Sonoma County Water Agency eyes strategies to better manage supply

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about the water supply in the Valley.

With the demand for water increasing and the fluid water supply, the Sonoma County Water Agency and its partners are currently working on a five-year review to revisit and revise its strategies to better manage water and create more effective systems.

The SCWA, which is based in Santa Rosa, was created in 1949 as a special district by the state legislature to provide flood protection and water supply services. In 1995, the water agency was tasked with additional responsibilities of water sanitation and wastewater disposal. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors acts as the agency’s board of directors, but since the agency was created through state law with a specific mission and powers, it is recognized as its own entity and receives separate funding. The agency sells water in Sonoma and Marin counties and has 4,383 water service connections (meters) and 49 miles of water main. The agency manages six water tanks, two of which it owns, with the storage capacity of 15.5 million gallons. It also has seven wells, with four of them fully active.

But managing the water supply in the Valley is not so simple, SCWA Chief Engineer Jay Jasperse said.

Each variable affects the water supply, Jasperse said, noting the interconnectivity and the difficulty this poses in creating a plan to be prepared for a shortage or a surplus of water.

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