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Water Tracker

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


As of July 1, 2015

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From January 2015 through May 2015, water use by the major retailers in the county was 18% less when compared to the same period in 2013 which is below our Board of Director’s call for 30%.  May 2015 compared to May 2013 has been our best month so far at a 35% reduction. For the first time in state history, the Governor directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25%.  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 30th 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 Phillips 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 five 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 June = 0.08 inches
  • Rainfall year total = 13.39 inches or 93% of average to date (rainfall year is July 1 to June 30)



Local Reservoirs

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  • Total July 1 storage = 82,539 acre-feet
    (Click here for current local reservoir storage)
    • 76% of 20-year average for that date
    • 49% of total capacity
    • 67% of restricted capacity storage
      (169,009 acre-feet total storage capacity limited by seismic restrictions to 122,924 acre-feet)
  • Approximately 500 acre-feet of Imported Water delivered into local reservoirs during June 2015

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 July 1, 2015:
    • Shasta Reservoir at 48% of capacity (60% of average for this date)
    • Oroville Reservoir at 40% of capacity (49% of average for this date)
    • San Luis Reservoir at 41% of capacity (63% of average for this date)
  • Daily reservoir storage summary (map) (table), current
  • District Semitropic groundwater bank reserves:  An estimated 221,760 acre-feet as of July 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 July 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 June  = 5,222 acre-feet
    • Year-to-date = 22,297 acre-feet, or 97% 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 June to December 2015 is similar to the first five months of the year.

Santa Clara Plain

Coyote Valley

Llagas Subbasin

Santa Clara Plain
- The June managed recharge estimate is 1,700 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 6,800 acre-feet, or 26% of the five-year average 

- The June groundwater pumping estimate is 5,900 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 34,400 acre-feet, or 88% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in the Santa Clara Plain (San Jose) is about 7 feet higher than June last year and about 23 feet lower than the five-year average

Coyote Valley
- The June managed recharge estimate is 540 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 3,200 acre-feet, or 56% of the five-year average

- The June groundwater pumping estimate is 880 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 4,600 acre-feet, or 89% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Coyote Valley is about one foot higher than June last year and six feet lower than the five-year average
Llagas Subbasin
- The June managed recharge estimate is 1,800 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 6,200 acre-feet, or 52% of the five-year average 

- The June groundwater pumping estimate is 4,300 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 16,000 acre-feet, or 97% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Llagas Subbasin (San Martin) is about 6 feet lower than June last year and 34 feet lower than the five-year average


Treated water 

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  • Treated Water DeliveredBelow average demands of 10,790 acre-feet (estimated) delivered in June
  • This total is 88% of the five-year average for June
  • Estimated year-to-date = 43,580 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 an 18% decrease in water use through the first five months of 2015 compared to 2013


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  • Recycled WaterEstimated June 2015 production  =  2,500 acre-feet
  • Estimated year-to-date through June = 10,100 acre-feet or 130% of the five-year average
  • Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center produced an estimated 2,216 million gallons (6,800 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