If you live in or near Sebastopol, you drink well water.

Both Sebastopol and surrounding rural areas rely solely on groundwater pumped from public and private wells.

SWiG’s core group includes professional planners familiar with County and City Planning codes, and also earth science and water quality experts, qualified to research geologic and water information, monitor private wells, and track well water contamination countywide. SWiG is a project of the 501(c)(3) O.W.L. Foundation (Open-space, Water, and Land Protection), and both groups are founding members of the Sonoma County Water Coalition.

Who We Are/What We Do

SWiG was born in 2003, a time when groundwater levels declined near Sebastopol, once considered water-rich with zones of abundant artesian springs. From 2004 to 2009 SWiG investigated reported well water-level declines in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. We also obtained well records and water resource studies from the City of Sebastopol, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and the State of California. The declining groundwater levels clearly were due to heavy pumping at Rohnert Park’s wells, and three County Water Agency “Emergency Wells” in the Laguna close to Sebastopol. In 2004 and 2005 SWiG used Rose Foundation Grassroots Fund grants to buy tape and sonic meter well monitoring equipment; a computer for processing the data and reporting it online; and a projector for giving talks to expand public knowledge of water issues. SWiG began regular well monitoring in 2009, both north and south of Sebastopol’s City limits, displaying the data online. From the 2010 onset to the present, SWiG members have represented Laguna-area well owners to the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Management Panel and its Technical Advisory Committee, making important contributions to its Groundwater Management Plan.

SWiG’s Core Group meets the third Thursday of every other month (starting with January) from 7-9 PM. We currently meet at 555 South Main Street, Suite 3, Sebastopol.