The Environment

Regional Gallons per Capita per Day (GPCD) Usage Chart

Efforts to conserve and recycle water have been intensified in recent years, and over the past 12 years total water usage has increased by just 6 percent, while the county population increased by 13.5 percent in the same period. From 1998 to 2010, water conservation and recycling increased from 3.7 percent to 25 percent, and usage per person has continued to drop. 23,696,000 gallons of water per year are being saved by local businesses through sustained reduction programs where rebates are provided for implementing process changes and equipment upgrades resulting in measurable water use efficiencies.

MegaWatt Usage per Capita Chart 1999 - 2012

Energy Conservation Chart

Ranking third lowest in non-residential consumption per capita among similar counties, Sonoma County continues to perform well in energy conservation. The advent of several incentive programs, begun in January 2010, and revised building codes should expedite reductions in coming years.

Blue Dot Alameda (40WM)

Red Dot Marin (over 60MW)

Green Dot Napa (over 140WM)

Purple Dot San Francisco (under 20WM)

Turquoise Dot San Luis Obispo (over 70MW)

Orange Dot Santa Barbara (over 10MW)

Light Blue Dot Santa Cruz (over 40MW)

Light Red Dot Sonoma (under 120MW)

MegaWatt of Installed Photovoltaic Systems 1999-2012

Renewable Energy Chart Sonoma County remains a leader in renewable energy, boasting 33 Megawatts of capacity which includes solar, wind, geothermal and biogas generation sources. According to Solar Sonoma County, Sonoma County installed 19 solar energy systems per 100,000 residents in August 2010, over five times more than the statewide average of 3.6.

Blue Dot Alameda (over 60MW)

Red Dot Marin (under 20MW)

Green Dot Napa (over 20WM)

Purple Dot San Francisco (under 20WM)

Turquoise Dot San Luis Obispo (20MW)

Orange Dot Santa Barbara (under 10MW)

Light Blue Dot Santa Cruz (over 10MW)

Light Red Dot Sonoma (over 50MW)

Projects Funded

# Residential Project1750
# Commercial Projects57
Total Contracts Funded$59,756.859
Jobs Created/Retained730
Projects Completed by Local Contractors86%
Sonoma County continues to lead the way in renewable energy, demonstrating more capacity than many nearby and comparable counties. Unique incentive programs in Sonoma County, such as the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP), have helped bolster the existing California Solar Incentive and Self-Generation Incentive Program rebates. Additionally, PG&E has a plan to develop and purchase power from up to 500MW of solar PV facilities. PG&E currently estimates that it met approximately 19.4% of its 2011 retail sales from approved renewable sources.

Air Quality Levels (2011)

Levelby days:
Unhealthy for Sensitive groups0


The Environmental Protection Agency monitors air quality across the country, assigning one of four ratings to each day. The EPA reported on 365 days in Sonoma for 2011. Overall, Sonoma County’s air quality was healthy, with 326 days of “good” air quality and 39 days classified as “moderate.” Sonoma County had zero days where the air quality was classified as unhealthy. In a 2010 Bay Area Pollution Summary, Sonoma County had zero days where pollution levels exceeded the state standard, a result that was much lower than the Bay Area average.

Black Bird - Environment

More Environmental Links

Sonoma Clean Power
The new locally controlled electricity provider in Sonoma County, reinvesting money in Sonoma County to develop local renewable power sources and support local jobs.

Sonoma Green Business Program
A partnership of government agencies and utilities that assists and promotes local small- to medium-sized consumer-oriented businesses that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way.

Sonoma County Green Purchasing
For a greener future within our County

Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Entrusted with regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay.

California Environmental Protection Agency
Charged with developing, implementing and enforcing the state's environmental protection laws that ensure clean air, clean water, clean soil, safe pesticides and waste recycling and reduction.