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Water Tracker

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


As of November 1, 2015

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Santa Clara County residents and businesses reduced water use by 28% in September compared to September 2013.  This brings the cumulative 2015 water savings through September to 27% compared to the same period of 2013.  This is just below the District Board of Directors target of 30%.  

The District has maintained a reduced recharge program through the summer and early fall of 2015 to replenish the groundwater aquifers using available, limited quantities of local surface and imported water.  There has been some improvement in groundwater levels in the north county compared to last year in key areas.  However, total groundwater storage is predicted to remain in the Severe Stage through the end of 2015 if cumulative water use reduction for the rest of the year continues below 30%.

As winter approaches, the District remains reservedly optimistic for next year based on research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the University of Washington.  Warmer and slightly drier than average weather across central and northern California is expected for the remainder of the calendar year as El Niño eventually erodes away the persistent high pressure which has dominated over the last several years and has kept northern California warmer and drier than average.  After the erosion of the high pressure, wetter than average conditions for January through March are anticipated.  Despite the optimistic weather forecast for the first three months of calendar year 2016, the District is proceeding with caution as the drought persists and supplies continue to be constrained.




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Rainfall in San Jose:

  • Month of October = 0.0 inches
  • Rainfall year total = 0.0 inches (Rainfall year is July 1 to June 30)
  • The average daily high temperature for October was 79.1 degrees Fahrenheit.  Temperatures were above normal for the month



Local Reservoirs

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  • Total November 1 storage = 55,120 acre-feet
    (Click here for current local reservoir storage)
    • 69% of 20-year average for that date
    • 33% of total capacity
    • 45% of restricted capacity storage
      (169,009 acre-feet total storage capacity limited by seismic restrictions to 122,924 acre-feet)
  • No Imported Water delivered into local reservoirs during October 2015
  • Total releases to streams (local and imported water) during October = 6,240 acre-feet



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Groundwater storage:  End of 2015 storage is predicted to fall within Stage 3 (Severe) of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan:

Groundwater Table

Santa Clara Plain
Santa Clara Plain

Coyote Valley
Coyote Valley

Llagas Subbasin
Llagas Subbasin

(click to enlarge)


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 November 1, 2015: 
    • Shasta Reservoir at 31% of capacity (53% of average for this date)
    • Oroville Reservoir at 28% of capacity (47% of

      Delta Flows

      (click to enlarge) 

      average for this date)
    • San Luis Reservoir at 17% of capacity (32% of average for this date)
  • Daily reservoir storage summary (map) (table), current
  • District Semitropic groundwater bank reserves: An estimated 200,000 acre-feet as of November 1, 2015. District is pursuing maximum allowable withdrawals in 2015
  • Estimated Hetch Hetchy deliveries to Santa Clara County
    • Month of October = 3,842 acre-feet
    • Year-to-date = 34,000 acre-feet, or 80% of the five-year average



Treated water 

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  • Treated Water DeliveredBelow average demands of 8,701 acre-feet delivered in October
  • This total is 81% of the five-year average for October
  • Year-to-date = 83,430 acre-feet or 82% 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 63,000 acre-feet in FY15 from long-term program (baseline year is 1992)
  • Long-term program goal is to save nearly 68,000 acre-feet in FY16
  • 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 27% reduction in water use through the first nine months of 2015 compared to 2013


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  • Recycled WaterEstimated October 2015 production  =  2,200 acre-feet
  • Estimated year-to-date through October = 19,200 acre-feet or 123% of the five-year average
  • Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center produced an estimated 2.9 billion gallons (8,900 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