A weak atmospheric river rolled through the San Francisco Bay Area early Tuesday, dumping more than 2 inches of rain in the Marin County community Kentfield, nestled in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais, but giving little relief to the drought stricken South Bay. Rainfall totals over the last 24 hours depended entirely on what zip code you lived in. The National Weather Service said as of 5 a.m., 2.21 inches had fallen in Kentfield, 1.57 inches in Santa Rosa and 1.66 inches in Mill Valley.
As the sun began to rise over Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Village neighborhood, the headlights of a city work truck brought into view utility official Shiloh Jones’ target: wasted water.
Jones, part of Santa Rosa’s newly formed “water waste patrol,” had spotted a puddle on the sidewalk and traced it to a runaway irrigation system in a bed of pink roses.
The Santa Rosa City Council approved mandatory water-use restrictions for its residents and businesses starting Thursday, becoming the sixth city in Sonoma County to cut back on water.
The motion to approve the water-shortage contingency plan — which mandates residents and businesses reduce water use by 20% — passed with five ayes from Council Members Eddie Alvarez, John Sawyer, Tom Schwedhelm, Mayor Chris Rogers and Vice Mayor Natalie Rogers. Council Members Victoria Fleming and Jack Tibbetts were absent.
More than a month and a half into this year’s rainy season and significant precipitation was finally falling on Tuesday in Northern California. The state could use it in more ways than one.