North Marin Water District Local Water Supply Enhancement Study Update

(Posted October 28, 2022) Earlier this year, the District conducted a Local Water Supply Enhancement Study to evaluate water supply alternatives for the Novato area. The goal is to ensure the District has a resilient strategy for sustainable water supply to minimize the impact of future droughts. 

In addition to working with an engineering consultant with expertise in water supply alternatives, North Marin Water District held two community workshops in January and April of this year. At the April workshop, a draft report was presented with findings and recommendations in order to gain public feedback.

North Marin Water District staff presented the final Local Water Supply Enhancement Study to the Board of Directors, and it was accepted at the Board Meeting on July 19th, 2022. The Study identifies three local alternatives that scored high using the established evaluation criteria, including overall cost and weighted qualitative scoring. 

Beginning this new fiscal year, we will be moving forward with two of the three initiatives:

  • Improve Stafford Treatment Plant Efficiency (including water recapture, pretreatment, and raw water intake modifications)
  • Increase Stafford Lake Storage Capacity – Spillway Notch Slide Gate

A third alternative, diverting captured stormwater into Stafford Lake, requires significant collaboration with other stakeholders and so will take more time to formulate. The Study concluded that other alternatives are not feasible at the local level but could be pursued regionally and through partnership with other agencies. Many of these alternatives such as groundwater sources, aquifer storage and recovery, and desalination were also identified in Sonoma Water’s Drought Resiliency Analysis.

As well as these promising solutions identified by the Local Water Supply Enhancement Study, North Marin Water District continues to prioritize strategies that will secure water supplies for our customers in the years ahead.

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Photo of the Spillway at Stafford Lake.