As Wells Run Dry, Sonoma Valley Reckons With New Water Regulations

One morning in the summer of 2018, Kelly Stober woke up and started to get ready for work. But when she turned on the faucet in her shower, no water came out.

Stober lives in a rural neighborhood a few miles east of downtown Sonoma. Like her neighbors, she relies on a well for drinking water, household uses, and irrigation. And her well, sunk 800 feet into the ground, had run dry.

Sonoma County Flirts With Drought as Reservoirs Recede in Water-Poor Winter

About a mile of bare, cracked earth now lies like a desertscape between the boat ramp at the north end of Lake Mendocino and the water’s edge of a diminished reservoir that helps provide water for 600,000 Sonoma and Marin County residents.

The human-made lake near Ukiah is about 30 feet lower than it was at this time last year, and Nick Malasavage, an Army Corps of Engineers official who oversees operations at the reservoir, said the scene is “pretty jarring.”