Sebastopol to weigh water conservation efforts

Sebastopol residents have reduced water consumption by 25 percent over the past decade. Whether they should conserve even more will be part of the water supply discussion at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

While most of the rest of Sonoma County is dependent on waning supplies managed by the Sonoma County Water Agency, Sebastopol's groundwater system, so far, appears to be stable, city officials said.

But how record dry conditions will affect the groundwater levels down the line is not entirely clear, Public Works Director Rich Emig said.

"Of course, conservation would be the prudent thing to do at this point, considering that we are in a drought, even though we don't have any indication that we have an issue with water availability," he said.

Those whose water is supplied by the water agency are being asked to cut use by 20 percent.

But Sebastopol's municipal groundwater system appears so far to be unaffected by drought conditions, with water levels on par with a year ago, Emig said.

Three of the city's five wells are currently operating, producing more than a third of what they're capable, Emig said.

"I think we're still going to encourage conservation," Mayor Robert Jacob said. "...Our water supply is safe and secure as of today, but what we don't know is when or how groundwater supplies will be affected, if at all."

The City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Sebastopol Youth Annex, 425 Morris St. in Sebastopol.

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