Keeping tabs on Sonoma County’s water use

People are using twice as much water in the city of Sonoma as they are along the Russian River, with residents of five other cities and one water district in Sonoma County falling between the two extremes, according to a state report that calculates per capita water use for the first time.
With drought-stricken California striving to curb consumption by its 38 million residents, Sonoma residents used 148 gallons of water per person per day in September. During the same period, residents of the Guerneville-Monte Rio area consumed 71 gallons, the lowest rate among 12 cities and water districts in the area from Marin to Mendocino County. Officials attributed much of the variation around the region to differences in climate, topography, residential lot size and income.
“Our customers do not have lawns,” said Julie Kenny of the Sweetwater Springs Water District, which serves 3,600 customers along the river, an area cooled by ocean fog. “Backyards are redwood forests, and small.”
Sonoma, with 10,800 residents in a warmer, drier inland valley, has large landscaped lots that “require more irrigation,” said Dan Takasugi, public works director and city engineer.
Outdoor residential water use, primarily landscape irrigation, accounts for 34 percent — the largest portion — of California’s urban water use, vastly exceeding commercial, institutional and industrial water consumption. It also is the prime target of the state’s campaign to cut total use by 20 percent by 2020. In some areas, outdoor irrigation accounts for 50 percent or more of urban water use.
via Keeping tabs on North Coast’s water use | The Press Democrat.

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