Rural well owners in Sonoma County won’t be getting charged a fee for using their own water source. After fierce public opposition, a county groundwater agency decided yesterday not to charge them an extra fee for using well water. Instead, they agreed to consider a plan where rural residents will be exempt from the fee, while charging other groundwater users less. The money would reportedly go to groundwater conservation.
The Santa Rosa Groundwater Sustainability Agency’s board of directors responded to public outcry at a proposed fee for those who use well-water in rural areas. The initial plan was scrapped in favor of Plan B, which will exempt those in rural areas from paying for well water, and decrease fees for other groundwater users. The fees will be offset by $200-thousand dollars from the County of Sonoma and additional funding from Sonoma Water.