Sonoma leaders are asking residents to reduce water use by 15 percent.
The City Council this week unanimously declared a stage one water shortage, which seeks voluntary conservation efforts. All Sonoma residents, businesses, schools and city facilities — including parks — are being urged to cut their indoor and outdoor water use by at least 15 percent.
“It is important that we all do our part and reduce our daily water use,” Vice Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti said in a news release. “We’ve had two dry years in a row, and we need to protect our water supply.”
The city will provide some tools for residents as well at an event from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, at City Hall. City staff and members of council will hand out free drought toolkits to residents who drop by on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The kits include a bucket to catch water for reuse, a low-flow showerhead, a 5-minute shower timer, a low-flow faucet aerator, toilet dye test tablets and a self-closing garden hose nozzle.
The kits are made available in partnership with the city, Sonoma Water and Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership.
The declaration requests that all water customers take the following actions:
• Apply irrigation water only during the evening and early morning hours (8 p.m. to 7 a.m.) to reduce evaporation losses.
• Inspect all irrigation systems, repair leaks and adjust spray heads to provide optimum coverage and eliminate avoidable over-spray.
• For irrigation valves controlling water applied to lawns, vary the minutes of run-time consistent with fluctuations in weather.
• Reduce minutes of run-time for each irrigation cycle, if water begins to run off to gutters and ditches before the irrigation cycle is completed.
• Become informed about and adhere to the city’s Water Waste Prohibitions. (Customers can refer to Sonoma Municipal Code Section 13.10.060 for details.)
• Utilize water conservation rebate and other incentive programs to replace high-water use plumbing fixtures and appliances with water-efficient models.
• Utilize city information on using water efficiently, reading water meters, repairing ordinary leaks and applying water efficiently to landscaping.
City officials said conservation is already underway in city parks and facilities.
Residents can find more resources to help save water on the city’s Water Conservation page.