It’s the dry time of year. So how is our creek flow going?

The water in creeks is the lifeblood of riparian forests, water creatures like fish and kingfishers, land animals needing to drink, and water well users who irrigate vineyards and landscapes. Recently, Sonoma Ecology Center received a grant to measure stream flow in detail, in order to help plan projects that will meet human water needs while reducing harm to stream flow during the dry season.

We’ll be working with seasoned researchers at Trout Unlimited who have successfully done similar work up and down the coast. The resulting data will pinpoint locations where collecting water during the rainy season, and storing it in tanks, can offset pumping in the dry season, leaving more water in the creek for wildlife while increasing the reliability of water supply for streamside landowners.

If you use an in-stream or near-stream pump, and are interested in these options, please contact project manager Melissa Roberts at melissa@sonomaecologycenter.org or 996-0712 ext. 123. For more on how to save water now in Sonoma Valley, see our drought brochure.

(On the subject of well-water users, if you rely solely on a well and not a water service, the Sonoma County Water Agency is now offering a rebate program on water-efficient clothes washers, landscaping, and toilets. Go to www.sonomacountywater.org/well to learn how to save water and money.)