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Valley Water reservoirs reach historical lows

August 30, 2021
Anderson reservoir comparison 2017 and 2021

Comparison between 2017 and 2021 shows impacts of extreme and exceptional drought

Valley Water's reservoirs, full in 2017, are currently at 12.5% of capacity. These historic low levels illustrate the impact the extreme and exceptional drought is having on our local water supplies.

Statewide reservoirs are also reaching historic lows. Oroville Reservoir is at just 23% of capacity and San Luis Reservoir is at 15%. These low conditions resulted in drastic reductions to the amount of imported water Valley Water will receive this year from each reservoir.

Further challenging our local water supply, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Anderson Reservoir to be drained for public safety. This means our largest reservoir will be unable to store water for the next 10 years as we construct the Anderson Dam Tunnel Project and Seismic Retrofit Project.

Valley Water is taking decisive measures to protect our water supplies. On June 9, Valley Water's Board of Directors declared a water shortage emergency condition, one of the strongest actions they can take. They also implemented a 15% mandatory water-use reduction compared to 2019 for all of Santa Clara County.

Valley Water offers robust conservation programs that can help our communities save water and money, including our Landscape Rebate Program. Every drop saved today is one we can use in the future. If this drought lasts into 2022 and beyond, stricter water restrictions are likely. Learn about all our rebate programs, conservation tips and how to get free water-saving tools at

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 400 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.