A small handful of storms this winter brought up Sonoma’s water reserves to near average for this time of year, but as California enters a fourth year of drought, both the state and the county have taken action to increase conservation efforts.
Earlier in March, the State Water Resources Control Board voted to extend water use prohibitions and, in accordance with the state, the Sonoma County Water Agency is continuing restrictions already in place – don’t refill those swimming pools just yet, folks.
To double-down on water conservation, there are a few new constraints.
• You can still only water lawns between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, but if it rains, you have to wait 48 hours to water your turf.
• Restaurants can only serve water upon request.
• Hotels and inns must give their customers the option to refrain from having their towels washed daily.
• You can only wash your car if you use a bucket or a hose with a shut-off nozzle.
Although winter rainfall allowed water levels to rise, summer will be extra dry without some spring showers, stress Water Agency officials.
“We all have the job to keep that water in our local reservoirs by not wasting it; we never have enough water to waste,” says Grant Davis, the Water Agency’s general manager.
The new regulations will be official once the state approves them. Dan Takasugi, the city’s Public Works Director, said he expects this to happen within a few days.
“We’re extremely thankful and lucky, but we have to work together to keep what we have,” says Brad Sherwood, principal program specialist at the Water Agency.
a rebate is available for switching from a top-loading clothes washer with an Energy Star “Most Efficient” front-loading washer.
For more info, visit savingwaterpartnership.org or scwa.ca.gov.