Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Santa Rosa residents are out from under local water-saving mandates imposed two years ago in the grip of a nagging drought, thanks to an abundant water supply behind Warm Springs Dam at Lake Sonoma, officials said Wednesday.
Based on assurances that the reservoir behind the taxpayer-funded, $360 million dam west of Healdsburg can sustain 600,000 Sonoma and Marin county residents for three more potentially dry years, the City Council rescinded, effective immediately, the mandatory curbs on outdoor water use adopted in August 2014.
The council’s action followed last month’s ruling by the State Water Resources Control Board that local agencies with a three-year water supply could be exempted from state water conservation targets. Santa Rosa and five other Sonoma County water providers met that requirement, the Sonoma County Water Agency said at the time.
On Wednesday, the water agency confirmed in a forecast to the state water board that Lake Sonoma would hold a healthy 178,398 acre feet of water at the end of September in 2019, after three rain-poor years comparable to 2013 through 2015.
Brad Sherwood, the water agency’s spokesman, said the report “illustrates our region’s ability to meet water supply demands” over a three-year drought.