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supply operations in the Russian River watershed do not negatively impact threatened and endangered 
fish species. We work with the Laguna Foundation to protect the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the largest 
freshwater wetlands complex on the northern California coast. We staff a comprehensive Storm Water 
& Creeks Program to implement Santa Rosa’s Storm Water Management Plan and Citywide Creek 
Master Plan. The Storm Water Team works to preserve and restore water quality and minimize flooding. 
The City's storm drain system includes over 75 miles of open channels/ditches, over 320 miles of public 
underground pipes, and over 18,000 structures representing over $200 million in storm drain 
infrastructure investment. To manage storm water and ensure creeks and drainage facilities are 
maintained and renewed, the Storm Water Team provides biological and engineering services, conducts 
public outreach and education, oversees construction sites, inspects industrial facilities, investigates 
illicit discharges, and enforces City ordinances. Funding for these efforts comes from a parcel 
assessment, grants, and City General Funds.  

Our economic objective is to be fiscally responsible to our rate payers and to collaborate with 
businesses and industries interested in operating in Santa Rosa. We continually examine our practices to 
identify strategies to reduce costs and/or increase cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Annually we analyze 
and adjust our rate structure to ensure revenue will recover operating costs fully, allow us to maintain 
and renew the water system, and provide incentives for water-use efficiency (and avoid the need for 
expensive system expansion). Our rate structure provides adequate funds for operations and 
maintenance, rate stabilization, drought management, and timely response to catastrophic events.   

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE   

 

Proactive leadership that engages in both internal organizational and broader external 
community priorities  

 

Establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning, 
improvement, and innovation   

 

Workforce and leadership development program in place to assure recruitment, retention, and 
competency of utility staff relative to a Utility of the Future business model. Development 
program includes a leadership and management skills training program that provides both 
formal and informal leadership opportunities for employees  

 

Employee “in-reach” program established to share work experiences and ensure greater 
understanding of the utility’s key strategy relative to the Utility of the Future business model 

 

Innovation initiatives adopted that encourage risk-taking, and that are adequately funded and 
staffed   

Santa Rosa Water embraces an organizational culture that inspires positive change and empowers the 
workforce to imagine, create, test, and implement innovative approaches from every day work to 
extreme challenges. It enforces a culture of managing and recovering valuable resources, rather than 
one of the disposal of “waste.” It promotes leadership that establishes a long-term vision for the 
organization, embodies a commitment to cultivating the organization’s culture, and embodies 
communication that creates employee understanding, makes knowledge more productive, and 
harnesses the power of employee engagement.   

Performance Measures & Results