Riverkeeper View of Fish-Flow & Water Rights Project - Part 2
February 1, 2017

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.

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Lake Mendocino water storage retained for future needs Lake Mendocino water storage retained for future needs
January 26, 2017

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

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Russian River settles down after flood stage Sonoma County Storm Update #10
January 17, 2017

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.

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Flooded Road in Forestville Sonoma County Storm Clean-up and Follow-Up
January 15, 2017
Although there is always room for improvement, this flood, although not at record levels, had much less damage and need for emergencies services than past floods. However, there are some landslides that took out rural roads that will be very expensive to repair. There are culverts that could have been kept clear but were clogged with debris that could have been cleared out prior to winter rains. But all-in-all, this winter storm resulted in much less damage that in previous years and that’s the result of pro-active efforts on the part of many people and county services.
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Sonoma County Flood Debris Clean-Up Disposal Sites Sonoma County Flood Debris Clean-Up Disposal Sites
January 12, 2017

Beginning Friday, January 13th, Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department will provide disposal sites for residents and businesses affected by Russian River flooding. Six sites will be available to dispose of debris and trash, between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Disposal sites will remain open through Sunday, January 15th. In addition, residents will be able to dispose of household hazardous materials at one location on Saturday, January 14th, and Saturday, January 21st from 8:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Free Private Building Lateral Replacements for Occidental County Sanitation District Ratepayers Public Review For Occidental Wastewater Transport
January 4, 2017

The Sonoma County Water Agency, which operates the Occidental County Sanitation District’s (District) Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF), has released an environmental analysis of a proposed project to transport the District’s untreated wastewater to nearby treatment plants for treatment, storage, and disposal.

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