707-769-2008   *  P.O. BOX 127  *  PENNGROVE   *   SONOMA COUNTY   *   CA   *  94951


A few words about O.W.L.'s birth


The O.W.L. Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 California corporation made up of Sonoma County residents who became alarmed at the dangerous water crisis growing in Sonoma County. Numerous areas in the County have been declared "water scarce"; other areas, previously considered "water rich", are now in groundwater overdraft.

People are lowering lowering pumps in their wells, digging new wells, and some people whose wells have gone dry now truck water to their property.

The O.W.L. Foundation grew out of the South County Resource Protection Committee (SCRPC) . This group successfully sued the City of Rohnert Park by demonstrating in court that the City had insufficient supplies of water for further expansion.

O.W.L. was created to address the water crisis at the County level.

The most important action that County government can do is to implement a Groundwater Management Plan (GMP) according to the guidelines set forth in AB3030. A GMP is simply a water "budget".

Everything O.W.L. does helps the County adopt a Groundwater Management Plan.


What does O.W.L. do?

1. O.W.L. members have attended General Plan Update 2020 meetings, especially those devoted to the Water Resource Element (WRE). Our attorneys contributed specific language to the WRE and help to guide the Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC) in crafting a document that protects water resources.

2. O.W.L. has helped, with the Sonoma County Group of the Sierra Club, create a Sonoma County Water Coalition (SCWC) made up of virtually all environmental groups in the County. The SCWC has created even more specific language to be included in the WRE.

3. O.W.L. members routinely attend meetings and make the official record concerning water resources, open space and land use issues. These meetings, which are convened by local municipal governments, the Board of Supervisors, the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Water Advisory Committee (WAC), the Planning Commission, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and other official organs, are the focal venues where the water war is being fought. If you do not make the record, you have no grounds for legal recourse.

4. O.W.L. fostered the creation of the Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWiG). This project of the O.W.L. Foundation joined forces with Sebastopol Mayor Linda Kelly and the entire City Council to host a water forum that included speakers from SWiG, the O.W.L. Foundation and the Department of Water Resources (DWR).

5. O.W.L.offers special presentations on the state of Sonoma County's water supplies to community leaders and officials, including County Supervisors. Supervisor Mike Kerns has already benefited from one of these one-hour presentations.

6. O.W.L. has been present at and testiified at numerous community meetings, most notably the No Low Flow for the Russian River; the Russian River Festival; Stop the Casino 101; Action Against the Casino; The Salmon Creek Watershed Day; Earth Day; Sierra Club Water Forum, and other venues.

7. O.W.L. produces digital videos of many events on both DVD and VHS tape.











Board of Directors

H.R. Downs, President

Heidi Dieffenbach-Carle, Treasurer

Debbie Hunt, Secretary

Bonnie Kneibler, M.D

Jane Nielson, Ph.D. SWiG director

Special Consultant

Jody Hymes

Steven F. Carle, Ph.D.

Paul Stutrud

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