For Immediate Release
Board of Supervisors allocates $3.9 million for seven water projects
Santa Rosa, CA | May 16, 2023
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today awarded $3.9 million for seven projects addressing critical water resource challenges, including drought, flooding and sewage overflows.
The allocations complete an initiative launched by the board last June when it placed $5 million in a new Water Security Fund and held a public workshop to prioritize where the money should be invested.
“We know climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather resulting in drought and flooding,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The projects funded today will improve the county’s ability to withstand these extremes.”
The projects funded today by the board include:
- $1.1 million to improve water resource management in the Alexander Valley. The money will fund a feasibility study that could prioritize water resource management needs and begin the necessary environmental assessments. The funding will also help address erosion threats posed by large gravel bars in the area along the Russian River.
- $1 million to complete environmental studies and design work on a project to address regular flooding on Green Valley Road near Graton. The project, led by the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, will improve habitat in Green Valley Creek to reduce the magnitude, frequency and duration of flooding.
- $500,000 to replace sewer lines and privately-owned sewer laterals in the Springs area of Sonoma Valley. The project will reduce sewage overflows in the area during large storms.
- $450,000 for a feasibility study to evaluate potential wastewater solutions in west Sonoma County. Up to 12,000 properties utilizing septic systems in the area must comply with state rules prohibiting the discharge of fecal waste into the Russian River.
- $350,000 for the Russian River Water Forum, a collaborative effort initiated by Sonoma Water to develop a regional solution to PG&E’s planned decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project. Removal of the project would reduce the amount of water available for use in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, where water used to power a PG&E hydroelectric plant is diverted from the Eel River into the Russian River.
- $270,000 for flood control maintenance projects in the Petaluma Valley, Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa Plain. The projects are designed to reduce the risk of flooding and bank erosion.
- $200,000 for studies that will help produce solutions to reduce the risk of flooding in Schellville, where even small winter storms frequently cause flows that spill over the banks of Sonoma and Schell creeks.
The Board made the first allocation from the Water Security Fund last July, approving $1.13 million for a drought response and flood control coordination project recommended by the Department of Emergency Management and Sonoma Water.