EDITOR: The driest year in California's recorded history is about to come to a close, and there is no promise that the drought will end any time soon. The specter of extended drought is as scary as the super storms which have been happening in other parts of the world. Equally frightening is the silence of our public officials, who have so far failed to acknowledge this crisis and call for mandatory conservation measures. Climate change is clearly happening here and now.

While we are told that our county does not need to worry about this unprecedented lack of rain because there is still water in Lake Sonoma, it is important to look at the way water is distributed throughout our county. The fact is that most of us depend on depleted groundwater reserves for our primary or backup source of water including virtually all of our farms and ranches. And what if Lake Sonoma does not refill this winter?

We call on our supervisors, the Sonoma County Water Agency and its municipal clients to enact mandatory water conservations measures immediately. In addition to appropriate prohibitions and fees, there should be incentives for businesses to convert their landscapes to low water use plantings.

And we ask each resident of our county to count every drop of water as the precious, scarce resource that it is and to do your part to adapt to our changing world. Even if there is some rain in the next few months, extended droughts are very likely in this region. It is time to make conservation a way of life.




Santa Rosa