Strategic Plan

    Download Sonoma County Water Agency 2012 Strategic Plan (PDF)

    In April 2007, the Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Water Agency) Board of Directors (Board) approved the Water Agency's strategic priorities and water policy statement.  The approved strategic priorities identified key initiatives related to water supply, sustainability, sanitation, flood control and organizational effectiveness.  These priorities were developed with the understanding that they would remain unchanged for a five-year period.  However, the actions identified to address these actions would be reviewed and updated annually.  These strategic priorities adopted in the 2007 plan consisted of the following:

    1. Assisting customers water supply needs
    2. Protect water quality and improve the reliability of the water transmission system
    3. Lead development of regional sustainability programs and water resource partnerships
    4. Address impacts on listed salmonid species
    5. Improve public understanding of the Agency and Agency’s programs
    6. Conduct stream maintenance and provide funding for drainage, storm water quality and stream habitat enhancement in flood control zones
    7. Address critical infrastructure needs for sanitation systems
    8. Improve Agency’s business efficiency and effectiveness

    On an annual basis, the Water Agency updates the list of actions needed to address these priorities and every five years a new strategic plan is developed.  In September 2011, Water Agency staff began the process of developing the new strategic plan.  In a major departure from the previous strategic plan efforts, an invitation was sent out to all Water Agency staff for volunteers to participate on one of five strategic-planning teams.  Each team was responsible for identifying goals and strategies to address the Water Agency's most pressing needs in the areas of Organizational Operations, Sanitation, Water Supply, Energy and Flood Control.  Over sixty employees, about 1/3 of the Water Agency's permanent staffing, participated in these teams.  Each team consisted of staff from the Water Agency's five divisions: Administration; Engineering and Planning; Maintenance, Operations and Permit Compliance; Environmental Resources and Public Affairs.  Over the past year these five teams, with assistance from senior managers, developed proposed goals and strategies to guide the Water Agency's activities for the next five years.

    These teams identified thirteen proposed strategic goals for the Water Agency.  Many of the goals represent the continuation of priorities from the 2007 plan, but several new goals were also identified.  These goals consisted of the following:

    1. Responsibly manage Water Agency finances
    2. Work with Water Contractors to retain and improve the reliability of the water supply production and distribution systems, including during short-term emergencies, such as earthquakes, and during long-term challenges caused by extended droughts and global climate change
    3. Increase organizational efficiency, effectiveness and resilience to natural disasters
    4. Provide “Carbon Free Water” by reducing overall energy use, improving system efficiency and developing and utilizing renewable energy sources
    5. Protect the Water Agency's existing water rights and our clean, high-quality water supply, and improve system resiliency by continuing to develop alternative supplies
    6. Increase community outreach
    7. Provide adequate rate-based revenues for sanitation systems, while pursuing new income and cost-cutting opportunities
    8. Ensure that organizational culture emphasizes information sharing and collaboration
    9. Maintain, operate and modify flood protection facilities to meet current and future public needs
    10. Enhance workforce capabilities
    11. Meet or exceed environmental regulations and public health standards
    12. Pursue funding and development of renewable energy projects of broad regional benefit to generate revenue, lower county-wide emissions profile and reduce long term rate exposure risk to consumers
    13. Maintain stable water supply revenue source and improve operational efficiencies

    Water Agency staff also identified thirty-five strategies to achieve these goals which are presented in the report Sonoma County Water Agency 2012 Strategic Plan.  As with previous strategic plans, the Water Agency's proposed goals and strategies are not intended to change over the next five years, however the actions to achieve those goals will be changed on an annual basis based on progress on specific actions or in response to changed conditions.

    Download Sonoma County Water Agency 2012 Strategic Plan (PDF)