News

Water district calls for greater conservation

Santa Clara Valley board approves increased reduction target of 20 percent

Just hours before the skies above the Peninsula began to dump rain into local creeks and reservoirs, the Santa Clara Valley Water District called for greater conservation efforts -- with the board voting at its meeting last night to increase its water use reduction target from 10 percent to 20 percent.

According to Marty Grimes, a spokesman for the water district, the rainfall is a welcome sight in his parched district, but it isn't enough to make any real inroads toward reversing the current drought conditions.

"We're expecting this storm to produce about 3 to 5 inches of rain in the hills," Grimes told the Voice. "Our estimate is that we need 8 inches or more to start seeing significant runoff into our reservoirs."

Grimes said that the ground needs to become saturated before water will begin to make its way into streams, ponds and lakes. Usually, the ground becomes saturated early on in the fall or winter, and stays relatively wet all season long, he said. However, this year, the weather has remained dry for weeks or months in between short bursts of rain.

Further complicating the local water situation, the state as a whole is experiencing record low rainfall, Grimes said. This has resulted in serious reductions in allocations from California's federal and state water management agencies.

The California Department of Water Resources recently informed the Santa Clara Valley Water District that it would not be receiving any allocation from the California State Water Project this year. Grimes said. And, while the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation did not cut the district off entirely, they have severely cut back on the amount they will deliver this year -- withholding all agriculture allocations and only allowing 50 percent of its historical allocation for municipal and industrial uses.

"It's quite a hit," Grimes said.

At its Feb. 25 meeting, the water district's board approved a resolution recommending that locals cut back on water consumption even more -- setting a target of 20 percent less water use than in 2013. The board previously voted for a reduction target of 10 percent on Jan. 28.

While the Santa Clara Valley Water District upped its conservation target from 10 percent to 20 percent, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's target for 10 percent water reduction remains the same. Mountain View receives the bulk (87 percent) of its water supply from the San Francisco PUC, while the Santa Clara Valley Water District provides most of the remainder.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ah Guah
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Makes sense. A good effort by users to cut back will go a long way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Just another bunch of liberal bureaucrats wanting to get some more of your hard earned dollars. To many agencies have the right to place things on the ballot that establish pork for all of their buddies.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm

USA is a registered user.

Water levels: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm

@Grumpy: If you're trying to be funny, you fail. Miserably.

If, on the other hand, you're being serious, you must have absolutely no idea what's been going on. Which is truly sad for you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Hmmm - record grape harvest in 2013 - drought persists despite recent rainfall - where is the water going? Farms in the valley and coast. Stop them before you talk to me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike's Dad
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 27, 2014 at 5:23 am

Hey Mike, ever do anything because it was the right thing to do, even though others may not be doing the right thing? Just checking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmm,
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

I agree with grumpy, just wait till

"Los Angeles Democrat Bob Blumenfield is responsible for legislation that would result in billions of dollars in higher property taxes. Seeking to repeal an important Proposition 13 protection, ACA 8 would lower the vote threshold for new taxes to repay local infrastructure bond debt from two-thirds to just 55%."

Web Link

Wait till ACA 8 passes, that is when the really big pork gets put on the property taxes.

If you pay 5k per year in property taxes, that could go up to way more.

If this goes through property values would drop as people start to leave in droves.

If it goes through, rents will also go up.


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