WATER ALERT: Flood Protection and Groundwater Recharge Plan Now Available for Public Comment

Flood Protection and Groundwater Recharge Plan Now Available for Public Comment

Santa Rosa, CA  –  August 20, 2018  –  Members of the public are invited to submit comments on a storm water resources plan for the Petaluma River and Sonoma Creek watersheds that has identified more than 60 projects that will utilize storm water from heavy rainfall for beneficial uses, such as flood protection, recharge of groundwater, slowing erosion from hillsides, and improving water quality in creeks and streams.

The Southern Sonoma County Storm Water Resources Plan (SWRP) is funded through a grant received by the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) and is being developed collaboratively under the guidance of a Technical Advisory Committee made up of 13 agencies and non-profit organizations in both watersheds. Project ideas were submitted last year by the public or organizations and were reviewed by the Technical Advisory Committee and then prioritized within the SWRP. Projects included in the plan do not receive any funding, but are qualified to apply for state funding to implement the projects.

Public comments on the SWRP can be submitted to Susan Haydon, Project Specialist, susan.haydon@scwa.ca.gov, or by using an online form: https://goo.gl/forms/tZsXb7pBuRGwf6ZO2. The public comment period will close on September 17, 2018. To learn more about the SWRP visit www.scwa.ca.gov/SWRP.

Storm water is water generated by rainstorms that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, streets and parking lots into creeks and streams. Storm water projects capture this water by slowing it, storing it or allowing it to recharge groundwater. To be eligible in the plan, projects must provide multiple benefits, which could include flood control, groundwater recharge, water reuse, and improved water quality in waterways.

“We appreciate the hard work that the community and the local stakeholders have put into developing this plan,” said Sonoma Water Director Susan Gorin, who represents the Sonoma Valley as the First District Supervisor. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our communities to develop new ways of using runoff to protect our watersheds. Now the challenge is to get some of these projects funded.”

Sonoma Water Director David Rabbitt’s Second Supervisorial District includes the Petaluma River Watershed. “There is a lot of interest in our community to develop projects that help with flooding, groundwater recharge, and water quality,” he said. “Public participation is critical to this process. The more input we receive the stronger this plan will be and the better qualified the projects will be for funding.”

To learn more about the Southern Sonoma Storm Water Resources Plan, please visit www.sonomacountywater.org/SWRP/.

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