Drought and Water Conservation

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San Luis Reservoir during the last drought U.S. Drought Monitor classifies all of Santa Clara County in extreme drought, the state’s largest reservoirs are well below average, and snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada are at historic lows. The announcement regarding another reduction in the amount of water Valley Water receives from the federal Central Valley Project directly and adversely impacts our county’s water supply. The Valley Water Board recently voted to declare a Water Shortage Emergency Condition and called for countywide mandatory 15% water use reductions compared to 2019. The time for action is now. Further challenging our local

San Luis Reservoir during the last drought U.S. Drought Monitor classifies all of Santa Clara County in extreme drought, the state’s largest reservoirs are well below average, and snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada are at historic lows. The announcement regarding another reduction in the amount of water Valley Water receives from the federal Central Valley Project directly and adversely impacts our county’s water supply. The Valley Water Board recently voted to declare a Water Shortage Emergency Condition and called for countywide mandatory 15% water use reductions compared to 2019. The time for action is now. Further challenging our local water supply, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Anderson Reservoir to be drained for public safety as we strengthen the dam. This means our largest reservoir will be down to less than 3% of its capacity – and unable to store much water – for the next 10 years as we construct the Anderson Dam Tunnel Project and Seismic Retrofit Project. . Valley Water is already taking action by withdrawing previously banked water supplies, purchasing emergency water from our partners, and aggressively increasing conservation measures to help meet demand and support our groundwater basins. But this additional reduction in our water supplies now raises the stakes on these measures and makes them more critical than ever.

If you have questions or comments, please submit them below. You can also learn more about our water conservation programs in the "Important Links" section to the right.

Have a question or comment about drought or water conservation?

Please feel free to submit your questions or comments here.

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    With all due respect, we need Valley Water's actions to match its words when it comes to water conservation. For years, community groups like Save Palo Alto's Groundwater have tried to convince Valley Water to take some steps to curtail the pumping and dumping of groundwater when building in areas where the water table is high. We're told to let our plants die and take short showers because every drop counts - and we do it all because we know this crisis is serious. But these savings pale in comparison to the water wasted during the digging of even one basement. Palo Alto has measured anywhere from 6 to 40 million gallons of groundwater pumped out per basement during construction. It's heartbreaking to see and hear that pumped fresh water gushing into the storm drains and ending in the Bay. As Dr. Ajami has said, "there's still fluff in the system". Will this be the year that Valley Water takes action on this "fluff"?

    ENigenda asked 3 months ago

    Hi,

    During our Groundwater Management Plan public meeting, we received a question of similar nature. You can see Valley Water staff's response on the meeting recording (at 1:05:31) at the link below. 

    https://youtu.be/uyXUb_A9fmo?t=3931

    During this meeting, staff discussed the nature of that shallow groundwater and how water used during dewatering generally ends up in the same place it would have under natural conditions but takes a different path to get there. 

    Staff also discussed the challenges of creating the necessary infrastructure to recapture that water at temporary construction sites and the water quality issues related to reusing that water in a meaningful way. Valley Water will continue to explore strategies to better understand dewatering and the potential for expanded reuse.


Page last updated: 21 September 2021, 09:29