NeWTs – Neighborhood Water Teams

Save water and build a more resilient Sonoma Valley community with NeWTs!

Are you a Sonoma Valley resident? Interested in exploring ways you can conserve water and save money, while also connecting with fellow community members? We invite you to Sonoma Garden Park for our fall 2017 NeWTs (Neighborhood Water Teams) Water Learning Series!

Join us in learning from local experts and from one another, to explore simple everyday ways we can better steward our precious water resources in Sonoma Valley. These meetings will be interactive, hands-on, and fun! We invite you to bring a snack to share, as well as bring your knowledge and your questions as they relate to the topic each week. Participants who attend the entire series will be entered into the raffle for our “Water Winner Prize Package”! All participants receive local resource guide, water-saving tools, rebates and coupons.

Held at Sonoma Garden Park, each Wednesday of October, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. This workshop series is FREE!

Space is limited, register today: http://newtswaterworkshop.brownpapertickets.com/

Wednesday, October 4: Intro & Current Issues

Water issues facing Sonoma Valley today, including groundwater, drought, stormwater, and flooding—and solutions! Guest speaker: Caitlin Cornwall, SEC Research Program Manager.

Wednesday, October 11: Water Conservation

Ways to reduce water usage in your home and yard. Low flow devices, irrigation solutions, and building soil. Guest speaker: Seth Dolinsky, Master Gardener & Springs Community Hall President.

Wednesday, October 18: Water Quality

Ways to reduce pollutants and stormwater coming from your home. Low-Impact-Design concepts, rain gardens, and water-friendly landscaping. Guest Speaker: Mark Newhouser, SEC Restoration Program Manager.

Wednesday, October 25: Digging Deeper

Dig deeper into topics of most interest, explore ways to expand our impact, free resources, and celebrate what we’ve learned & done!

Why join?

  • There are two areas in Sonoma Valley with serious levels of groundwater decline. The groundwater levels are declining at up to several feet per year, which could lead to wells drying up and could draw in salt water from the San Pablo Bay. This jeopardizes the water supply for many households.
  • These declines appear to be related to long term trends in groundwater use and were not caused by the drought, although the drought worsened these conditions.
  • These conditions also jeopardize habitat for wildlife that rely on our local creeks. This includes river otters, endangered steelhead trout, birds and other wildlife.

By taking action through NeWTs, we will:

  • Protect our community from the symptoms of drought,
  • Protect important wildlife habitat for many species,
  • Reduce potential flood damages Reduce pollution in our creeks, the San Pablo Bay, and beyond.
  • Get to know each other better, creating a stronger sense of community.

What will we do?

  • Participants in NeWTs will meet a total of four times.
  • A Sonoma Ecology Center facilitator will guide participants through water saving activities and actions they can take, including interactive demos and guest speakers.
  • Participants each create their own plan of action, and use each meeting to share ideas, gain access to resources, and figure out what works best.
  • Teams will document the actions they take, to see what their total impact has been, and compare their impacts from before to after.

These teams work — as they did in a Virginia town that used the same program workbook to bring neighbors together and realize an estimated annual savings of 1,800,000 gallons of water!