Sustainability & Conservation Measures

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

As part of the Sebastopol City Council’s continuing commitment to the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the city installed three electric vehicle charging stations in the city-owned parking lot on Laguna Way northeast of the Rialto Cinema in 2013. Fees as of April 1, 2017 include a $2.00 connection charge, and a usage charge of $1.00 per hour. The monies collected will be separately accounted for, and will be used to pay for costs associated with system administration, maintenance, and electric vehicle charging program network expansion at City owned and leased facilities. The city plans to add charging stations in the South High Street parking lot across from the Sebastopol Center for the Arts soon. Privately owned charging stations at varying stages of completion are located at the CVS parking lot on Petaluma Avenue and in the Redwood Market Place near the Lucky supermarket.

Street Tree Program

Street Tree Program

The City encourages property owners to plant trees in their front yards to beautify Sebastopol. Plant a tree for the next generation! Click the link below for recommended trees.

Sustainable Sebastopol

Sustainable Sebastopol

Climate Action Framework

Guidelines for sustainable municipal policy developed by other jurisdictions have been adapted for Sebastopol, and include the following:

1. The Concept of Sustainability Guides City Policy
The City is committed to meeting its existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The long-term impacts of policy choices will be considered to ensure a sustainable legacy.

2. Protection, Preservation, and Restoration of the Natural Environment are High Priorities of the City
Sebastopol is committed to protecting, preserving and restoring the natural environment. City decision-making will be guided by a mandate to maximize environmental benefits and reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts within the context of the City’s essential functions, planned development, and overall goals and responsibilities. The City will lead by example and encourage other community stakeholders to make a similar commitment to the environment.

3. Environmental Quality, Economic Health and Social Equity are Mutually Dependent
Sustainability requires that our collective decisions as a city allow our economy and community members to continue to thrive without destroying the natural environment upon which we all depend. A healthy environment is integral to the city’s long-term economic and societal interests. In achieving a healthy environment, we must ensure that inequitable burdens are not placed on any one geographic or socioeconomic sector of the population and that the benefits of a sustainable community are accessible to all members of the community.

4. All Decisions Have Implications to the Long-term Sustainability of Sebastopol
The City will ensure that each of its policy decisions and programs are interconnected through the common bond of sustainability as expressed in these guiding principles. The policy and decision-making processes of the City will reflect our sustainability objectives. The City will lead by example and encourage other community stakeholders to use sustainability principles to guide their decisions and actions.

5. Community Awareness, Responsibility, Participation and Education are Key Elements of a Sustainable Community
All community members, including individual citizens, community-based groups, businesses, schools and other institutions must be aware of their impacts on the environmental, economic and social health of Sebastopol, must take responsibility for reducing, eliminating, and balancing those impacts, and must take an active part in community efforts to address sustainability concerns. The City will therefore assist in education opportunities to support community awareness, responsibility and participation in cooperation with area schools, colleges and other organizations in the community.

6. Sebastopol Recognizes Its Linkage with the Regional, National, and Global Community
Local environmental, economic and social issues cannot be separated from their broader context. This relationship between local issues and regional, national and global issues will be recognized and acted upon in the City’s programs and policies. This may involve balancing local issues with broader concerns. In addition, the City’s programs and policies should be developed as models that can be emulated by other communities. The City will also act as a strong advocate for the development and implementation of model programs and innovative approaches by regional, state and federal government that embody the goals of sustainability.

7. Those Sustainability Issues Most Important to the Community Will be Addressed First, and the Most Cost-Effective Programs and Policies Will be Selected
The financial and human resources which are available to the City are limited. The City and the community will periodically reevaluate its priorities and its programs and policies to ensure that the best possible investments in the future are being made. The evaluation of a program’s cost-effectiveness will be based on an analysis of the associated costs and benefits, including environmental and social costs and benefits.

8. The City is committed to Procurement Decisions which Minimize Negative Environmental and Social Impacts
The procurement of products and services by the City and Sebastopol residents, businesses and institutions results in environmental, social and economic impacts both in this country and in other areas of the world. The City will abide by an environmentally and socially responsible procurement policy that emphasizes long-term values and will become a model for other public as well as private organizations. The City will support other local agencies, businesses and residents adopting sustainable purchasing practices.

9. Cross-sector Partnerships Are Necessary to Achieve Sustainable Goals
Threats to the long-term sustainability of Sebastopol are multi-sector in their causes and require multi-sector solutions. Partnerships among the City government, businesses, residents, property owners and all community stakeholders are necessary to achieve a sustainable community.

Electrification Survey

The survey was conceived by, written by and the results interpreted by the volunteer Climate Action Committee‘s Energy Working Group. The survey was undertaken to help the Climate Action Committee to make informed recommendations to the City as to how to increase residential electrification. The Climate Action Committee wanted to measure public awareness and interest in the new highly efficient electric appliances. The survey was also intended to help capture the awareness of the available electrification incentives and the barriers to installation. The idea of the survey was to use results to help the committee and other organizations target education efforts and design programs to help residents in their electrification efforts.

The survey was performed entirely online. It was publicized in the City’s digital newsletter, some posts on social media, flyers around town, and tabling efforts at various events. The survey received 515 responses of which 327 were within the city of Sebastopol.

Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy

Sebastopol has made a major commitment to energy conservation. Working with the Local Government Energy Program, Sebastopol conducted an audit of major energy uses, such as pumps, vehicles, buildings, and equipment. As a result, new, more efficient equipment is in place, reducing energy needs. This includes new trucks for the Public Works Department, energy-efficient replacement vehicles of the Police Department, solar panels installed at Ives Pool, the Public Works Department and the Fire Department, and new HVAC systems at the Library, City Hall, and Police Department.

In addition, the City adopted a resolution creating an Administrative Policy that requires City departments to evaluate their energy usage in their respective buildings and identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption. The policy also outlines on-going measures that are to be taken in such categories as building heating and cooling, lighting, upgrades and equipment, and conservation measures during emergencies.

The City is a partner with Solar Sebastopol to promote the installation of photovoltaic systems on buildings in Sebastopol. Through this program, the Sebastopol are has become one of the leaders on a per-capita basis for PV installations.

The City will also be evaluating the opportunity to participate in a Community Choice Aggregation program that will enable City residents to have a greater choice for alternative energy sources for their electrical power, and to increase local control of energy sources.

Green Building Program

Conventional building practices consume large quantities of wood, plastic, metal, cardboard, paper, water, and other natural resources that lead, unnecessarily, to their depletion. The City of Sebastopol encourages the use of building design and construction that results in the conservation of resources and the reduction of toxic pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, the City has adopted the Green Building Program. The goal of this program is to provide information on alternative building design and construction techniques and materials that can be easily incorporated into all types of construction projects.

Sebastopol has one of the most innovative and progressive green building programs in the State of California. While ‘green building’ practices are encouraged by many jurisdictions, Sebastopol is one of just a few jurisdictions in the State that mandates a minimum level of performance through a flexible points system, where designers make the choices to achieve a level of energy and water conservation to achieve performance in excess of minimum Building Code requirements.


Communication and information is a critical requirement for a sustainable City. Detailed information resources may be accessed on the City’s public web site. The City also publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, distributed to all of its water/sewer customers, and also posted on the City web site. The City also provides a building for the County Library at no cost. The library functions as a major community knowledgebase. The News and Events page of the City web site may be accessed at: News and Events

The Sebastopol Branch Library resources may be accessed at

Regular meetings of the City Council, Planning Commission, Business Outreach Committee, and Design Review Board are also forums for public communication on a variety of projects and policy issues. In addition, the City Council periodically sponsors town hall meetings for open discussion of major community issues.

Leadership and Innovation

The Sebastopol City Council comprises the democratically-elected leadership of the Sebastopol community and the City organization. The Council sets broad policy, which is implemented by City boards and Commissions, and by City staff. The Council is committed to responsible City management, including maintenance and improvement of public health, safety, and general welfare, as well as implementation of innovative policies and programs that are prudent, cost-effective, and set an example for other organizations and individuals.

The City’s General Plan, often called the ‘constitution’ of local government, addresses a broad scope of issues, and sets policy in a variety of areas. Sebastopol’s General Plan includes a number of innovative policies, including promotion of infill developer to limit sprawl, allowance of mixed-use development, provision of a Growth Management Program, and policies supporting preservation and restoration of the Laguna de Santa Rosa wetlands.


  • Since the 1980’s, the City has worked in partnership with many other entities to restore and conserve the Laguna de Santa Rosa.
  • The City’s “Sphere of Influence” (the area subject to annexation into the City and further development) was reduced in the early 2000s to reflect the City’s desire to look towards infill development rather than sprawl into green fields.
  • In 2002, Resolution 5246 established the City’s preference for purchasing the lowest emission vehicles possible for its fleet. 
  •  Also in 2013, Sebastopol became the second city in the nation to require solar on new buildings and remodels, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. The City has also adopted a streamlined permitting process for residential solar systems. Construction in the City requires builders to follow CalGreen Tier 1, which goes above the state building code requirements to create more efficient and green buildings.
  •  In 2014, the City re-landscaped the City Hall and Library property to incorporate permaculture, food forest, and low-water use elements.
  •  In 2014, the City adopted a water shortage contingency plan that prohibits certain nonessential water uses and outlines water conservation stages that can be implemented under drought conditions.
  • Sebastopol’s 2016 General Plan includes many sustainable land use policies, such as: Maintenance of the urban growth boundary, Defining a priority development area to focus investments in housing, transit, and job growth, Promoting increased housing density near to jobs, services, and transit, Encouraging mixed-use developments, Protecting and enhancing the natural environment, including riparian habitat and native vegetation.
  • In 2016, the City has established an Urban Growth Boundary (Ordinance 1090) which limits City development to a defined area.  
  • In October 2018, Sebastopol was the first jurisdiction in Sonoma County to adopt a Zero Waste Resolution (Resolution 6214) with the goal to achieve Zero Waste by 2030.
  • The City’s utility accounts, which include City-operated wells, have been enrolled in Sonoma Clean Power’s 100% renewable EverGreen program since 2019.
  •  In 2019, the City followed this resolution with Ordinance 1125, banning disposable food serviceware and other products containing polystyrene foam, and requiring food providers to use compostable or recyclable disposable food serviceware.
  • There are solar installations on most City buildings, including the Ives Pool Building, Police Station, City Hall, Fire Station, and Public Works Corporation Yard. In 2020, the City’s 10 solar installations produced 336,055 kilowatt-hours of energy in total, saving $151,225 in electricity costs.
  • Since July 6, 2021, Sebastopol has been under a Stage 2 Water Alert (Resolution 6359), which mandates a 25 percent reduction in water use. 
  • The Sebastopol Climate Action Committee began hosting giveaways of free organic compost in 2021.
  • The City’s Purchasing Policy includes an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy (EPPP) aimed at reducing waste and minimizing environmental impacts. The Purchasing Policy was most recently amended in April 2022 to incorporate composting requirements under SB 1383.
  • An updated Zero Waste Food Ware Ordinance was adopted on January 18, 2022 (Ordinance 1135) and will replace the disposable food serviceware ban when it goes into effect on August 1, 2022.
  • The City’s Low Impact Development program regulates stormwater and other runoff from developments to protect water quality and increase groundwater recharge.
  • The City has established an Urban Growth Boundary (Ordinance 1090) which limits City development to a defined area.  

Related Forms

Local Foods and Agriculture

While there are no commercial farming operations in the City limits, Sebastopol supports local agriculture through partnership with the local Farm Market, which is conducted during most of the year on Sundays at the Town Plaza. Sebastopol supports the concept of local foods, reducing transportation costs and pollution, as well as maintaining a more diverse local economy. The City also supports home gardens, and Sebastopol’s skate park/community garden park, will have individual community garden plots for use by residents who may not be able to have a garden where they live.


Sebastopol is very concerned with global climate change and has taken steps to do its part of address this issue. Sebastopol, with all the eight other cities in the Sonoma County, and the County itself have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as part of a worldwide effort led by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives – ICLEI. Never before in this country has an area had 100 percent of its municipalities make such a pledge. Cornell University researcher Bogdan Vasi noted that Sonoma County is in the midst of making history with its climate protection activities. For additional information about the progress of the GHG Inventory for Sebastopol and the other cities and County visit:

For more information on Green House Gas Emissions Tracking see:

Natural Disaster and Emergency Management

The City is committed to planning and preparing for emergency situations. Sebastopol has experienced natural disasters in the past, including earthquakes, fires, floods and severe winter storms. The Fire Department spearheads the City’s disaster management efforts. The Planning Department spearheads planning efforts related to the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, in conjunction with all City Departments.  The City’s current adopted Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is a FEMA and CalOES approved document to guide the City’s efforts to minimize the impact of disasters.

Solar Walking Tour of Sebastopol

Hosted by Sebastopol Carbon Conversations, a Solar Walking Tour of Sebastopol took place on July 29, 2023, as part of Sebastopol Walks, a 15-year tradition of exploring the City of Sebastopol through different themes.

A 45-minute narrated recording recaps the 3.5-mile walk which included Analy High School to the north, the Sun Dragon array to the south, and numerous sites in between. Although it is not a how-to video on going solar today, aspects were touched upon during the tour. CLICK HERE to view the video. 


Sebastopol does not operate a transit system, but supports the operation of Sonoma County Transit in and around Sebastopol, and encourages its residents to use the transit system as an alternative to the automobile. In addition, Sebastopol supports alternative forms of transportation, including walking and bicycling, which reduce use of fossil fuels, as well as promoting personal health.

Sebastopol has created several programs to enhance its streets and sidewalks to promote alternative forms of transportation, as well as to increase public safety. The City of Sebastopol was the recipient of a $20,000 planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which the City matched with $5,000 of local funds. The purpose of this grant was to develop a schematic plan for action to improve traffic flow, safety, livability, and pedestrian and bicycle amenities for Sebastopol’s “Main Street”: the Highway 116 corridor in the City limits. The Street Smart Program resulted in construction of improved pedestrian crossings at the Joe Rodota Trail and Highway 116, at the Post Office, and at the Town Plaza on McKinley Street.

Street Smart Sebastopol

Useful Links

Green Building Guidelines: Build It Green nurtures collaboration among those that see how homes and neighborhoods can advance the vitality of natural systems, social and environmental justice, and the ability for places to be resilient and evolve as the world changes.

Water-conserving Landscaping This is the website page for Sebastopol Carbon Conversations which are a series of Conversations with speakers and resources on various climate solution topics.  Events are open to the public and are free.  Each event is recorded and archived on the website along with additional resources on the topic.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

Sebastopol has a long-standing commitment to waste reduction and recycling, adopting an ordinance requiring waste and recycling areas in all new development. In addition, Sebastopol has worked with its waste haulers to implement comprehensive recycling programs, making Sebastopol and other communities in Sonoma County leaders in waste reduction efforts. Sebastopol is a member of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, which is responsible for all of the diversion programs that have enabled Sebastopol and the other Cities and County to meet AB 939 diversion goals. For more information:

The Municipal Code includes requirements for recycling and waste collection areas in all new developments and significant expansions to existing developments in order to assist in the reduction of waste materials, thereby promoting environmentally sound practices and to prolong the life of the receiving land fill. See Chapter 17.224 of the Municipal Code.

In 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 into California law, establishing statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction goals:

By 2020, reduce the amount of organic material disposed in landfi­lls by 50% from the 2014 level, and

By 2025, reduce the amount of organic material disposed in land­fills by 75% from the 2014 level.

By 2025, no less than 20% of edible food currently disposed must also be recovered for human consumption.

This law expands upon the requirements of AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling and AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics. However, SB 1383 is unique in that it impacts residents in addition to businesses, and it requires some businesses to donate excess edible food to feed people in addition to diverting organic materials from the garbage. As the most aggressive waste reduction law to be adopted in California for the past 30 years, SB 1383 includes significant penalties for non-compliance.

Water Conservation

Water is fundamental to life. Provision of sufficient quantities of clean water is one of the most critical functions of the City of Sebastopol. Sebastopol is committed to conservation of its water resources, which come solely from groundwater. An expression of this commitment may be found in an aggressive new water and energy conservation ordinance. This Ordinance addresses specified water and energy conservation requirements for new construction, additions over 500 feet of floor area or greater, out-of-service area agreements, and annexations. The purpose of the Ordinance is to reduce overall per-capita water and energy use, to help ensure a sustainable water supply, limit energy use, and reduce pollution related to energy and water production. The ordinance is one of the most far-reaching set of requirements for new development in the nation.

Sebastopol has other water conservation programs, including a commercial washer rebate program, and rebates for replacement of high-water use toilets. Water Conservation Ordinance

Another City program is the Water Efficient Landscape Program (WELPO). This program has been adopted by the City to ensure efficient water use by establishing standards for landscape design appropriate to Sebastopol’s climate, soils, water resources, land use, and resource planning.

For more information see: BayRen Water Upgrades Save Program

Starting in 2024, BayREN will offer 10 new and existing programs spanning four sectors: residential, cross-cutting, commercial, and the public sector. Check out the infographic below to find out more.

Water Quality

Like other water systems in California, Sebastopol is under a State mandate to provide clean and healthy water to its customers. Sebastopol has high-quality water which needs a minimum of treatment. Water is regularly tested, and water quality reports are regularly provided to the community: Annual Consumer Confidence Report

What You Can Do

Together, we can make a difference. Following are actions from a variety of sources that you can take to reduce energy use and pollution, live a more sustainable life, and reduce greenhouse gases.

Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer.
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner.
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Install a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases.
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models. If each household in the U.S. replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we’d eliminate 175 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year!

Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket.
You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use less hot water.
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible.
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

Sebastopol’s solid waste collection service includes recycling and yard debris containers. Use them! The yard debris container can also be used for composting fruit and vegetables from your kitchen. Additional recycling information is available at

Turn off electronic devices you’re not using.
Simply turning off your television, smart devices, consoles, and computers when you’re not using them will save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them.
Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year!

Consider a rain barrel.
Rain barrels can be connected to downspouts to collect rain water. Be sure to use appropriate design to prevent mosquito infestation.

Replace high-flow toilets with ultra-low flow fixtures.
Water is a precious resource. Its production and transport consumes substantial energy. Replacing older high-flow models can have a major impact on water consumption, and earn you a rebate from the City of Sebastopol. Check with the City Finance Department for details.

Try car sharing.
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance.

Walk or bike to your destination.
For short trips to the store or to a friend’s, take a walk or ride your bike—it’s good for you and the earth!

Buy locally grown and produced foods.
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

Buy fresh foods instead of frozen.
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

Seek out and support local farmers markets.
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find a farmer’s market in your area at the USDA website.

Buy organic foods as much as possible.
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

Avoid heavily packaged products.
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.

Eat less meat.
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible.
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Click here to find transit options in your area.

Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates.
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.

Keep your car tuned up.
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated.
Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle.
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency here and here.

Try car sharing.
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance.

Try telecommuting from home.
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out theTelework Coalition.

Consider a green roof for your new home or addition.
A living roof can insulate your home, lower ambient temperatures, and expand biotic area in urban environments. Installation of green roofs is a complex undertaking; be sure you obtain professional assistance.

Fly less.
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.

Plant a tree.
Trees can shade your house and reduce ambient temperatures in hot weather, reducing the need for air conditioning. Shading pavement (streets and driveways) can reduce what is known as the ‘urban heat island effect’ whereby some urban areas have higher than normal temperatures due to extensive paved areas and lack of natural vegetation.

BayREN Water Upgrades Save Program

BayREN Water Upgrades $ave Program

Sebastopol’s Water Upgrades $ave program makes conserving water easy and affordable. Residents select water-efficient upgrades (toilets, shower heads, and faucet aerators) that automatically lower their water use. This translates into savings on their water bills, covering the cost of the upgrades—and then some. To learn more, visit or call 877-846-8795.

Water Conservation

Water Conservation

According to the California Department of Water Resources, water is a precious and limited resource, especially in drought-prone California where the next dry period could be right around the corner. As a result, water conservation and the efficient use of California’s water supply are major priorities for the State.  By making conservation a way of life in California, we save water, minimize water waste, rebuild our underground aquifers, prepare for the uncertainties of climate change, and minimize the harmful effects of drought. We encourage all Californians to embrace wise water use as a daily habit, whether we are experiencing a year of heavy or meager rain.

Sebastopol residents have embraced the City’s goals of water conservation, but the water future in our region remains uncertain due to precipitation variability and a changing climate. It is more critical than ever that we stress the importance of water conservation as the duration of current drought conditions are unknown. 

Water Conservation Tips & Tools

Take Action to Reduce Water Usage

Ideas to get you started

Using water more efficiently can reduce your business’s risk to future water shortages and increasing costs. Whether you manage an office building, school, hotel, hospital, restaurant, or another type of facility, it’s important to ask:

  • What Water Savings Strategies should you pursue and prioritize? The best place to start in familiarizing yourself with options for your business to save water and money while conserving our natural resources.
  • What are the Best Management Practices for your business to be implementing already? Provides an overview of tips for operating, maintaining, retrofitting options, and calculating savings potential and Return-On-Investment of technologies and behaviors to implement.
  • What free tools and resources are available to identify where you can save? Offers water assessment checklists that range from simple and easy to use, to targeted for specific facilities like hotels and multi-family properties.
  • How can you better measure your water use so you can manage it? This free online Portfolio Manager tool from Energy Star will help! Join the 40% of commercial buildings in the US that already use this free tool for managing your energy and water use today.

Multi-family properties

Find free resource guides and tools to help you understand, manage, and improve water use efficiency cost-effectively.

Drought Related Links and Resources

Water Conservation Videos

Water Conservation Video Tips from Burbank Heights & Orchards Residents

On Friday, August 20th, Sebastopol Vice Mayor Sarah Glade Gurney and Councilmember Patrick Slayter visited with residents at Burbank Heights & Orchards and handed out Sebasto-Pails to help with water conservation. Residents are serious about water conservation and contributed their water saving tips via video.

Check out the Water Conservation Video Playlist Here.

Several other residents offered up their own tips for saving water including

  • Use organic/biodegradable soup so you can use your saved water to water outdoor plants
  • Wash your dishes with soap (having turned off the water) then rinse all together, saving the rinse water for other uses (plants, flushing the toilet)
  • Get a timer for your shower. Cut back to 5 minutes, even less
  • Shower less often, not once a day.
  • “Don’t wash your dishes!”
  • Use paper plates that can be composted (Recology accepts paper without any plastic or wax)
  • Reduce the water in your toilet tank (in the ’70s drought, we put bricks in the toilet tank to take up space)
  • Collect your veggie washing/rinsing water and reuse it


With the installation of new cellular water meters in Sebastopol, municipal water customers can now have instant access to, and greater control over, their water usage through the accompanying EyeOnWater app. They can also be alerted to leaks in real time.

Russian River Watershed Association

The Russian River Watershed Association (RRWA) is a coalition of ten cities, counties and special districts in the Russian River watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement. RRWA was formed in 2003 to create opportunities for our member agencies to expand their stewardship role in the watershed.

See the following links for more information

Water Conservation Resource Library