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Valley Water Board Chair Tony Estremera statement on expanding use of purified water through partnership with City of Palo Alto

December 15, 2021
Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center

As we face the threat of another dry winter, Valley Water is leading Santa Clara County out of the drought through investments in technology.

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, my fellow Board Members and I approved a staff recommendation to finalize needed agreements with the City of Palo Alto to allow Santa Clara County to expand its use of purified water, a drought-proof water source. This action will enable Valley Water to build a new, advanced water purification center in Palo Alto to replenish our county’s groundwater. 

In addition, our agency continues to meet with the Cities of San José and Santa Clara to discuss expanding our existing Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center in San Jose. The Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center uses proven technologies to remove potential contaminants from highly treated wastewater and produce up to 8 million gallons of water per day that is safe to drink. Currently, this water is blended with recycled water to enhance its quality for industrial and landscape uses.

We are working to take the next step and use purified water to replenish groundwater basins in Santa Clara County and increase our drinking water supply. The new facility in Palo Alto will allow us to achieve that goal.  

Valley Water will send purified water produced from the facility in Palo Alto through a new underground pipeline to groundwater recharge ponds in Campbell. The purified water filters through the soil and mixes with existing groundwater for use as drinking water.

We are thankful to have collaborative elected officials in the Cities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, San José and Santa Clara because the success of any expansion or use of purified water for future drinking water depends on all of us working together.

I am proud that my fellow Board Members and I took this action. This historic action by the Board of Directors will protect Santa Clara County’s water supply from the impacts of climate change and secure our future by ensuring a local and renewable water source and will be a lasting legacy that will serve this and future generations.

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.