2023 Drought Updates

June 2023: Thank you for doing your part!

Water levels at Lake Sonoma are over 100% capacity, and our county has officially been lifted out of the drought. What a difference a few months of good rain can make. Water levels at Lake Sonoma went from the lowest in recorded history to above average in just three months. 

We want to thank residents for your commitment to water conservation through the drought and for making water conservation a way of life moving forward. Together, Windsor water customers were able to cut our water use by over 20% compared to 2020. 

While our water supplies are looking good now, it is clear that drought followed by extreme precipitation is a new normal for California. It is important to celebrate our successes and continue to avoid wasteful water practices. 

Source: U.S Drought Monitor March 30, 2023

drought map

Lake Sonoma, April 2023

lake sonoma full

As of March 24, 2023, Govenor Gavin Newsom has lifted the drought state of emergency and has rescinded the emergency level 2 drought restrictions for the majority of the state including Sonoma County. 

While the emergency drought restrictions have been lifted for most of the state, the following restriction remains in effect.

  • Commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) nonfunctional turf must not be irrigated. This includes Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs)
  • Nonfunctional turf is defined by the State as: "Turf that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events”.
  • Turf areas are exempt from the turf irrigation ban if one of the following is true:
    • The turf us used for human recreation, civic purposes, sports or play.
    • The turf is irrigated with recycled water or other non-potable water, or by groundwater.
    • Trees and perennial shrubs planted within turf may be watered.
    • The turf is of a variety of which has a watering factor of 0.3 and is watered at no more than 40% of watering needs for typical turf grass.

 As of April 19, 2023 the Level 2 Water Shortage, which was adopted by the Windsor Town Council on July 21, 2021, has ended. 

This ends the mandatory 20% reduction of water use, however the following restrictions on wasteful water practices remain in effect regardless of drought conditions.

  • When washing hard or paved surfaces, a hose with an automatic shut off device, or a low-volume high pressure cleaning machine that recycles used water must be used. 
  • Watering vegetated areas in a manner that causes excessive water flow or runoff onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street, alley, gutter, or ditch is prohibited. 
  • Water leak repairs are to be completed within 72 hours.
  • Automatic shut off nozzles must be used on hoses when washing vehicles.
  • Decorative fountains must recirculate water
  • Water for single pass evaporative cooling systems for air conditioning in all new installations unless required for health or safety reasons;
  • Water for new non-recirculating conveyor car wash systems.
  • Water for new non-recirculating industrial clothes wash systems.