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Metering and Monitoring Requirements for Water Well Permits

Metering and monitoring of groundwater use and water levels is required of many well permit and use permits holders.

Metering and Monitoring Requirements for Well Permits

Consistent with Section 25B-12, installation of a meter and reporting of water use is required of all water wells for which an application is submitted after October 4, 2022, except for residential wells serving a single parcel with a total groundwater use of 2.0 acre-feet or less of water per year. Wells serving multiple parcels must have separate meters for each parcel served. If there are other pre-existing wells on the parcel, then those wells must also be metered.

In addition to metering, monitoring of depth to groundwater is also required if the total groundwater use is greater than 5.0 acre-feet per year.

Metering and monitoring requirements are ongoing and require enrollment in Permit Sonoma’s groundwater monitoring program prior to the “final” of the well permit (see enrollment section below).

Meter readings and/or depth-to-water measurements are required to be collected once each month by the well owner or operator. Data is submitted to Permit Sonoma in January of the following year through an online submittal form that is emailed to the owner or operator. If there is a change in ownership or well operator, Permit Sonoma must be informed of this change.

Metering and Monitoring Requirements for Discretionary Permits

Discretionary permits (e.g. use permits, design review permits, well permits that have been subject to discretionary public trust review, etc.) may have site-specific metering and monitoring requirements that were developed for that specific permit. Applicants and operators are advised to review the conditions of approval for the discretionary permit.

Typically, meter readings and/or depth-to-water measurements are required to be collected monthly or quarterly. Data is submitted to Permit Sonoma in January of the following year through an online submittal form that is emailed to the owner or operator. If there is a change in ownership or well operator, Permit Sonoma must be informed of this change.

Volunteer Groundwater Monitoring

Many individuals and organizations are interested in collecting and reporting groundwater metering and monitoring data. Volunteers may enroll and submit data into our system. The benefit of providing data is that these data will be recorded and archived and enable you to track if groundwater conditions are changing in your well.  These data will also be made available publicly and to water resource managers, which will use the data to characterize and better understand the conditions of our local aquifers.

Groundwater Metering and Monitoring Enrollment

Prior to finalizing the well permit or authorizing the operation of a use permit or other permit with requirements for groundwater monitoring, Permit Sonoma requires the applicant to complete the installation of all required equipment and submit a Water Resources Monitoring Application Form. Volunteer monitors must also submit an application form.

Metering and Monitoring Protocols

For more information on Permit Sonoma's groundwater monitoring program for protocols on how to meter and monitor your well, refer to:

Additional Resources

Questions?

For questions, please email: PermitSonoma-WRM@sonoma-county.org