As the county's primary water wholesaler, Valley Water makes sure there is enough clean, safe water for homes and businesses. To finance this monumental task, Valley Water collects revenue, primarily from property taxes, well owners, agricultural water customers and water retailers, such as San Jose Water Company.
Most county residents do not pay a bill directly to the Santa Clara Valley Water District, instead they pay their local water retailers. The cost local residents pay the retailers, however, is affected by the cost to Valley Water of supplying that water.
Valley Water’s major costs include operations, debt service, capital improvements to the treatment and delivery system, and water purchases from outside the county.
To avoid large charge increases in any year, Valley Water develops 10-year projections so that charges can be increased gradually when needed.
- Each year Valley Water conducts a public review process to set water charges for the coming year. Information about the recent process is here
- How can you lower your water bill? Save water and money through conservation
What are the current water charges?
The Santa Clara Valley Water District is a water wholesaler. The following charges reflect what water retailers and agricultural users pay for wholesale or well water.
The "2020-21 Protection and Augmentation of Water Supplies," or PAWS 2020 Report, presents the financial and water supply information that forms the basis for the fiscal year 2020-2021 wholesale water charges.
Recently, Valley Water commissioned a scientific study of its groundwater benefit zones. Based on a comprehensive evaluation of geological studies, local groundwater, and the services Valley Water provides, staff proposed a minor adjustment to the boundary of North County Zone W-2, and a partitioning of the South County zone into three zones. These adjustments ensure that ratepayers are grouped in a way that reflects the most recent and relevant data regarding the services and benefits received by well users. On April 28, 2020 the Board adopted the proposed changes that went into effect July 1, 2020. To view an interactive map of the zones, click here.
Water charges for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (effective July 1, 2020)
|Type of Charge||Agricultural Water||Non-Agricultural Water|
|(per AF)||(per AF)|
|Basic User/Groundwater Production Charge|
|Modified Zone W-2||$28.86||$1,374|
|Modified Zone W-5||$28.86||$467|
|New Zone W-7||$28.86||$481|
|New Zone W-8||$28.86||$327|
|Surface Water 1|
|Surface Water Master Charge||$37.50||$37.50|
|Modified Zone W-2 Deliveries 2||$66.36||$1,411.50|
|Modified Zone W-5 Deliveries 3||$66.36||$504.50|
|New Zone W-7 Deliveries 4||$66.36||$518.50|
|New Zone W-8 Deliveries 5||$66.36||$364.50|
|Minimum Charge--modified Zone W-2 6||$21.65||$1,030.50|
|Minimum Charge--modified Zone W-5 7||$21.65||$350.25|
|Minimum Charge--new Zone W-7 8||$21.65||$360.75|
|Minimum Charge--new Zone W-8 9||$21.65||$245.25|
1 Surface water charge is the sum of the basic user charge plus the water master charge.
2 Other Modified Zone W-2 Deliveries = Basic User (AG or M&I @ $28.86/AF or $1,374/AF) + Water Master ($37.50/AF).
3 Other Modified Zone W-5 Deliveries = Basic User (AG or M&I @ $28.86/AF or $467/AF) + Water Master ($37.50/AF).
4 Other New Zone W-7 Deliveries = Basic User (AG or M&I @ $28.86/AF or $481/AF) + Water Master ($37.50/AF).
5 Other New Zone W-8 Deliveries = Basic User (AG or M&I @ $28.86/AF or $327/AF) + Water Master ($37.50/AF).
6 Minimum Charge Modified W-2 = 0.75 X Basic User W-2 (M&I @ $1,030.50/AF, Ag @ $21.65/AF).
7 Minimum Charge Modified W-5 = 0.75 X Basic User W-5 (M&I @ $350.25/AF, Ag @ $21.65/AF).
8 Minimum Charge New W-7 = 0.75 X Basic User W-7 (M&I @ $360.75/AF, Ag @ $21.65/AF).
9 Minimum Charge New W-8 = 0.75 X Basic User W-8 (M&I @ $245.25/AF, Ag @ $21.65/AF).
10 Treated Water Charge is the sum of Basic User ($1,374/AF) and Contract Treated Water Surcharge ($100/AF).
11 The charge for non-contract deliveries is the sum of the basic user charge ($1,374/AF) and the treated water surcharge for non-contract water ($200/AF) for usage greater than 100% of contract amount.
AF = acre feet
Ag = agricultural
Non-Ag = municipal and industrial