Reports of Paulin Creek Going Dry

To  All,

“Brenda makes a good point. How many of our urban creeks have flow in the summer only because of runoff from suburban over-irrigation of lawns and gardens?” 



“Here’s a theory about why Paulin Creek has dried up. Maybe it usually had water this late in the season because of irrigation of lawns and gardens. Because of the strong thrust for conservation and higher water rates, and the City is claiming a 32% decrease in water use, perhaps there is no more runoff to feed the streams.”


I live near Sonia Taylor, so I too started checking Paulin Creek.

My guess is that “runoff from suburban over-irrigation of lawns and gardens” has little or nothing to do with the summer flow of Santa Rosa’s creeks–especially Paulin Creek above Chanate Road.

“SCWA maintains an (over-constructed) flood control dam and reservoir on the Paulin Creek Open Space Preserve located on Chanate across from the hospital. The reservoir, called Piner (Creek) Reservoir on topo maps (I recall from memory), has a few overflow inlets that would allow overflow from the reservoir to Paulin Creek below the dam.

From the several years that I visited Paulin Creek Preserve frequently, I never saw Paulin Creek go dry below the dam or at the crossing on Chanate Road. I would suggest going to the open space preserve and seeing what is going on at the reservoir and check to see if any water is overflowing the inlets or coming out at the base of the dam. Maybe there is maintenance going on, as SCWA did indicate at one time that the reservoir was silting in and would need to be dredged and cleaned at some point.

Or possibly it is just too dry and the water is not making it to the creek downstream of the dam.

Jo, of Friends of Paulin Creek”