New Water Supplies
We Are Developing New Water Supplies
We are working to develop new water sources to ensure reliable long-term water supplies for our customers and to minimize the impacts of future droughts. A public workshop is scheduled for January 25, 2022 (virtual from 6pm to 7:30pm) to discuss and present the findings of the water supply studies mentioned below (more details to follow).
Last winter, we partially refilled Stafford Lake with imported water. This winter, we are prepared to fill it even more
Last winter, we anticipated water needs during this severe drought and invested over $400,000 to purchase imported water from the Russian River and pump it to Stafford Lake. This refilled the lake from about one quarter to over one-half capacity. Even during drought years, some excess water is available from the Russian River. We are prepared to purchase even more water this year and begin refilling the lake earlier.
A Local Water Supply Enhancement Study is underway to identify potential, new local, water sources, including recycled water, desalination, capturing and storing stormwater, and more…
The Local Water Supply Enhancement Study is exploring numerous water supply options, including expanding water recycling, adding desalination, capturing and storing stormwater, increasing Stafford Lake’s capacity, and storing water in underground basins in wet years and saving it for dry years.
To identify and prioritize feasible water supply alternatives for NMWD under this planning level study, water supply yield and costs were evaluated quantitatively, while the other criteria were evaluated qualitatively. The following six criteria will be used to evaluate each alternative.
- Water Supply Yield and Reliability
- Operational Impacts
- Regulations and Permitting
- Public and Institutional Considerations
- Other Considerations
A regional water supply study is identifying potential new regional water supply projects with our neighbors…
This Regional Water Supply Resiliency study is in collaboration with eight other water suppliers that receive water from the Russian River and the Sonoma County Water Agency. The regional study is scheduled for completion in Summer 2022. However, because of the current drought, we accelerated the schedule to identify some new near-term water supply projects by December 2021.
Examples of potential new regional water projects:
- Expand production of recycled water
- Increase Russian River winter flow capture
- Increase water storage
- Expand interconnections between water systems
- Regional groundwater bank
Long History Developing New Water Supplies
Your water District has a long history of developing water supplies with major new projects in nearly every decade from the 1950s to today to meet changing customer water needs. We all continue to use and benefit from that portfolio of water sources, conservation, and efficient water management tools.
2019: NMWD installed electronic meters, which provide real-time data that helps customers detect leaks and conserve water…
In recent years, the District invested $5 million to install SMART Meters that can quickly spot unusually high water use (such as from a sudden leak) so we can alert customers. SMART Meters also allow customers to track water use in real-time, which promotes water awareness and conservation while saving money.
2018: Prioritized Development of New Water Supplies in its Five-Year Strategic Plan…
NMWD is committed to increasing long-term water supply reliability for District customers. In 2018, the District updated its Strategic Plan, and Goal No. 1 was to increase long-term water supply reliability. We have been working to increase the water supply since that goal was established.
2000s: Massively expanded the recycled water system. We now deliver over 250 million gallons of recycled water each year…
The recycled water program was developed over the last decade in cooperation with two local wastewater District (NSD and LGVSD). We deliver recycled wastewater to large landscape irrigation customers and drive-through car washes. The 250 million gallons of recycled water delivered is equal to about 13% of yearly District use, helping to keep our community green. Every gallon of recycled water used saves a gallon of valuable drinking water for our potable water customers.
1970s to today: NMWD has led the field in conservation and development standards. Every gallon saved decreases the amount of water needed from potable supplies…
In 1977, the District implemented new development standards in fixture installations before state mandates, and in the 1980s, developed the first “Cash for Grass” turf replacement program, which is still running today. The District was also first to require all new developments to use high-efficiency washing machines (in 1999) and high-efficiency toilets (in 2006). Our 2006 requirements also included some of California’s strictest landscape efficiency requirements. Our industry-leading conservation programs have helped build a permanent culture of mindful water use in Novato.
1960s: Developed our Russian River Supplies, our primary of source of water…
In the 1960s, the District paid to construct an aqueduct to convey Russian River water to the Novato area and entered into a long-water supply contract. We also championed the stalled Lake Sonoma project, which had been bogged down for years and created new, much needed water storage that meets about two-thirds of Novato’s water needs.