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Santa Rosa urges residents to cut back on water usage (w/video)

The agency supplies water to 600,000 residents and businesses in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma and Sonoma and water districts in Sonoma Valley and Marin County.

Santa Rosa's website is already calling for the enhanced conservation efforts. It includes public service announcements from the Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership, which has produced several ads stressing the importance of conservation this year.

One shows a photo of a dog called "The official dishwasher of 2014." Another calls a broom "The official hose of 2014." The slogan of the program is "There's a drought on. Turn off the water."

Santa Rosa doesn't yet see the need for mandatory 25 percent restrictions like those now in place in Cloverdale and Healdsburg because those communities rely on water from Lake Mendocino, which is far lower than Lake Sonoma, the city's main supply of drinking water, said Utilities Director David Guhin.

Lake Mendocino is at 36 percent of capacity, while Lake Sonoma is at 66 percent of capacity.

Santa Rosa has been working closely with other communities supplied by the Sonoma County Water Agency to take consistent steps toward increasing conservation as the drought deepens.

"This is not Santa Rosa going off on its own," Guhin said. "We're trying to make this a coordinated effort."

Swinth urged residents to take advantage of some of the city's water reduction services, such as free water audits, low-flow shower heads, incentives for lawn removal, and rebates low-flow appliances.

"We do an incredible job in this city of promoting water conservation," Swinth said.

Sherwood, the county Water Agency spokesman, applauded Santa Rosa for getting an early start on its public outreach effort. The agency's formal request for voluntary reductions is set to come out of the Feb. 3 meeting of its water advisory committee.


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