When you turn on your shower in the morning, fill your coffee pot, or simply get a
glass of water, do you ever wonder how it came to be? Of course not! Who does?
We are all accustomed to taking water for granted. It is there whenever we want
it, simply for the taking by pulling a lever or turning a handle.
In Sonoma County, our water comes from the Russian River watershed which is managed by several governmental agencies. The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) is the prime agency supplying potable water to homes and businesses in Sonoma County and Northern Marin County.
The SCWA is a multipurpose agency responsible for maintaining streams, facilitating the recovery of endangered fish populations (salmon & steelhead), coordinating flood control with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, providing
wastewater collection and treatment for 20,000 residences and businesses in
Sonoma County, and serving as a supplier of potable water to over 600,000
residents in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, Cotati, Windsor, as well as
Northern Marin County…and, of course, Petaluma.
On April 14, 2012 I had an opportunity to join others on a tour of some of the
facilities and management areas operated by the agency. Overall, the tour was a
a reminder that we are all dependent upon the smooth operation and maintenance of the water management systems. It was also an opportunity to see some incredibly beautiful areas and redwood groves.
I have attempted to document some of the tour in the slideshow above.
Before releasing you to look at the slideshow, there are two “facts” that caught my attention during the tour:
First, 20 percent of all power consumed in the United States is for the movement of water, whether it be potable, wastewater, or recycled water. SCWA presently generates 70 percent of its power needs from hydroelectric, landfill gas and solar.
Second, it must be kept in mind that the SCWA water that we rely upon here in Petaluma and in Northern Marin is dependent on the continued operation of a single, aging pipeline.
Now enjoy the photos!