The City of Petaluma’s water system originated in the late 1800s, to meet the growing demand as development occurred in the downtown area. The City’s original water source was the headwaters of Adobe Creek. In 1910, the City constructed Lawler Reservoir in the hills east of Petaluma to boost water supply. In 1937, stream diversion facilities and a water treatment plant were constructed at Lawler Reservoir to supplement surface water supply.
In 1960, the City of Petaluma entered into an agreement with the Sonoma County Water Agency for the annual delivery of 4,500 acre-feet of water. In December 1961, the Sonoma County Water Agency completed the Petaluma Aqueduct and the City of Petaluma began taking delivery of water, along with the North Marin Water District, from the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Russian River Water System. The City decommissioned Lawler Reservoir in the early 1990s.