The Board of Supervisors sets priorities for Sonoma County, establishing growth and development policies, overseeing the departments and agencies that provide county-wide services, including health and welfare programs, public safety programs, and elections, and municipal services like law enforcement and fire protection in unincorporated areas.
The Board of Supervisors
The 2015 Sonoma County Supervisorsare Susan Gorin (Chair) – District 1, David Rabbitt – District 2, Shirlee Zane – District 3, James Gore – District 4, and Efren Carillo – District 5.
The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) is a separate legal entity created by State law (1949), with separate sources of funding from County departments, providing water supply and wastewater services, and flood protection, and managing a proactive stream maintenance program throughout Sonoma County. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors acts as its Board of Directors.
“The Sonoma County Water Agency provides a functioning infrastructure and financial organization for regional water supply, wastewater management and flood control.
“Water agencies are also created to provide regulatory efficiency. The Agency controls or directs actions in the areas of Surface Water Development and Distribution, Ground Water Development, Storm and Flood Control, Sanitation, Recreation, Conservation and Land Use Monitoring. The Agency has the potential to have the greatest local influence on the health of the Russian River and its watershed.
“The Agency is administered as a part of the authority of the County of Sonoma. The General Manager of the Agency reports directly to the Board of Supervisors.There is no single, overall management authority to carry out daily direction and overall coordination. This function is in the hands of the Board of Supervisors, with assistance from the County Administrator, when so directed by the Board.
“The Agency, unlike any other in county government, is exempt from being required to respond to recommendations and questions raised by a Grand Jury. The Agency is an inter-county organization and this makes its spending immune to the California constitution provision that limits the amount of debt that a county can run up to a certain percent of its income.
“To better understand the Agency, there needs to be a discussion of its primary purpose which is as a Water District.
“Water Districts are local management users’ cooperatives which are concerned, chiefly, with the collection, distribution, use and contracting for surface and ground water. Sonoma County’s largest local water district is the Sonoma County Water Agency.
“The Agency provides domestic water to 280,000 residents of Sonoma County, 225,000 residents of Northern Marin County and 35,000 Mendocino County residents for a total of 540,000 domestic water users.
“The Agency is the wholesale supplier of water for eight retail contractors, including the City of Santa Rosa, City of Petaluma, North Marin Water District, Valley of the Moon Water District, City of Sonoma, City of Cotati, Forestville County Water District, and the City of Rohnert Park.
“The agency supplies other users including Ya-Ka-Ama, Santa Rosa Jr. College Agriculture Farm, Sonoma County Probation Department, Sonoma County Airport, Redwood Fibre Glass, Sis-Q Flying Service, California Division of Forestry, Nation Flight Service, Inc., Redwood Aviation Enterprises, Larkfield Water Company, County of Sonoma, Victor S & Mark H. Trione, Lawndate Mutual Water Company, Kenwood Village Water Company, Sonoma State Hospital, Penngrove Water Company, Feather Knoll Farm, Marvin Malacredi and C. H. Christensen.”
In all, SCWA has 156 active connections.
Russian River Utility (RRU), a water and sewer management company serving Sonoma County regions and communities without full service public utilities, and not served by SCWA, including public, mutual/private and commercial systems, providing both water treatment and distribution services, wastewater treatment and water reclamation services.
Russian River Utility (RRU) service area. Map courtesy of rru.org
Several Sonoma County cities operate independently of SCWA and RRU. They include
SONOMA COUNTY WATER SYSTEMS: Private wells meet some residential and agricultural needs. Some communities, like Healdsburg, Sebastopol and Cloverdale, are supplied by municipal well fields. Others, like Rohnert Park, use a combination of municipal wells and water from SCWA.
75 miles of engineered flood control channels. The channels are primarily located in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, and Sonoma. The Water Agency also has easements to maintain hydraulic capacity over approximately 100 miles of modified or natural channels.