Santa Rosa Water beneficially reuses its recycled water to the maximum extent possible each year and 
our recycled water irrigation program strives to ensure nutrients are applied appropriately to urban 
landscapes and agricultural lands through encouraging adherence to both hydraulic and nutrient 
agronomic rates. First, Santa Rosa Water actively discourages overwatering by metering and charging its 
urban customers for recycled water. Second, information on the nutrient content of recycled water is 
included on the Santa Rosa Water website and Santa Rosa Water provides weekly emails to Recycled 
Water Site Supervisors on a range of recycled water topics including nitrogen content of recycled water 
and adjusting fertilizer use.   

Nutrient Offset Program:  

Under the weight of an exceedingly stringent permit limitation requiring no net loading of phosphorus 
to the watershed, Santa Rosa Water developed and is now implementing an integrated approach to 
achieve zero net loading of phosphorus to the watershed. One part of this approach includes 
implementation of the regulatory-agency approved Nutrient Offset Program, the first of its kind in 
California. The Nutrient Offset Program allows Santa Rosa Water to reduce nutrient loads elsewhere in 
the watershed by an amount at least equal to the amount discharged into receiving waters, and of 
equivalent bioavailability. Expansion of this program to a broader water quality trading program is 
currently being evaluated by local regulators, regulated agencies and other interested stakeholders – 
again, this would be the first of its kind in California.  

Performance Measures & Results   

Annual Hydraulic and Nutrient Agronomic Rate Analyses  



Santa Rosa Water’s 2015 hydraulic and nutrient analyses confirmed that on a large majority of 
irrigation sites, recycled water was applied within appropriate hydraulic and nutrient agronomic 
rates. Out of 103 total irrigation sites, only three sites exceeded both hydraulic and nutrient 
agronomic rates, two sites exceeded only the hydraulic agronomic rate and three sites exceeded 
only the nutrient agronomic rate.  



Implementation of Nutrient Offset Program Projects. To date, Santa Rosa Water has 
implemented three Nutrient Offset Program projects.   




 Board/executive management reuse strategy established 


Communications and outreach plan developed and implemented  


Ongoing market assessment of reused water to public/private and public/public entities 


Investments in reuse infrastructure   


Building code changes to enable reuse (e.g., reuse water code)  

Santa Rosa Water’s advanced treated recycled water is a valuable resource for urban and agricultural 
irrigation, as well as recharging geothermal steamfields to produce energy. Recycled water is delivered 
to customers via Santa Rosa’s Recycled Water Distribution System which includes a 41-mile long pipeline 
to recharge Calpine’s Geothermal Geysers Steamfields to produce clean renewable energy for the