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Water Tracker

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


As of January 1, 2016

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Santa Clara County residents and businesses reduced water use by 33% in November compared to November 2013. This brings the cumulative 2015 water savings through November to 27% compared to the same period of 2013. This is just below the District's Board of Directors target of 30%.

The District maintained a reduced recharge program throughout calendar year 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 key areas of the north county compared to last year. Limited recharge operations are set to continue into 2016, with frequent collaboration with regulatory agencies. In addition, the District's Board of Directors has continued the call for a target 30% water use reduction and twice weekly landscape watering until June 30.

Despite optimistic long range weather forecasts for the first three months of calendar year 2016, the District is proceeding with caution as supplies continue to be constrained. Even with the higher-than-average water content for the statewide snowpack to date, storage in northern California reservoirs is below normal and local rainfall is 92% of normal as of December.




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Rainfall in San Jose:

  • Month of December = 2.13 inches
  • Rainfall year total = 4.57 inches (Rainfall year is July 1 to June 30)
  • January 4, 2016, Northern Sierra snowpack water content is 97% of average for that date



Local Reservoirs

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  • Total January 1 storage = 49,353 acre-feet
    (Click here for current local reservoir storage)
    • 61% of 20-year average for that date
    • 29% of total capacity
    • 40% of restricted capacity storage
      (169,009 acre-feet total storage capacity limited by seismic restrictions to 122,924 acre-feet)
  • Approximately 37 acre-feet of Imported Water delivered into local reservoirs during December 2015
  • Total releases to streams (local and imported water) during December = 4,258 acre-feet



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Groundwater Storage:  End of 2015 storage fell 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 received a total of 40,300 acre-feet
  • Reservoir storage (map) (table), as of December 31, 2015: 
    • Shasta Reservoir at 31% of capacity (51% of average for this date)
    • Oroville Reservoir at 29% of capacity (47% of

      Delta Flows

      (click to enlarge) 

      average for this date)
    • San Luis Reservoir at 21% of capacity (31% of average for this date)
  • Daily reservoir storage summary (map) (table), current
  • District Semitropic groundwater bank reserves: About 45 TAF of water withdrawn from Semitropic to meet 2015 needs.  End of year storage balance in Semitropic is approximately 180 TAF
  • Estimated Hetch Hetchy deliveries to Santa Clara County
    • Month of December = 2,969 acre-feet
    • 2015 Total = 41,221 acre-feet, or 82% of the five-year average



Treated water 

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  • Treated Water DeliveredBelow average demands of 4,737 acre-feet delivered in December
  • This total is 72% of the five-year average for December
  • Year-to-date = 94,500 acre-feet or 81% 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 11 months of 2015 compared to 2013


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  • Recycled WaterEstimated December 2015 production  =  1,000 acre-feet
  • Estimated year-to-date through December = 21,300 acre-feet or 119% of the five-year average
  • Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center produced an estimated 3 billion gallons (9,000 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