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State of California passes new regulations for direct potable reuse

December 19, 2023
Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center

Today, the California State Water Resources Control Board adopted new regulations for direct potable reuse. This is a landmark step in ensuring a climate-resilient water supply for California, including Santa Clara County.

“Valley Water would like to thank the California State Water Resources Control Board and the Division of Drinking Water for their efforts in developing direct potable reuse regulations,” Valley Water Board Chair John L. Varela said. “As we continue to face the effects of a changing climate, it’s important to invest in new methods like direct potable reuse that are effective in protecting public health and ensure that we have a sustainable drought-proof water supply for the future.”

Valley Water has been involved in developing the direct potable reuse regulations since the process began 13 years ago. In addition to being a part of the California Direct Potable Reuse Working Group, our agency also participated in several studies that helped provide the scientific basis for implementing future direct potable reuse projects in California.

Valley Water has been at the forefront of developing water reuse within Santa Clara County. In addition to constructing the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center in 2014, Valley Water is currently developing a large-scale indirect potable reuse project to replenish groundwater as well as a direct potable reuse project.

Direct potable water reuse will provide the people of Santa Clara County with a flexible and resilient source of safe and high-quality drinking water. This alternative water source will help us weather extended droughts caused by climate change. We encourage everyone to tour the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center to learn more about this process.

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.