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Running dry: Reservoirs serving Valley Water reach historic lows

Exceptional drought conditions are growing worse

A comparison of water capacity at eight reservoirs in Santa Clara County between April 2017 and August 2021.

Extreme drought conditions have caused the Santa Clara Valley Water District's reservoirs to drop to just 12.5% of capacity, the water district said in an Aug. 25 statement.

The seriousness of the drought is evident in photos the district has taken comparing water levels in April 2017 and last month. In 2017, water levels in the district's 10 reservoirs were at more than 85% of capacity.

The district provides water to parts of Mountain View as well as the south bay. It instituted a 15% mandatory reduction in water use among its customers on June 9 due to state and federal cutbacks, dwindling Sierra snowpack and the Anderson Reservoir shutdown.

Valley Water supplies face additional challenges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Anderson Reservoir, the district's largest source of water, to be drained due to seismic concerns. The reservoir won't be used to store water for the next 10 years while the Anderson Dam Tunnel project and seismic retrofit project are under construction, the district said.

Statewide, other reservoirs are also at critically low levels. Oroville Reservoir in Butte County is at 23% of capacity and San Luis Reservoir in Merced County is at 15%, the district noted.

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"These low conditions resulted in drastic reductions to the amount of imported water Valley Water will receive this year from each reservoir," the district said.

The district offers multiple incentives for people to reduce their water use.

"Valley Water offers robust conservation programs that can help our communities save water and money, including our Landscape Rebate Program. Every drop saved today is one we can use in the future. If this drought lasts into 2022 and beyond, stricter water restrictions are likely," the district said.

Valley Water offers rebate programs, conservation tips and how to get free water-saving tools at valleywater.org/water-conservation-programs.

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Running dry: Reservoirs serving Valley Water reach historic lows

Exceptional drought conditions are growing worse

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 1, 2021, 12:45 pm

Extreme drought conditions have caused the Santa Clara Valley Water District's reservoirs to drop to just 12.5% of capacity, the water district said in an Aug. 25 statement.

The seriousness of the drought is evident in photos the district has taken comparing water levels in April 2017 and last month. In 2017, water levels in the district's 10 reservoirs were at more than 85% of capacity.

The district provides water to parts of Mountain View as well as the south bay. It instituted a 15% mandatory reduction in water use among its customers on June 9 due to state and federal cutbacks, dwindling Sierra snowpack and the Anderson Reservoir shutdown.

Valley Water supplies face additional challenges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Anderson Reservoir, the district's largest source of water, to be drained due to seismic concerns. The reservoir won't be used to store water for the next 10 years while the Anderson Dam Tunnel project and seismic retrofit project are under construction, the district said.

Statewide, other reservoirs are also at critically low levels. Oroville Reservoir in Butte County is at 23% of capacity and San Luis Reservoir in Merced County is at 15%, the district noted.

"These low conditions resulted in drastic reductions to the amount of imported water Valley Water will receive this year from each reservoir," the district said.

The district offers multiple incentives for people to reduce their water use.

"Valley Water offers robust conservation programs that can help our communities save water and money, including our Landscape Rebate Program. Every drop saved today is one we can use in the future. If this drought lasts into 2022 and beyond, stricter water restrictions are likely," the district said.

Valley Water offers rebate programs, conservation tips and how to get free water-saving tools at valleywater.org/water-conservation-programs.

Comments

tmp
Registered user
Downtown North
on Sep 2, 2021 at 11:20 am
tmp, Downtown North
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2021 at 11:20 am

Yes, so it just makes so much sense that the state wants to add millions of people and grown the population. Any reasonable person has seen this disaster coming for decades and rather than limiting population growth to a level supportable by our natural resources we have been draining the ground water, destroying and damming most of the rivers and creeks and basically turning the state into a waste land. The current administration is as clueless as all in the past. Rather than deal with the real issues they think they can desalinate or find other sources of water.

Get real. Limit growth, preach the advantages of a smaller population and concentrate on limiting the impact of too many people by forcing them out of inappropriate areas and limiting agricultures pumping of ground water. There are so many ways to fix these problems but it starts with fewer people and less intense use of the environment.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 2, 2021 at 3:42 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2021 at 3:42 pm

So in April, as the rainy season is ending, the reservoirs were full, but in late August after 5 months of typical no rain, the reservoirs are low. Somehow, this doesn't seem so unusual to me.


Resident11
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Sep 2, 2021 at 6:28 pm
Resident11, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2021 at 6:28 pm

The problem is that reservoirs didn't recharge this past winter. Both April and August are much lower than they were in 2020. Web Link


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