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Valley Water Considers Declaring a Water Shortage Emergency

As droughts worsen across California, Santa Clara County waters can declare water scarcity emergencies and urge the counties to do the same.

Valley Water, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, will declare an emergency and consider implementing a 15% water reduction recommendation for residents of all counties at its Wednesday meeting.

The June 9 Water Department’s decision will be one month later to raise water tariffs by 9.1% for the fiscal year beginning the following month.

Valley Water director Gary Clement said in an interview that the Water District is voting to urge the county to declare a local state of emergency because “some horrifying things are happening at the same time.” Told.

The first was the reconstruction of the Anderson Dam, which forced the drainage of the Anderson Reservoir, formerly the largest reservoir in the county. The reconstruction of the dam forced the reservoir to drain only 3% and “90% empty.” Says Kremen.

He also said the county was having a hard time buying water on the open market due to increased drought throughout the state and low meltwater this spring. Santa Clara County bought about half of that water. And import.

“Prices are about 10 times higher than they were two years ago because others are buying them at the same time,” says Kremen.

According to a new report from the US Drought Monitor, the drought in California has maintained record heights, and most of the states are now classified as “extreme” or “exceptional” droughts. Much of the Bay Area in northern San Jose last week, along with much of southeastern California, was included in the most severe “abnormal drought” zones, the report said. About 74% of the entire Bay Area and the state , At least in an “extreme” state. In the western United States, the situation is up to about 53%.

What’s more, Santa Clara County does not receive the typical water allocation from California.

Mr Clement said the county received only 5% of the expected quota from the state and nothing from the federal government’s agricultural water quota. For municipalities and industrial water, the county expected 55% of its normal quota, which was recently reduced to 25%, Clement said.

Valley Water acts primarily as a wholesaler to municipal water districts, so you can encourage residents to reduce their water usage at a constant rate. This has been done almost every year for the last 10 years, but there is no legal authority to enforce the restrictions.

According to Clement, the Water Department is working with cities and counties to develop enforcement strategies. He said Valley Water relies on incentives rather than punitive measures and encourages residents to comply with water cuts.

Incentives include rebates for grass removal, inspections of businesses and homes to find leaks and other water-saving solutions, and other incentives posted on the company’s website.

At this point, Valley Water is not asking residents to reduce their health and safety water usage, such as showers and cooking, but to reduce unnecessary water usage, such as landscaping, according to Clement. Seeking in.

“Bathing and cooking water is about 50 gallons per person per day,” says Kremen. “No one asks you to go below that.”

Santa Clara County may be able to survive at relatively healthy groundwater levels this summer, but Clement fears that without reductions, the county could be even more dire next year.

“Here’s a similarity I want you to think about,” Clement said. “We’re on an airplane now, but the engine is down. It’s better to declare an emergency when you’re at normal cruising altitudes of 30,000 to 24,000 feet, or 1,000 feet. Is it? “

The county’s groundwater level is 24,000 feet. A healthy non-drought level will be 30,000.

“We can see that next year is likely to be next year. We want to make sure there is something left in the groundwater, but we have some carry-over water for next year.” He said.

The Valley Water board will vote for a 15% reduction proposal at a meeting on Wednesday, but Kremen said the board will decide whether to increase or decrease the percentage or not implement it at all. ..

The 15% reduction proposal comes from Valley Water staff, who said the county could be in an emergency drought (Stage 5) by 2022 without conservation efforts, a recent water supply scenario report. According to the statement.

Despite conservation efforts, the county can still reach the third stage of its water scarcity emergency response plan, a severe drought.

The county is in stage 1, which is normal, but is approaching stage 2, which is considered the “alert stage.”

Governor Gavin Newsom also said he wanted to declare Santa Clara County in a drought.

Extreme droughts in Santa Clara County not only dry the soil and impede pasture growth, but also threaten wildfires throughout the year. Water is inadequate for agricultural, wildlife, and urban needs. And there are extremely few reservoirs.

If the governor declares a drought in the county, it will help with creative financing and additional funding to create larger water conservation programs, Clement said.

“No one has made a 15% decision. I know I haven’t,” Clement said. “I want to hear the voice of the people”

The meeting will start at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, June 9th. Residents can zoom in at https://valleywater.zoom.us/j/87957609335 or call 1 (669) 900- to access the conference and make public comments in the virtual conference. 9128 (code: 87957609335 #).

Valley Water Considers Declaring a Water Shortage Emergency Source link Valley Water Considers Declaring a Water Shortage Emergency

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