Santa Rosa, CA

Spanish Language Water Use Efficiency Program Enhancements Our Approach Project Outcomes

Project Goal

WaterNow Alliance partnered with Santa Rosa Water to research water use efficiency program activities’ frequency and saturation levels across Latinx communities, and to identify best practices to enhance outreach and increase water use efficiency program uptake in these communities.

Our Approach

The City of Santa Rosa, California has a strong commitment to water use efficiency, with programs ranging from rebates to water audits. While 32 percent of Santa Rosa residents identify as Latinx, it was unclear whether water use efficiency programs were being effectively marketed to and utilized by the city’s Latinx community. WaterNow Alliance worked with Santa Rosa Water to assess whether water use efficiency program activities have occurred at the same frequency and saturation levels in Spanish-speaking and Latinx communities as in English-speaking communities – and the water savings gains that could be achieved by closing this participation gap. Informational interviews with utilities and local community groups helped identify best practices and concrete suggestions to enhance outreach and increase water use efficiency program uptake in Latinx communities.


Santa Rosa’s Board of Public Utilities adopted the project’s final report and recommendations at its April 2021 meeting, and Santa Rosa Water has already begun integrating the practices identified through the project into its outreach strategy, and further deepening and developing its partnerships with local community groups. Engaging Latinx communities will help Santa Rosa Water ensure equity within the city, enabling all of its residents to take advantage of water efficiency programs and water and cost savings. This project also supports the increasing urgency of conserving water in the face of climate change, as well as Santa Rosa’s efforts to comply with California legislation around water use.

(photo credit: “Annadel State Park” by DBerry2006 is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

    “Santa Rosa Water’s project on Spanish Language Water Use Efficiency Program Enhancements would not have been completed without the dedication of WaterNow Alliance. Santa Rosa Water staff had long desired a project to research the frequency and saturation of water use efficiency program uptake in our Spanish speaking community but did not have the internal expertise and capacity to pursue this. WaterNow not only provided the established technical expertise to complete the desired project, but expanded the scope to provide valuable statistical and spatial analyses. WaterNow delivered a detailed memo for each phase of work, four in total, in addition to the final report.... This led to clearly communicated realizations about Santa Rosa Water’s existing program offerings and recommendations for how to improve those programs to ultimately increase participation. The WaterNow team was helpful, insightful, hard-working and produced excellent work that Santa Rosa Water would not have completed without the WaterNow Alliance Project Accelerator.”
    Claire Nordlie

    Water Use Efficiency Coordinator , Santa Rosa Water