Current Drought Information

Drought Conditions

Due to a lack of rain, Sonoma County is experiencing exceptional and severe drought conditions that will persist through of 2021 and perhaps longer. 

On April 21, 2021 -- the day before Earth Day -- Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a drought emergency in the Russian River watershed, which spans Sonoma and Mendocino counties. This was a month after the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a warning to water utilities — including the City of Healdsburg — and agricultural water customers to prepare for drought impacts statewide.

Water Supply

Due to insufficient conservation and low flows in the Russian River, all water rights holders north of Healdsburg received a notice of water unavailability from the State Water Control Board. The notice of unavailability informs water right holders that water is unavailable and that diversions under those water rights should stop. 

For municipal water right holders, the State Board will allow continued diversions necessary to sustain public health and safety needs.

Lake Mendocino Drought

Stage 3 Water Restrictions as of June 7, 2021

The following water restrictions are required in order to maintain water supply to sustain public health and safety needs for the remainder of the year: 

  • Residential Customers are assigned a water budget of 74 gallons per person per day.  
  • Commercial Customers are required to reduce water usage by 40%. 
  • Automated irrigation -- sprinklers or drip -- is prohibited for all residential, commercial and industrial customers. 
  • Hosing driveways, hardscapes areas power washing, and washing personal vehicles are prohibited. 
  • Planting new landscaping or grass is prohibited.
  • Hand-watering is allowed so long as it's within water allowance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the residential water allowance? 

A residential water allowance of 74 gallons per person per day was implemented to help the City meet its system-wide reduction goal of 40%. The allowance ensures people have adequate water for all indoor water needs to meet public health and safety requirements such as cooking, flushing, showering, and cleaning. 

2. How do I monitor my daily budget?

First, look at your utility bill. The utility bill shows 12-month history and an average daily use. Winter months will indicate your true indoor water use. Divide the daily average by the number of people in the household to determine each persons use relative to the allowance. 

If your winter usage is over 74 gallons per person per day, you may want to monitor usage by checking your water meter weekly. Instruction on how to read you meter can be found here. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a Flume smart metering device. It easily connects to your water meter and wi-fi for real time water use. The City offers a $100 rebate for this $200 device. 

3. What steps should I take to achieve the daily allowance?

Turn off irrigation, flush less, maximize loads of laundry, take short showers, install low flow devices, and capture household greywater to be used on plants. 

Rebates are available for low flow toilets, clothes washers, greywater systems, and other water saving measures. More information here.

4. How is the residential water allowance and commercial reductions enforced?

City staff will be monitoring usage on a weekly basis to inform customers that may exceed the water allowance. Fines, up to $1,000 per day, will be imposed on those that exceed the budget or don't meet reductions. 

5. How much water do residents vs. businesses use? 

Residents use 72% of the City's total water demand, and commercial customers represent 19%. The City of Healdsburg facilities and parks use 2%, Healdsburg Unified School District and other schools represent another 2%, and the remaining 5% is used by churches, industrial customers and other uses.  

Source: water use data by customer segment is collected monthly for billing purposes. 

6. Is Recycled Water available for landscaping? 

The City is developing a recycled water delivery service. Residents are responsible for getting a storage tank and necessary equipment to apply the water to their landscaping (hose and pump). The recycled water must be used within 24 hours of delivery, therefore we recommend a 500 gallon tank or less. 

The recycled water program is designed to maintain high priority trees and shrubs; it is not intended to keep non-native and non-drought tolerant landscaping lush. Please help us prioritize our living assets.  If you have drought tolerant landscaping -- your plants will survive the dry season. 

Please contact conservation@ci.healdsburg.ca.us with questions about the delivery program. It is set to launch late-June.

7. Who do I contact if I need help understanding my water usage? 

Please contact the Utility Department at conservation@ci.healdsburg.ca.us or 707-431-3122 with your account number and contact information. We can respond to e-mails faster than phone calls (please and thank you). 


Reading Your Utility Bill

Utility Bill - Usage History

Utility Bill - History

Utility Bill - Current Usage

Utility Bill - Current Usage

Resources