Water supply, flood protection and stream stewardship for Santa Clara County
October 2013
BDCP Workshops
Recycled Water Website
Green Business
DWR Grant
State Grant
Valley Habitat Plan
Water to Go
Save 20 Gallons
People Behing Your Water
Other links of note
Upcoming Board of Directors agenda items

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News from the Santa Clara Valley Water District


Did you know that it takes over 713 gallons of water to produce one cotton T-shirt? That's equivalent to about 14 bathtubs full of water.


The record-breaking dry year we have had is a great reminder that we live in a semi-arid climate, and conservation is essential to meeting our current and future water needs not only during summer months, but also in the fall.


Landscaping normally needs only half of the water it does during the summer. This means if you water 48 minutes per week in summer, the same plants only need 24 minutes of watering time in the fall. In December, you may be able to turn off your irrigation system completely until mid-March. 

In this month's issue, join us for upcoming board workshops on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, take a virtual tour of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center, learn about the county's Green Business Program, read about the $30 million grant from the Department of Water Resources, and read more about the recently signed Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan.


Finally, if you are out and about in downtown San Jose tomorrow, please join us in launching the "Water 2 Go" program. This important collaborative between the water district, county, and FIRST 5 will make safe, clean and healthful tap water more accessible.


As always, we look forward to continuing to provide you with timely information and invite your feedback about water-related issues of importance to you and our county.




Teresa Alvarado

Deputy Administrative Officer 



The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors invites you to attend a series of board workshops on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.


All of the following workshops will be held at the Santa Clara Valley Water District Boardroom at 5700 Almaden Expressway in San Jos�.


Topics and speakers are subject to change. Check website for final board meeting agendas, three days prior to each meeting.

  • Friday, November 8 @ 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, November 14 @ 1 p.m.
  • Monday, December 9 @ 9 a.m.

To view the first workshop that took place on 10/11, click here >


Recognizing the growing importance of recycled water to the water district's long-term water supply portfolio, as well as the need to inform the community about the potential for purified water use, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has just launched a recycled water website.   


The website provides information about highly purified water and the new Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center under construction in San Jos�. It includes interactive features, including a virtual tour with video animation explaining the technology, and a world map showing how other major cities are reusing water.




Now in its 14th year, Santa Clara County's Green Business Program continues to attract environmentally minded business owners and assist them in the process of lowering the environmental impact in their communities. The county's green business program certifies businesses that exceed standard environmental compliance required by local regulators.


The Santa Clara Valley Water District takes pride in our partnership with the county and in being recognized as a certified green business since 2003 in the Bay Area Green Business Program. This year, 100 businesses and public agencies were certified, of which 47 were certified for the first time, 42 were re-certified, and 11 were re-certified for the second time.


The water district has invested over $1 million in this partnership. In June of this year, we entered into another two years of partnership with the county ($200k) to continue this important effort to continue the district's Safe Clean Water Program Priority B to reduce toxins, hazards and contaminants in our waterways. Our investment in this partnership helps us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.



Department of Water Resources awards $30 million Stormwater Flood Management grant for 100-year flood protection 

The state awarded a $30 million Proposition 1E Stormwater Flood Management Grant to the Santa Clara Valley Water District to provide 100-year flood protection to the 22-square-mile Coyote watershed. A watershed is the area of land that drains to a common waterway. In Santa Clara County, our creeks and rivers catch rain and runoff from storm drains and carry the water north to San Francisco Bay or south to Monterey Bay. Along the way, some of the water is used to fill reservoirs for drinking water, replenish the underground aquifer and create better habitat for fish and wildlife.  


The area included in the grant covers the city of Milpitas and portions of San Jos� (http://www.valleywater.org/Services/WatershedInformation.aspx). The grant will help fund projects that aim to improve water quality through sedimentation and erosion reduction, protect and restore habitat, improve maintenance of Berryessa Creek and tributaries, and expand recreation opportunities.   


Pajaro River watershed in line for $7.6 million state grant


The state Department of Water Resources has given preliminary approval for a $7.6 million grant that was submitted by the San Benito County Water District. The Uvas-Llagas Watershed is a 104-square-mile region which is distinguished by its agricultural lands and natural areas. Part of the larger Pajaro River Watershed, the creeks in this watershed are the only waterways in Santa Clara County that flow southward toward Monterey Bay.  


If granted, these state funds would pay for several critical watershed projects and was strengthened by a partnership with the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency and the Santa Clara Valley Water District. One of the projects to be funded would help growers in southern Santa Clara County improve irrigation efficiency and fertilizer management techniques in order to protect surface and groundwater quality.      



Celebrating the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan

On Oct. 4, elected officials and other dignitaries gathered at the crest of Anderson Dam to celebrate the signing of the long-awaited Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan. When fully implemented, this plan will protect an estimated 46,920 acres in perpetuity.

The plan, developed by six local government agencies, helps private and public entities plan and conduct projects and activities in ways that lessen impacts on natural resources, including specific threatened and endangered species, such as the bay checkerspot butterfly and the California red-legged frog, over the next 50 years.


 EVENT: "Water to Go" launch event on October 24 


This week, an innovative regional partnership between the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, and FIRST 5 Santa Clara County will officially launch: the "Water to Go" program. The program is aimed at bringing water bottle filling stations to schools and public gathering spaces across Santa Clara County. The partnership plans to install 100 "Water to Go" stations over the next three years, with the water district sponsoring 50 of them!  


  WHEN: Thursday, October 24 at 11 a.m.

                  WHERE: Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park, 

 194 S. Market Street, San Jos�



It's easy to "Save 20 Gallons" a day in the fall

As the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to drop this fall, you can cut down on your outdoor watering by half. By December, you may be able to turn off your irrigation system completely until mid-March. The savings don't have to stop there. You may be eligible for a rebate by making upgrades to your irrigation systems or landscaping with water-efficient plants.

Visit save20gallons.org or call 800.548.1882 to schedule a free landscape survey prior to making any changes. 


Check out the latest episode of "The People Behind Your Water" on both CreaTV Channel 30 or on YouTube.

This month we focus on grants that the Santa Clara Valley Water District has awarded to local agencies and community groups for projects that will help improve our local waterways. Learn about successful completed projects and new grant opportunities.

Other links of note:

Board of Directors


Upcoming Board of Directors agenda items of interest:

(Board meeting agendas are subject to change. All meetings are webcast live and can be viewed later through our website. See our Board Meeting webpage here)


November 8

  • Bay Delta Conservation Plan workshop #2


November  12

  • Clean, Safe Creeks Program Close-out Report 
  • Open Space Credit


November 14

  • Bay Delta Conservation Plan workshop #3

The mission of the district is to provide Silicon Valley safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment, and economy.