Water Supply


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.

2020 Urban Water Management Plan Update

In accordance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act (California Water Code §10608-10656) the City of Petaluma adopted its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) and associated Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) in coordination with community stakeholders. The 2020 UWMP can be found in the link below, and the 2020 WSCP can be found in the 2020 UWMP, Appendix L.

After of year of implementing the 2020 WSCP in response to ongoing drought conditions in Petaluma, the City of Petaluma is amending its 2020 WSCP in response to community feedback and to better adapt our plan to help us respond to water shortage conditions. Please see below for a DRAFT of the  Amended 2020 WSCP. The amended plan will be considered for adoption at the August 1, 2022 Petaluma City Council Meeting.

Final 2020 Urban Water Management Plan

Final 2020 Urban Water Management Plan Appendices A-N

FINAL 2015 Urban Water Management Plan

DRAFT Amended 2020 Water Shortage Contingency Plan

Educational Videos

Check out the videos below from Sonoma Water which provide excellent background and context on the subject of the Russian River watershed, river flows, and the water supply system upon which we are so dependent.

The Russia River Story: Watershed Stream Flows Video

Sonoma Water – Water Supply System “How does water get to your home?”

photo of water being tested

We work hard to make sure our customers have clean, good-tasting water on demand.

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