Water Conservation Resources
In Coastal California’s Mediterranean climate, most rainfall occurs in the winter months followed by a dry period in the summer and fall. In the Russian River watershed, human and wildlife needs compete for annual water resources, and demand is highest when water is least available.
As water users, whether residential or agricultural, changing the way we obtain and use water can improve reliability for both humans and fish.
Interested in implementing a water reliability or streamflow enhancement project on your property? Contact us!
Reducing residential water consumption from installation of low flow fixtures to use of drought-tolerant plants in your landscaping is a great way to conserve water. Click on the links below for more information on ways to conserve water… and save money!
- Sonoma Water: Water Conservation at Home
- Residential Self-Survey for Efficient Water Use (excel document)
- Low Water Gardening for Rural California Coastal Communities
- Water Wise Gardening for Sonoma and Marin counties
- Russian River-Friendly Landscaping Guidelines
- Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s WATER Institute
- Sonoma RCD: Slow it. Spread it. Sink it. Store it!
Challenges for agricultural landowners in Sonoma County’s Mediterranean climate can be addressed through a number of tools that maximize water use and efficiency. For more information check the links below. And remember, your local RCD’s are a fantastic resource for water conservation and natural resource concerns! Most RCD’s provide technical site visits to assist landowners with natural resource concerns in the regions they serve!
The Partnership works with farmers to protect grapevines from frost without diverting water directly from the stream, while providing benefits for salmon by keeping water in the stream. Frost fans and off-stream ponds filled by rain or well water eliminate water diversions from the streams.
In a residential setting, rainwater can be captured from roof gutters and routed into tanks for future use. In an agricultural setting, rainwater can be stored in tanks, ponds, or underground cisterns and used for irrigation and drinking water for animals. More sophisticated systems are available for potable water use. Visit the links below and our Rainwater Catchment page for more details.
Managing stormwater so that it sinks into the ground rather than running off into storm drains and creeks can have many benefits. Reducing runoff during storms prevents erosion and flooding. Sinking water into the ground contributes to groundwater and base flows in creeks. Often thought of as a nuisance, stormwater is now recognized as one of our most important natural resources and proper management (whether simple or complex) is more important than ever.
A permit is an agreement between an applicant and a regulatory agency stating that the applicant agrees to follow certain regulations or guidelines governing a project or type of land use. By issuing and tracking permits, agencies ensure that California’s environment is protected now and in the future. Projects to improve water supply security and reliability may be subject to permits from state or local regulatory agencies, so understanding the purpose of these permits and the process for securing them is vital. The links below lead to resources for understanding permitting.
- County of Sonoma: Permitting & Resource Management Department
- Sonoma RCD: Navigating the Permitting Process
- Gold Ridge RCD: Permitting
- A Guide To California Water Rights for Small Water Users
- SWIFT Working Group: A Practitioner’s Guide to Instream Flow Transactions in California
- CA State Water Resources Control Board: The Water Rights Process
- CA State Water Resources Control Board: Instream Flow Dedications
- Salmonid Restoration Federation: Guidance on Complying with California’s Water Laws – A Guide for Small Landowners in Coastal California
- Salmonid Restoration Federation: Water Rights Education
1221 Farmers Lane, Suite F
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707-569-1448 ext. 104
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