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Winter Water from Sonoma County Water Agency

Russian River Summer

Note: This project page will be continually updated as there is information to share.


The District, in collaboration with Sonoma Water, is exploring the concept of “winter water” as a means to drought proof the supply from Sonoma so that even in very dry years the District is able to optimize the volume of water received from Sonoma. 

What is Winter Water?

Winter water refers to water in the Russian River that is above the minimum in stream flow requirements as a result of a precipitation event (rainfall) between the months of October and May. 

Even in very dry years, such as 2013 and 2020, there was considerable winter water flow in the Russian River following rainfall events.  

Current Status of Project

The District and Sonoma Water continue to work together to explore the feasibility of capturing and using this winter water as drinking water during periods of drought. Additionally, the District is collaborating with Sonoma Water on the completion of a Resiliency study that has identified groundwater storage in an aquifer for use during droughts as a promising longer-term effort for capturing those winter waters.