SAN JOSE – For the fifth time in six months, Santa Clara County surpassed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call to reduce water use by 15% compared to 2020. In December 2022, countywide water use dropped 19% compared to December 2020.
Before the state’s action, in June 2021, Valley Water’s Board of Directors called for a 15% reduction compared to 2019 (a much tougher baseline that had lower water use) and outdoor water use restrictions. Our county was very successful in significantly reducing summer use by limiting outdoor watering. Winter use is primarily indoor water use and is harder to reduce. This December we saved 2% compared to 2019 and had the lowest water use of any month in 2022.
While three weeks of storms from late December to mid-January brought much-needed water to our state and county, they did not erase three years of drought. The good news is that Santa Clara County moved from severe to moderate drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The storms resulted in an increased water allocation amount from the State Water Project and an above-average snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. However, we won’t know until the rainy season ends how our water supplies will look for the rest of the year.
Drought is a way of life in California. Valley Water encourages residents, businesses, farms and others to say yes to saving water no matter what the weather may bring. Visit watersavings.org for conservation tips, programs and rebates.