Outreach to Rural Well Owners
Approximately 5,400 rural well owners in Sonoma County received a survey designed to elicit their concerns and ideas about local groundwater conditions in December 2020. Thank you to the more than 1,000 people – 22% — who returned surveys!
The purpose of the survey was 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 are now being analyzed and 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. Survey results were shared with the GSA Board at its February 2021 meeting.
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
- Draft Meeting Summary, 3-22-21
Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems:
Community Meeting: Groundwater Sustainability in Our Basin
This public workshop held on July 29 was an opportunity for well owners, farmers and others in the Santa Rosa Plain to learn about groundwater in the basin and to help define local, sustainable groundwater management.
Opening Remarks: Sam Magill, Facilitator, CSU Sacramento Consensus and Collaboration Program
Welcome: Chair Lynda Hopkins
The Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Basin: Marcus Trotta, Hydrogeologist, Sonoma Water
Questions about the basin?: Meeting Participants
Defining Groundwater Sustainability: Andy Rogers, GSA Administrator
Questions about sustainability?: Meeting Participants?
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
Climate Change Workshop
On May 22, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies held a public workshop “How a changing climate could affect our groundwater basins – and what we’re doing about it.” The focus of this public workshop was on how climate change must be addressed in the Groundwater Sustainability Plans.