Letter - Feb. 16, 2022
To the central and southern Marin Water customers we serve,
As the board of directors recently observed, the rainfall received in October and December provided us the safety net we’ve needed, filling our reservoirs enough to start to move away from the emergency water shortage we’ve faced for months. We also all saw how quickly that wet weather disappeared, leaving dry conditions to once again confront us. This type of drought weather pattern is frustrating because of the uncertainty it brings to estimating rainfall totals from year to year.
With these climate change impacts heavy on our minds, we are building on our work conducted over the District’s history to increase our water supply and minimize the impacts of future droughts. On February 1, the Marin Water Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan for the District to move forward with a five-month strategic assessment of various water supply projects that will supplement our needs in times of water shortages. The assessment, as directed by the board and supported by nationally-recognized consulting experts, will:
- Build on previous studies done regarding our water supplies.
- Define what successful water supply options look like for our community.
- Develop a roadmap for implementation of the selected option or options.
This assessment will provide a conclusive understanding of the pros and cons of each water supply option to help the District ultimately decide how to strengthen our water supply resiliency in an affordable way that is best for our community. This process is similar to one undertaken by the District following the record drought of the 1970s when the District went to work studying options to respond to changing rainfall conditions. Out of those efforts, the District built a new reservoir, doubled the storage of an existing reservoir, built a pipeline to connect to the Sonoma Water aqueduct, and developed a recycled water program. This recycled water program, in fact, has grown into a state-of-the-art membrane treatment facility in partnership with the Las Gallinas Sanitary District, providing reclaimed wastewater for flushing their customer’s toilets and meeting the irrigation needs of numerous local commercial businesses and public agencies, while providing nearly five percent of our current water supply. We can address our water supply needs by working together.
To facilitate public involvement as we move forward with the assessment, the District will host three planned community workshops during the course of the study, which will be completed between February and June. The informal virtual workshops will provide the community with updates on the study and a chance to ask questions of the consultants and staff subject matter experts. The workshops will also provide space for robust discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of each option. We recognize there is likely no perfect option – instead, we are looking for what makes the most sense for central and southern Marin and the greater region. As Marin Water embarks on this refocused journey, we invite you to save the date and plan to join us for our first virtual Water Supply Assessment Workshop set for March 9th, 2022 from 5 to 7 p.m. More information on the workshop and how to participate will be announced soon and also posted at marinwater.org.
The District looks forward to working together with our community to improve our drought resilience.
President, Marin Water Board of Directors