The Coastal Post - May, 1998

Big Trouble Coming In Sonoma With Water

By Ann Maurice

The County Water Agency is drilling twelve wells in the Laguna. They've already started and they're drilling day and night. They claim that the "emergency" wells just aren't producing like they used to. Bullwhacky! Those wells on Occidental and Sebastopol Roads are producing more water than they ever have. They just want more to sell to Marin County! "Lost capacity," they say, claiming that they're getting only 5.4 million gallons per day out of the two wells together and that the wells were designed to produce far more. Bullwhacky!

Back in 1979, when the wells were first developed, they produced 2,000 gallons per minute and 1,200 gallons per minute, respectively. May they thought we couldn't or wouldn't do the math:

Here it is: 2,000 + 1,200 = 3,200 gallons per minute out of both wells

3,200 X 60 = 192,000 gallons per hour

192,000 X 24 = 4, 608,000 per day in 1979

5,400,000 gallons per day in 1998 is more than 4,608,000 gallons per day in 1979. So who are they trying to fool? There is no loss of capacity. They simply want to suck more water out of the Laguna and they're willing to monkey with us to get it.

The City of Sebastopol wasn't notified, neighboring property owners weren't notified. They wrote to six homeowners just a couple of days before the drilling started. Our Supervisor says he didn't even know about the project until he started getting letters from the public. What are we dealing with, a rogue agency, the Sonoma County Water Agency, or what? The "or what" options are equally scary.

The County's master plan is to drill up to 24 water wells with aquifer injection, monitoring wells and observation wells in the area called Laguna surrounded roughly by Guerneville Road, Todd Road, High School, Willowside and