Current Drought Information

Water Conservation By the Numbers: August 2021 Water Use in Million Gallons by Sector

Sector
August 2021
August 2020
August 2019
% Change 
'21 vs '20
% Change
'21 vs '19
Commercial
10.02
12.98
15.79
-23%
-37%
Churches
0.12
0.15
0.35
-20% -66%
City Facilities
1.23
2.43
3.62
-49% -66%
Industrial
0.44
0.42
0.34
4% 27%
Ind. Wineries
1.26
1.34
1.47
-6% -14%
Residential
22.67
53.38
50.22
-58% -55%
Schools
1.57
1.87
3.29
-16% -52%
Total
37.31
72.57
75.08
-49% -50%

Drought Conditions

Due to a lack of rain, Sonoma County is experiencing exceptional and severe drought conditions that will persist through of 2021 and perhaps longer. 

On April 21, 2021 -- the day before Earth Day -- Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a drought emergency in the Russian River watershed, which spans Sonoma and Mendocino counties. This was a month after the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a warning to water utilities — including the City of Healdsburg — and agricultural water customers to prepare for drought impacts statewide.

Water Supply

Due to insufficient conservation and low flows in the Russian River, all water rights holders north of Healdsburg received a notice of water unavailability from the State Water Control Board. The notice of unavailability informs water right holders that water is unavailable and that diversions under those water rights should stop. 

While recent rains and cooler temperatures have helped to eliminate irrigation needs, storage levels in local reservoirs are still at all time lows.  Even with significant rains this winter there may be a need to conserve water next summer.  Therefore the Council has reduced mandatory conservation measures but not fully lifted them.  Stage 2 conservation measures are now in effect as water conservation is still needed.

Stage 2 Water Restrictions as of November 15, 2021

The following water restrictions are required in order to maintain water supply to sustain public health and safety needs for the remainder of the year: 

  • The following water restrictions are mandated to reduce water usage by a citywide 20%.
  • Apply outdoor irrigation water only during the evening and early morning hours to reduce evaporation losses (8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.).
  • For property with an even-numbered street address, irrigate outdoors only on even days of the month.
  • For property with an odd-numbered street address, irrigate outdoors only on odd days of the month.
  • Routinely inspect, and repair as required, all irrigation systems for leaks, and adjust spray heads to provide optimum coverage and eliminate avoidable over-spray and run-off.
  • For irrigation valves controlling water applied to lawns, vary the minutes of run-time consistent with fluctuations in weather. Reduce minutes of run-time for each irrigation cycle if water begins to pool or run off to gutters and/or ditches before the irrigation cycle is completed.
  • Utilize water conservation incentives, as available, to replace inefficient plumbing fixtures and appliances with water efficient models.
  • Stop the washing of sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots and other hard-surfaced areas by direct hosing, except as may be necessary to prevent or eliminate materials that present a danger to public health and safety.
  • Correct and repair the escape of water through breaks or leaks within the customer’s plumbing or private distribution system. It shall be presumed that a period of 72 hours after the customer discovers such a break or leak, or receives notice from the City, is a reasonable time within which to correct such break or leak or, at a minimum, to stop the flow of water from such break or leak.
  • Stop the noncommercial washing of privately owned motor vehicles, trailers or boats excepting when utilizing a bucket and hose equipped with an automatic shut-off.
  • The City will not accept or approve building permits for new swimming pools unless the owner agrees to obtain pool water from a source other than the City’s potable water system.
  • Refilling of a swimming pool except when topping off to prevent damage to pump and filter equipment is not allowed. Owners of pools should use a cover to minimize evaporation.
  • Use of potable water for dust control, compaction, and other construction purposes. Only recycled water may be used for dust control, compaction, and other construction purposes as allowed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board or other governing bodies.
  • Water use by a vehicle washing facility shall be limited to 80 percent of the water used by the facility from corresponding billing period in the prior year, unless such washing facility treats and recycles wash water, in which case this provision shall not apply.
  • Water use for any nonresidential use shall be limited to 80 percent of the water used by the customer during the corresponding billing period in the prior year.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is the residential water allowance and commercial reductions enforced?

City staff will be monitoring usage on a weekly basis to inform customers that may exceed the water allowance. Fines, up to $1,000 per day, will be imposed on those that exceed the budget or don't meet reductions. 

2. How much water do residents vs. businesses use? 

Residents use 72% of the City's total water demand, and commercial customers represent 19%. The City of Healdsburg facilities and parks use 2%, Healdsburg Unified School District and other schools represent another 2%, and the remaining 5% is used by churches, industrial customers and other uses.  

Source: water use data by customer segment is collected monthly for billing purposes. 

3. Who do I contact if I need help understanding my water usage? 

Please contact the Utility Department at conservation@ci.healdsburg.ca.us or 707-431-3122 with your account number and contact information. We can respond to e-mails faster than phone calls.


Reading Your Utility Bill

Utility Bill - Usage History

Utility Bill - History

Utility Bill - Current Usage

Utility Bill - Current Usage

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