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Water Tracker

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


As of August 1, 2015

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The positive trend in water savings continues. Santa Clara County residents and businesses used 35% less water in June 2015 than they did in June 2013, which is above the 30% water use reduction target set by our Board of Directors. However, cumulative 2015 water use January through June by major retailers in the county was only 22% less when compared to the same period in 2013, highlighting the need for continued water use reduction.  Please remember that most areas in the county have a restriction on irrigating ornamental landscape with potable water to two days a week. 

The rainfall year that ended on June 30 was another below-average year in the county. The California Department of Water Resources found no snow during its April 1, 2015, manual survey at 6,800 feet in the Sierra Nevada.  This was the first time in 75 years of early-April measurements at the Philips snow course that no snow was found there.

The district will continue to conduct limited groundwater recharge using available surface water. However, total groundwater storage is predicted to fall in the Severe Stage at the end of 2015 if water use reduction for the rest of the year is similar to that in the first six months of the year, highlighting the need for continued water use reduction at the 30% level or above.




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Rainfall in San Jose:

  • Month of July = 0.0 inches
  • The average daily high temperature for July was 79.9 degrees Fahrenheit.  Temperatures were slightly below normal for the month



Local Reservoirs

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  • Total August 1 storage = 78,824 acre-feet
    (Click here for current local reservoir storage)
    • 77% of 20-year average for that date
    • 47% of total capacity
    • 64% of restricted capacity storage
      (169,009 acre-feet total storage capacity limited by seismic restrictions to 122,924 acre-feet)
  • Approximately 152 acre-feet of Imported Water delivered into local reservoirs during July 2015
  • Total releases to streams (local and imported water) during July = 3,395 acre-feet

Imported water 

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  • 2015 State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) allocations:
    • 2015 SWP allocation:  20% = 20,000 acre-feet
    • 2015 CVP allocations:  Municipal and Industrial users South-of-Delta will receive enough water to meet health and safety needs or 25% of historic use, whichever is greater, 0% for Irrigation.  A total of 40,300 acre-feet is anticipated to be delivered 
  • Reservoir storage (map) (table), as of August 1, 2015:
    • Shasta Reservoir at 44% of capacity (61% of average for this date)
    • Oroville Reservoir at 33% of capacity (45% of average for this date)
    • San Luis Reservoir at 26% of capacity (53% of average for this date)
  • Daily reservoir storage summary (map) (table), current
  • District Semitropic groundwater bank reserves:  An estimated 220,590 acre-feet as of August 1, 2015.  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, 27 imported water management agreements were executed as of August 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 July  = 5,568 acre-feet
    • Year-to-date = 27,865 acre-feet, or 103% of the five-year average



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Groundwater storage:  Total storage at the end of 2015 is predicted to fall within Stage 3 (Severe) of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan if the countywide water use reduction from July to December 2015 is similar to the first six months of the year.

Santa Clara Plain

Coyote Valley

Llagas Subbasin

Santa Clara Plain
- The July managed recharge estimate is 3,100 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 10,900 acre-feet, or 34% of the five-year average 

- The July groundwater pumping estimate is 6,100 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 40,200 acre-feet, or 80% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in the Santa Clara Plain (San Jose) is about 16 feet higher than July last year and about 16 feet lower than the five-year average

Coyote Valley
- The July managed recharge estimate is 550 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 3,800 acre-feet, or 52% of the five-year average

- The July groundwater pumping estimate is 980 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 5,400 acre-feet, or 84% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Coyote Valley is about one foot higher than July last year and seven feet lower than the five-year average
Llagas Subbasin
- The July managed recharge estimate is 1,900 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 8,200 acre-feet, or 57% of the five-year average 

- The July groundwater pumping estimate is 5,400 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 19,900 acre-feet, or 89% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Llagas Subbasin (San Martin) is about 6 feet lower than July last year and 35 feet lower than the five-year average


Treated water 

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  • Treated Water DeliveredBelow average demands of 11,274 acre-feet delivered in July
  • This total is 86% of the five-year average for July
  • Estimated year-to-date = 54,345 acre-feet or 83% 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
  • The Board has called for a 30% reduction and a limit of two days per week for irrigation of ornamental landscape with potable water
  • Achieved a 22% reduction in water use through the first six months of 2015 compared to 2013


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  • Recycled WaterEstimated July 2015 production  =  2,700 acre-feet
  • Estimated year-to-date through July = 13,000 acre-feet or 130% of the five-year average
  • Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center produced an estimated 2,414 million gallons (7,407 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