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Water Tracker

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


As of April 1, 2015

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Water use by Santa Clara County in January and February 2015 was only 4% less than in the same months in 2013. The Northern Sierra snowpack is 5% of normal and the primary reservoirs in the state for our imported water supply are less than three-quarters of normal. Our combined State and Federal Projects allocation for 2015 is 60,300 acre-feet which is 14% lower than our 70,000 acre-feet allocation in 2014. Total groundwater storage at the end of 2015 is predicted to drop to the Critical Stage if dry conditions continue and no reduction measures are implemented. On March 24th, the District's Board of Directors called for countywide water use reduction of 30% relative to 2013 and a restriction on irrigating outdoor landscapes and lawns with potable water to two days per week. In addition, on April 1st, the Governor directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage.




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Rainfall in San Jose:

  • Month of March = 0.35 inches
  • Total to date = 11.73 inches or 92% of average to date (rainfall year is July 1 to June 30)
  • April 1 Northern Sierra snowpack water content is about 5% of normal for this date



Local Reservoirs

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  • Total April 1 storage = 82,971 acre-feet
    (Click here for current local reservoir storage)
    • 69% of 20-year average for that date
    • 49% of total capacity
    • 68% 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 March 2015

Imported water 

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  • As of April 1, 2015, the Statewide average snowpack water content is 5% of the historic average
  • 2015 State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) allocations:
    • 2015 SWP allocation (updated on March 2, 2015):  20% = 20,000 acre-feet
    • Initial 2015 CVP allocations (announced on February 27, 2015):  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 April 1, 2015:
    • Shasta Reservoir at 59% of capacity (73% of average for this date)
    • Oroville Reservoir at 51% of capacity (67% of average for this date)
    • San Luis Reservoir at 66% of capacity (73% of average for this date)
  • Daily reservoir storage summary (map) (table), current
  • District Semitropic groundwater bank reserves:  227,550 acre-feet as of March 1, 2015.  An estimated 35,000 acre-feet was withdrawn from Semitropic in 2014; 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, 13 imported water management agreements were executed as of April 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 March  = 2,400 acre-feet
    • 2015 January to February Total = 7,800 acre-feet, or 86% of the five-year average



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Groundwater storage:  Total storage at the end of 2015 is predicted to fall within Stage 4 (Critical) of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan if dry conditions continue and no reduction measures are implemented

Santa Clara Plain

Coyote Valley

Llagas Subbasin

Santa Clara Plain
- The March managed recharge estimate is 880 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 3,300 acre-feet, or 28% of the five-year average 

- The March groundwater pumping estimate is 9,200 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 23,700 acre-feet, or 157% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in the Santa Clara Plain (San Jose) is about 18 feet lower than March last year and about 39 feet lower than the five-year average

Coyote Valley
- The March managed recharge estimate is 550 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 1,600 acre-feet, or 66% of the five-year average

- The March groundwater pumping estimate is 830 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 2,000 acre-feet, or 90% of the five-year average 

- The groundwater level in Coyote Valley is about three feet higher than March last year and three feet lower than the five-year average
Llagas Subbasin
- The March managed recharge estimate is 660 acre-feet.  The year-to-date managed recharge estimate is 1,600 acre-feet, or 29% of the five-year average 

- The March groundwater pumping estimate is 2,600 acre-feet.  The year-to-date groundwater pumping estimate is 6,000 acre-feet, or 102% of the five-year average 

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


Treated water 

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  • Treated Water DeliveredBelow average demands of 6,464 acre-feet delivered in March
  • This total is 94% of the five-year average for March
  • Estimated year-to-date = 16,370 acre-feet or 80% 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 4% decrease in water use through the first two months of 2015 compared to 2013


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  • Recycled WaterEstimated March 2015 production  =  1,400 acre-feet
  • Estimated year-to-date through March = 3,800 acre-feet or 142% of the five-year average
  • Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center produced an estimated 1,700 million gallons (5,300 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