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Forecasters were warning months ago that Lake Mendocino could vanish before the rains return
photo credit: (Credit: Andrew Innerarity/California Department of Water Resources)
While California's housing crisis is prompting a lot of construction, where is the water for all those new homes and hotels going to come from? That was among the questions facing the Healdsburg council Monday night, one of Sonoma County's most drought-impacted communities.   

Healdsburg depends on dwindling flows from Lake Mendocino, a reservoir that could run entirely dry before the next rains. Addressing the city council, a speaker named Deborah said the hospitality industry needs to step up.

"I called Hotel Healdsburg, and I was kind of sleuthing, I have to admit, but I asked about a reservation, and then I clearly asked, 'well, are there any restrictions because of the drought' and the answer was 'oh, no!'" she said. A situation she called unfair, not right and that needs to change.

Janice Watkins urged elected leaders to collaborate with citizens, "Some have asked for a hookup moratorium, so how much water use is projected for projects in the pipeline? In a prolonged water crisis, which we could be in, data on that future use could be very important. Together we can find water saving solutions for these and other projects, but we need to be involved."

 A sentiment shared by speaker Tim Unger. "When you look at the number of residents that are going to be coming in roughly from the homes that are going to come across as a result of the Comstock project and Mill district and Montage, you're looking at about another 50 million gallons of water needed, potable water needed in order to make that happen."

Resident Marylin Joyce called for a cash reward for the invention of a waterless toilet, along with conservation and recycling.

"Where do we find more water in a finite supply? we mine the inefficiencies. So, for starters, 30 percent of our household indoor water goes to flushing toilets. Do you know any other species on earth that poops in its drinking water?"

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