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Water Supply Planning

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a long history of planning for water supply reliability. Planning in the early 1900s led to the construction of six dams in the 1930s and two in 1950s. Planning in the second half of the 1900s led to construction of three drinking water treatment plants and the development of imported water supplies. Santa Clara County’s current water system is a complex mix of water supply sources and infrastructure.

The district operates and maintains ten reservoirs and dams, dozens of groundwater recharge basins, almost 150 miles of pipelines, three treatment plants, an advanced recycled water plant, and three pump stations.

Water supplies include local surface water and groundwater, imported water, and recycled water. Water conservation is also an important part of the of the water supply mix because it offsets water demands.

The district’s ongoing planning efforts are designed to protect the existing water supply system, as well as identify the new supplies and infrastructure that will be needed to meet Santa Clara County’s future water needs.

2012 Water Supply and Infrastructure Master Plan
The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors adopted the Water Supply and Infrastructure Master Plan in October 2012. The Water Master Plan presents an investment strategy, called Ensure Sustainability, for providing a reliable supply of water for Santa Clara County through 2035. The strategy includes continued investment in shoring up the reliability of existing supplies and infrastructure, adding new infrastructure and operations to optimize the current system, and developing potable reuse – the use of purified recycled water for groundwater recharge. In addition, the strategy calls for continued investment in water recycling and conservation.

The Water Master Plan is scheduled to be updated in 2017.

Other Water Supply Planning Efforts
The Water Master Plan builds on other district planning efforts. The state requires Urban Water Management Plan updates every five years and the federal government requires updates to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Water Management Plans every five years. You can download copies of these plans from the list on the right.

In addition to local planning efforts, the district participates in integrated regional water management planning activities. More information on these activities can found by using the links on the left.