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Water Tracker

A monthly assessment of trends in water supply
and use for Santa Clara County, California


As of March 1, 2015

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Water use by Santa Clara County in January 2015 increased by 1% from January 2013, which falls short of the 20% water use reduction target called by the Board. However, relative to January 2014, usage was down by 21%.  Our local reservoir combined storage is three-quarters of normal for this time of year. The Northern Sierra snowpack is 15% of normal and the primary reservoirs in the state for our imported water supply are less than 80% of normal. The initial 2015 Central Valley Project allocation is 25%, the lowest the District has ever received. The District’s State Water Project allocation increased from 15% to 20% on March 2nd.  Due to the lack of surface water for a normal groundwater recharge program and increased groundwater pumping, groundwater levels in the Santa Clara Plain are over 40 feet lower than average. At the March 24, 2015, Board meeting, staff will recommend additional actions for the Board to consider to address the ongoing water supply shortage.  Rain or Shine – Keep Saving Water!




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Rainfall in San Jose:

  • Month of February = 1.46 inches
  • Total to date = 11.38 inches or 109% of average to date (rainfall year is July 1 to June 30)
  • March 2 Northern Sierra snowpack water content is about 15% of normal for this date



Local Reservoirs

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  • Total March 1 storage = 83,076 acre-feet
    (Click here for current local reservoir storage)
    • 75% of 20-year average for that date
    • 49% of total capacity
    • 68% of restricted capacity storage
      (169,009 acre-feet total storage capacity limited by seismic restrictions to 122,924 acre-feet)
  • Approximately 1,270 acre-feet delivered into local reservoirs during February 2015

Imported water 

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  • 2015 State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) allocations:
    • 2015 SWP allocation (updated on March 2, 2015):  20% = 20,000 acre-feet
    • Initial 2015 CVP allocations (announced on February 27, 2015):  25% for Municipal and Industrial uses, 0% for Irrigation = total of 32,500 acre-feet anticipated to be delivered based on "historic use" 
  • Reservoir storage (map) (table), as of March 1, 2015:
    • Shasta Reservoir at 57% of capacity (79% of average for this date)
    • Oroville Reservoir at 49% of capacity (70% of average for this date)
    • San Luis Reservoir at 63% of capacity (74% of average for this date)
  • Daily reservoir storage summary (map) (table), current
  • District Semitropic groundwater bank reserves:  227,550 acre-feet as of March 1, 2015.  An estimated 35,000 acre-feet was withdrawn from Semitropic in 2014; District is pursuing maximum allowable withdrawals in 2015
  • Board Governance Policy No. EL-7.3 includes keeping the Board informed of imported water management activities on an ongoing basis.  In FY15, nine imported water management agreements were executed as of February 1; staff is continuing to pursue several potential agreements
  • Hetch Hetchy deliveriesEstimated Hetch Hetchy deliveries to Santa Clara County (click to enlarge graph at right):
    • Month of February  = 2,700 acre-feet
    • 2015 Total = 5,400 acre-feet, or 86% of the five-year average
    • 2014 reduction = 17% cumulative through November 2014



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Groundwater storage:  Total storage at the end of 2015 is predicted to fall within Stage 4 (Critical) of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan if dry conditions continue and no reduction measures are implemented

Santa Clara Plain

Coyote Valley

Llagas Subbasin

Santa Clara Plain
- The February managed recharge estimate is 2,000 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 2,500 acre-feet, or 33% of the five-year average 

- The February groundwater pumping estimate is 7,900 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 13,200 acre-feet, or 141% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Santa Clara Plain (San Jose) is about 25 feet lower than February last year and about 41 feet lower than the five-year average

Coyote Valley
- The February managed recharge estimate is 500 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 1,400 acre-feet, or 83% of the five-year average

- The February groundwater pumping estimate is 650 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 1,300 acre-feet, or 90% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Coyote Valley is about five feet higher than February last year and slightly lower than the five-year average
Llagas Subbasin
- The February managed recharge estimate is 540 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 880 acre-feet, or 24% of the five-year average 

- The February groundwater pumping estimate is 1,700 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 3,200 acre-feet, or 86% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Llagas Subbasin (San Martin) is about six feet lower than February last year and 29 feet lower than the five-year average


Treated water 

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  • Treated Water DeliveredBelow average demands of 4,298 acre-feet delivered in February
  • This total is 69% of the five-year average for February
  • Estimated year-to-date = 9,900 acre-feet or 73% of the five-year average



Conserved water


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  • /uploadedImages/Services/CleanReliableWater/WaterSupplyPlanning/WaterTracker_documents_and_images/1-Final_Docs_and_Images/11.Aug_2013_Total-Water-Use.jpgSaved 59,300 acre-feet in FY14 from long-term program (baseline year is 1992)
  • Long-term program goal is to save nearly 63,000 acre-feet in FY15
  • Based on the District's Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the Board has extended the call for a 20% reduction through June 30, 2015
  • Achieved a 13% decrease in February-December 2014.  January 2015 saw an increase of 1% (compared to January 2013)


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  • Recycled WaterEstimated February 2015 production  =  1,128 acre-feet
  • Estimated year-to-date = 2,386 acre-feet or 139% of the five-year average
  • Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center produced 1,730 million gallons (5,309 acre-feet) of advanced purified recycled water since March 25, 2014.  The purified water is blended with existing tertiary recycled water for South Bay Water Recycling Program's customer