Outreach to Rural Well Owners Underway
Approximately 9,500 rural well owners in Sonoma County received surveys designed to elicit their concerns and ideas about local groundwater conditions. The purpose of the survey is to raise awareness about local groundwater management and to solicit feedback from well owners regarding any concerns they may have about groundwater in the basin. The survey results will be used as the basis for focus groups that will provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussions of issues and ideas for improving groundwater conditions.
This joint project of the county’s three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) is the first step in an engagement project designed to educate and receive feedback from well owners in the Petaluma Valley, Santa Rosa Plain and Sonoma Valley groundwater basins.
Practitioners Work Groups
The three Sonoma County GSAs received funding from California Department of Water Resources through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68) to facilitate four work groups comprised of technical subject experts. The work groups were formed to help with the development of the Groundwater Sustainability Plans in four areas:
- Rural residential population projections;
- Agricultural water demand projections;
- Groundwater-dependent ecosystems; and
- Interconnected surface water depletion.
The work groups began meeting in summer 2020 and the GSAs anticipate that all work will be complete in February 2021. The meetings are facilitated by a neutral facilitator from the Consensus and Collaboration Program with CSU Sacramento. The work group products were shared with the Board and Advisory Committees of the GSAs, and will be used to develop the water budgets and Sustainable Management Criteria for Interconnected Surface Water.
Meeting materials are below:
Agricultural Water Demands:
- Ag Working Group Meeting slides (overview), Summer 2020
- Land-Use Surveys, Fall 2020
- Summary Report, 1-4-21
- Agricultural Expansion and Contraction Model, 1-20-21
Rural Residential Changes:
Interconnected Surface Water:
- Draft Meeting Summary, 10-7-2020
- Presentation, Meeting 1
- Draft Meeting Summary, 12-11-2020
- Presentation, Meeting 2
- Presentation, Meeting 3
- Surface Water Depletion Modeling presentation
- Santa Rosa Plain data, monitoring wells near streams
Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems:
May 26, 2021 Meeting: Defining Groundwater Sustainability in the Petaluma Valley Basin
Meeting topics included:
- Overview of the basin and concerns
- The groundwater budget: How much water is coming into the basin and how much water is going out — now and into the future
- Defining sustainability locally
- Measuring sustainability
Community Workshop on Sustainable Groundwater in Our Basin
Do you get your water from a well? Do you worry about your water quality or water levels? Are you concerned about the costs of water in the future?
This public workshop was held on July 15, 2020.
Watch the YouTube video from the community workshop.
- Opening Remarks , Welcome, The Petaluma Valley Groundwater Basin and Questions about the basin?
- Defining Groundwater Sustainability and Questions about sustainability?
Presentations are available here:
This public workshop held on December 11, focused on how groundwater can be recharged to help better manage and sustain local aquifers.
Recharge: What is it? How does it work? What are the different types of recharge?
Marcus Trotta, Sonoma Water
Kamyar Guivetchi, California Department of Water Resources
Local recharge efforts: What farmers are doing in Sonoma County to enhance recharge.
Dr. Phil Bachand, Bachand & Associates