Water Conservationists Recognized for Eco Projects

Residents, growers and the Sonoma Community Center replaced grass, captured rainwater and built a demonstration garden


Sowing crops in the Sonoma Valley means making the most of the minimal rainfall and going to extreme lengths to conserve water.

This morning, Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Basin Advisory Panel released the names of six local water conservation projects, recognized for superior effectiveness. 

The winners, which include for-profit and non-profit businesses and two residents, have come up with creative solutions to increase water efficiency using both state of the art technology and ordinary household goods.

Here's the roster:

  • Cathy O’Neill As part of a home renovation, O'Neill built a 610-gallon rain water harvesting system, which stores rainwater for landscaping.  "The water-saving technique serves as a model to neighbors and other residents," read this morning's release.
  • Clarence Jenkins. A third generation grower, Jenkins uses a number of water-saving techniques, including an electrical irrigation system which minimizes waste and a storm-water runoff management system, which encourages groundwater recharge.
  • Sonoma Valley Water Conservation Coordinators Kathy Toohey and Mike Brett "have made significant contribution in implementing water conservation programs and reaching out and assisting Sonoma Valley residents in lowering water use," reads the release.
  • Mona Verducci She replaced more than 4,100 square feet of  turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, saving "thousands of gallons of water" and maintaining "appealing landscaping."
  • The nonprofit constructed the Maloney Waterwise Demonstration Garden, which includes a rainwater harvesting system that will help demonstrate and encourage practical water-saving practices. They also replaced over 4,000 square feet of greenery with drought-resistant foliage.

“By conserving water, these award-winners help all of us. The less water taken out of the groundwater basin now, the more we have available for future droughts and for our children and grandchildren,” said Mark Bramfitt, Chairman of the Basin Advisory Panel.

The winners were recognized at a January 19 award ceremony. 

The Basin Advisory Panel, which was formed in 2007, has developed a groundwater management plan for Sonoma Valley. Read all about it on their website

Elora January 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Congratulations to everyone!
Irene Morgan January 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Interesting to see the rain water harvesting decision of Cathy O'Neill. Rain harvesting is Bermuda's primary source of fresh water (there is no fresh water on the island) and this could be something that we should be encouraged to do. All of the projects are noteworthy.
Dorothy January 25, 2012 at 05:48 PM
These projects are really important in terms of the environment. While some might seem to be difficult, we could begin to follow Mona Verducci and to try to plan drought tolerant landscaping for the land around our homes. Even if pllanted in stages, ultimately it would make a significant difference.
Renee January 25, 2012 at 05:59 PM
The initatives by the various winners are original and important. And some of them, such as the drought tolerant landscaping, are things that we all can try to emulate, helping with the water use in a small way.


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