Utilities in Sonoma, Marin counties ask customers to reduce water use by 20%

OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 27: In an aerial view, low water levels are visible at Lake Oroville on April 27, 2021 in Oroville, California. Four years after then California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order to lift the California's drought

Eight public water utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties have called on customers to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent as the region faces worsening drought conditions.

The Water Advisory Committee to the Sonoma County Water Agency passed a resolution Monday asking residents to do so as water supply in the Russian River watershed and both Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma are at historic lows. 

The committee includes representatives from water utilities under the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, which includes the cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Cotati, Healdsburg; the North Marin, Valley of the Moon and Marin Municipal Water Districts; the town of Windsor; California American Water - Larkfield District and Sonoma County Water Agency. 

"Reducing water use by 20 percent can be achieved by implementing some quick water saving tips, such as reducing outdoor water use and fixing leaks," WAC Chair and Cotati City Councilwoman Susan Harvey said in a statement. "We encourage our community to contact their water provider to learn more about water saving rebate programs and tips."

State officials, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, have already declared a drought emergency in the region and directed state and local officials to collaboratively determine watersheds, communities and ecosystems that would be hardest hit by an extended drought.

Lake Sonoma's water supply capacity is at 61 percent, according to the Saving Water Partnership, the lowest level on record for this time of year.