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The California Department of Water Resources has announced the release of draft funding recommendations for the Proposition 84 (Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006) Round 2 Implementation Grant Program. Included in these recommendations are six Sonoma County integrated water management projects totaling about $2.9 million.Real Estate

Average monthly rent continues to rise across much of the nation, with significant increases seen throughout Northern California, according to the third-quarter apartment market report by Novato-based RealFacts. The Santa Rosa--Petaluma region had rent increase by the largest percentage out of all the areas in the national report, exceeding San Francisco's 9.8 percent year-over-year increase by two-10ths of a percent. Average rents in the area were $1,407 a month, compared with $2,043 in San Francisco.

A jump in sales of homes priced above $900,000 pushed the median price of a home sold in Sonoma County sharply higher during the third quarter of 2013. But combined with a continued shortage of inventory to limit the number of homes sold, according to a report by the research division of Wine Country Group by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate based on an analysis of MLS data. Countywide, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in the third quarter increased to $479,190, up 6 percent from $452,388 in the second quarter and 28 percent from $373,938 in the third quarter of 2012.

Fair Housing of Marin, a San Rafael-based nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring equal housing opportunity and educating the community on the value of diversity in our neighborhoods, is recruiting new members for its board of directors. The group is specifically looking for individuals with strong community ties and proven skills in fundraising, nonprofit leadership, law, public relations and marketing. Board members attend monthly evening meetings in San Rafael, serve on committees, contribute to fundraising efforts, and build awareness about fair housing within your networks. Those interested are to contact Caroline Peattie, executive director, at peattie@fairhousingmarin.com.Retail

Sausalito-based Fred Water partnered with CST Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CST) and grocery store giant Kroger (NYSE: KR) to now carry Fred, along with other new independent stores across the United States in 13 major U.S. cities. This expansion of about 2,000 additional "doors" will make Fred available to millions of additional customers for the pocket-friendly Fred bottles of spring water.