RP action due soon on water under SR Plain
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By Jud Snyder  September 28, 2012 12:00 am

Meetings have been held the past two years to figure out how much water underlies the cities of Sonoma County from north of Windsor to south of Cotati. It includes Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, and its eastern border is the mountains separating it from Sonoma Valley.

Petaluma and Penngrove get their water from a separate source, for a low-lying range of hills separate them from the Santa Rosa Plain.

This is the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Management Plan and the 30-member panel of stakeholders, cities, Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) and state hydrologists have come up with goals and objectives plan to finally get an accurate estimate of how much water is present and its underground movements over the years.

Darrin Jenkins, RP’s city engineer and director of development services, is on the committee. Also involved is the U.S. Geological Service, which has completed a five-year study of the Santa Rosa Plain using high tech instruments and computer charts. The USGS plans to release their report later this year or early next year.

An advisory panel has issued a draft plan of their goals and objectives. They said their objectives will “articulate groundwater protection and recharge, integrating groundwater management with other water resources, conservation and water efficiency involving stakeholders and raising public awareness.”

It will be non-regulatory and “be consistent with the water code which enhances opportunity for state funding.”

RP’s City Council heard and saw via PowerPoint the report from Jenkins. No vote was taken. Mayor Jake Mackenzie said he was looking forward to seeing the USGS report. “This will answer a lot of questions,” he said.

It was also noted the public is invited to attend any meeting of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Management Plan. The best way to get further information is to contact Marcus Trotta, project manager at the SCWA. His number is 547-1978. Or, MTrotta@scwa.ca.gov.

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