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Santa Rosa urges residents to cut back on water usage (w/video)

Santa Rosa is joining other Sonoma County cities in asking residents to conserve water, but it's holding off on mandatory water restrictions for the moment.

The city is asking residents to voluntarily conserve water by 20 percent in response to the historic drought, the same request Gov. Jerry Brown made of all Californians Jan. 17.

The City Council is expected to pass a formal resolution calling for the reduction at its Feb. 11 meeting.

“We will be looking at a voluntary 20 percent reduction for our community,” Vice Mayor Robin Swinth said at Tuesday's council meeting.

The Sonoma County Water Agency will be formally asking all the communities it supplies with water to take the same action next week, said spokesman Brad Sherwood.

The agency supplies water to 600,000 residents and businesses in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma and Sonoma and water districts in Sonoma Valley and Marin County.

Santa Rosa's website is already calling for the enhanced conservation efforts. It includes public service announcements from the Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership, which has produced several ads stressing the importance of conservation this year.

One shows a photo of a dog called “The official dishwasher of 2014.” Another calls a broom “The official hose of 2014.” The slogan of the program is “There's a drought on. Turn off the water.”

Santa Rosa doesn't yet see the need for mandatory 25 percent restrictions like those now in place in Cloverdale and Healdsburg because those communities rely on water from Lake Mendocino, which is far lower than Lake Sonoma, the city's main supply of drinking water, said Utilities Director David Guhin.

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