Pair of SCWA campaigns designed to fight water waste
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The Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, a partnership of nine North Bay cities and water districts, this summer will embark on a new two-pronged public awareness effort to reduce water demand in response to dry spring weather conditions – Beat the Heat! and the 20-Gallon Challenge.

“Our region has experienced one of the driest springs on record,” said Water Agency and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairman David Rabbitt. “As we enter the hot summer months, we must challenge ourselves to reduce our indoor and outdoor water use.  The 20-Gallon Challenge will provide our community with the tools and information needed to help reduce water demand this summer.  It will also educate everyone that all it takes is changing a few daily behaviors or activities to meet our challenge.” 

“Reducing urban water demand during the hot summer months is critical to protecting our water resources,” said Water Agency Director and Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo.  “We are working closely with all stakeholders in our community including urban water users, the agricultural industry, and business community to immediately reduce water use due to the dry weather conditions.  I heard loud and clear from our constituents in the Russian River watershed that water conservation should be a top priority this summer; that’s why I encourage all residents and local businesses to take part of the 20-Gallon Challenge.”


Beat the Heat!

Special attention will be given to heat wave conditions in order to reduce peak water demand.  On average, water use increases when temperatures go up because of more outdoor irrigation of plants and lawns.  The partnership will coordinate with local media outlets to run special public service announcements asking our community to prepare for a heat wave and use water wisely.  This message will correlate with energy and air quality awareness efforts that also increase before a heat wave arrives.  The goal is to draw extra attention to the need for reduced water demand by providing specific outdoor irrigation tips on curbing water use and waste.

The 20-Gallon Challenge overview

The Challenge is an immediate response to the dry weather conditions the region has experienced this past year.

The Challenge includes:

• A call to action to all Russian River water users to reduce their water use this summer by 20 gallons per day, per person.

• The outreach effort will include offering tangible conservation tips demonstrating what 20 gallons mean and how to save 20 gallons per day, per person.

• A Challenge web page ( includes  conservation tips along with a pledge.

A pledge will be available for residents to sign to take the Challenge and enter into a prize drawing for the following:

• June: One high-efficiency clothes washer, with a retail value of approximately $500 (excluding taxes) will be awarded to the winner of this drawing. Installation is not included; 

• July and September: The winner shall choose between (1) landscape design with a maximum value up to $400 and $100 in low water use plants; (2) rainwater catchment design and materials with a maximum value up to $500; or (3) a graywater system design and materials with a maximum value up to $500. Installation is not included.

• August and October: One high-efficiency toilet, installed, with a retail value of approximately $500 (excluding taxes) will be awarded to the winner of this drawing.

Learn more about the Challenge at

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