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Water supplies will continue to decrease if we do not have significant rain this fall and winter. Based on available regional water supply from Sonoma Water the City may need to implement additional restrictions on water use as defined in the City's Water Shortage Plan.
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Cotati has been very active in outreach to our customers since we first launched a dry weather outreach beginning in February 2021, in unison with the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership. In May 2021, Cotati launched a robust drought outreach campaign and, on May 25, Cotati City Council adopted a 20 percent voluntary community-wide water use reduction target. This action was consistent with the region and was left in place for all of 2022 as well. With the current rains, it is not certain if the 20% voluntary reduction target will be left in place, rescinded or extended, or otherwise changed. A decision on this can be expected in the Spring.
During a drought, it is important that we all do our part to save water. Every gallon or drop saved preserves water in our local reservoirs. For example, Cotati customers should eliminate water waste and adopt water-saving habits. Water waste, like leaks and breaks or overspray from irrigation are prohibited. For water-saving tips, free devices, rebates, and more, visit our Water Conversation Page.
The request for a 20 percent reduction in water use is a collective, community-wide, target and not necessarily an individual target. Cotati appreciates all our customers that have made permanent and significant efforts to reduce water use. If you have already eliminated water waste and are using water efficiently indoors and outdoors, we encourage you to continue doing so. If you're interested in exploring whether there are additional ways you can reduce water use during this drought, please visit our Water Conservation Page for potential ideas (and check out our rebate programs!). Also, sign up for water leak alerts at the WaterInsight Program.
We are also asking that all residents practice water-saving behaviors, look for opportunities to replace inefficient water using appliances and/or transform turf grass into low water use landscapes. Cotati offers free water-saving devices, rebates, tips, and more to help customers reduce water use. Need assistance? Contact us at today at 707-665-3638.
Home water use varies based on the number of occupants, habits, and the efficiency level of water using fixtures installed. Home water use also fluctuates seasonally based on the size and type of irrigated landscape, with outdoor use accounting for approximately 50 percent of annual water use for single-family residences even though most irrigation occurs only during the six months from May through October.
Indoor water use can typically be met using no more than 50 gallons per person per day, with more efficient homes using as little as 25 to 30 gallons per person per day. For a family of four, average indoor use ranges from around 3,000 gallons to 6,000 gallons per month. Even if you aren't sure about your usage per day, you can help us achieve our critical goal of reducing water use community-wide by 20%. Please visit our Water Conservation here for a list of tips and rebates to help you eliminate water waste, reduce water use, and improve water use efficiency.
Water for landscapes can double water use from May to October. We offer weather-based watering recommendations and can complete a Water Smart outdoor assessment to help you irrigate more efficiently. We also offer rebates for some irrigation system improvements and for converting turf grass to low water use landscaping. Contact us at 707-665-3638 before starting a project to make sure it meets the requirements to be eligible for a rebate.
Check your water bill or go to the WaterInsight Program to sign up for leak alerts and get access to your hourly water use.
Yes, Cotati has a Water Waste Ordinance in place that prohibits waste of water due to breaks, leaks, or excess use. This means that leaking faucets, toilets, and appliances, broken irrigation pipes, leaking irrigation valves, or broken sprinkler heads must be repaired in a timely way. Also, the Ordinance prohibits water runoff from your property due to any reason, for example from overwatering your yard or misdirected sprinklers that "water" sidewalks.
The City has implemented water waste patrols to identify properties that are not complying with the City's Water Waste Ordinance. When water waste is identified, Cotati will contact property owners to inform them of the issue and to provide education and resources for efficient irrigation practices. Customers are responsible for managing and repairing their irrigation systems to avoid overspray and runoff. Excessive outdoor water use may be in violation of City of Cotati regulations.
If water waste is occurring at a neighbor's property, try to contact them first. If you are unable to talk with your neighbor or identify which property is responsible, report the issue to Cotati by completing the Report a Problem from the Public Works web page. Our Public Works staff will investigate the matter and follow up as needed.
Customers who reduce their water usage will see a decrease in the water portion of their bimonthly water bill.
The City offers many programs and incentives to assist customers in reducing water use, eliminating water waste, and improving water use efficiency. In addition to the rebates and incentives listed below, the City's Water Use Efficiency team provides free do-it-yourself WaterSmart Home check-up kits and in-person on-site visits to assess irrigation efficiency and make recommendations.
Free water-saving devices: high-efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, shut-off hose nozzles, dye tabs, toilet flappers (to check for toilet leaks)
Rebates: qualifying high-efficiency washing machines, rebates for qualifying toilets, Cash for Grass for lawn conversion and irrigation efficiency upgrades
Programs: Free indoor and outdoor water use surveys and recommendations, and a free subscription for all customers to the Water Insight website, which allows you to set up leak alerts, see how your usage compares with your neighbors, get customized recommendations, and much more!
For more information contact us at 707-665-3638, or go to the City's Water Conservation page.
Every water supplier is affected by water supply shortages differently. Some water providers have the ability to store greater volumes of water or have access to more local supplies, such as groundwater or recycled water. Water use and customer type also varies from water supplier to water supplier. To respond to dry conditions, all water suppliers in California have Urban Water Shortage Contingency Plans, which define actions to meet anticipated water supply shortfalls of up to 50 percent.
Other Sonoma County agencies that purchase water from the Sonoma County Water Agency, are all requesting a 20 percent water reduction.
The City of Cotati's prudent and cost-effective long-term water supply planning means that occurrences of single and multiple dry years do not automatically mean water supply capacity is limited for planned development. The City's Water Shortage Contingency Plan outlines how the City will respond to a reduction in regional water supply deliveries from Sonoma Water, our wholesale water supplier.
These are a few main tips for saving water as a pool owner:
Call your local pool supply company for these and other tips and for water saving products.