How getting your water generates greenhouse gas, and what can be done about it

Posted on May 14, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

It’s not just about the car you drive. A key step in reducing reliance on fossil fuels is to understand how — and how much — they are used in daily life, including the delivery of essential services. The huge job of storing, moving and delivering water, for instance.  

The Valley of the Moon Water District wants to take a deeper dive. 

For the past six months a small team of dedicated local climate action volunteers has been examining historical data records and preparing a detailed “Citizen’s Inventory” of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from day-to-day operations of the VOMWD.

On Thursday, May 16,  the agency’s Board of Directors will receive a presentation from the Climate Coalition Volunteers summarizing the team’s initial findings and recommendations.

“Our climate is in a period of change, and greenhouse gas emissions are the primary contributor to this process,” said David F. Leland, Lead Inventory Analyst and Volunteer with the Sonoma Valley Climate Coalition. “A GHG inventory is an important tool in developing an understanding of the District’s carbon footprint, and in helping identify directions and targets for GHG reduction.”

The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the VOMWD Board Room, 19039 Bay Street in El Verano.

“Most small local agencies want to be able to track our progress on reducing carbon emissions, but usually we lack the in-house expertise or funds needed to hire a qualified consultant,” said District Finance Director, Christopher Petlock. “Fortunately, here in Sonoma Valley we have capable volunteers who are willing and able to step up and help us out.”

“Those of us who are concerned about climate change need to stop waiting for someone else to fix it for us,” said Thomas P. Conlon, Energy Consultant and Volunteer with the Sonoma Valley Climate Coalition. “We can’t manage what we don’t measure, so if you don’t know how many tons of carbon it takes to sustain your current lifestyle, business, or agency, the first step is to measure your carbon footprint.”

The Sonoma Valley Climate Coalition is made up of individuals and groups committed to advancing climate change solutions in Sonoma Valley and beyond. The Coalition meets on the fourth Thursday of each month to discuss strategies and actions for moving Sonoma forward on climate policy and to coordinate efforts among our members.

In addition to individuals, the Coalition includes group representatives from the Earth Care Committee of the First Congregational Church, Transition Sonoma Valley, Indivisible Sonoma County, Praxis Peace Institute, and other local organizations.

Coalition members help support the Sonoma City Council, the Sonoma Community and Environmental Services Commission, local school districts, water districts, and the tourism industry to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Coalition members are dedicated to advancing climate action by making buildings more efficient, increasing renewable energy sources, encouraging widespread adoption of Evergreen, Sonoma Clean Power’s 100% renewable energy program, and making Sonoma more pedestrian- and bike-friendly by prioritizing safe streets for people of all ages and abilities.


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