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Groundwater Benefit Zones


Valley Water protects and replenishes local groundwater supplies to ensure water supply reliability for Santa Clara County. Management of the sustainable groundwater supply is funded by groundwater charges, which are applied to owners and operators of groundwater wells (Well Users) within zones benefiting from Valley Water activities. These activities include replenishing groundwater with local and imported surface water, monitoring and protecting groundwater from pollutants, and constructing, operating, and maintaining facilities that help sustain groundwater supplies.

In 2014, Valley Water commissioned a scientific study of its groundwater benefit zones based on up-to-date geologic studies, local groundwater data, and the services Valley Water provides. Based on the study results and extensive community outreach, on April 28, 2020, the Valley Water Board of Directors adopted changes to update the zones. These include adjustments to the boundary of North County Zone W-2 and a partitioning of the South County Zone W-5 into three zones: W-5 (generally Morgan Hill to the Pajaro River), W-7 (Coyote Valley), and W-8 (foothills below Uvas and Chesbro Reservoirs).

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. The new zones went into effect July 1, 2020, along with respective rate adjustments.

To find out more about which zone your well is in, please see our Groundwater Benefit Zone Web App at or contact us at (408) 630-2770.