Water shortage emergency declared in Santa Clara County

The first community meeting about Cupertino's new Clean Water and Storm Protection Fee set to take place.

On Wednesday, the Santa Clara Valley Water District declared a water shortage emergency and have called upon residents and businesses to reduce their water use by 15% compared to 2019.

“Santa Clara County is in extreme drought,” Valley Water Board Chair Tony Estremera said in a statement.

“We can’t afford to wait to act as our water supplies are being threatened locally and across California. We are in an emergency and Valley Water must do everything we can to protect our groundwater resources and ensure we can provide safe, clean water to Santa Clara County residents and businesses,” said Estremera.

The declaration allows Valley Water to work with retailers, cities and the county to implement regulations and restrictions on the delivery and consumption of water. Valley Water is also working to withdraw previously banked supplies and purchase emergency water from their partners.

The move comes nearly one month after the District enacted a 9.1 percent water rate increase for the 2022 fiscal year. Beginning July 1, the average county resident will pay between $4 and $5 dollars more per month in their water bill, according to reports. Board Chair Tony Estremera said the funds will be used for continued drought and natural disaster preparedness through expanded water conservation and recycled water programs and beginning work on the Andersen Dam Seismic Retrofit project. It also will help fund an environmental impact report for the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion project, reports said.  

Santa Clara County residents, businesses, and farmers are urged take part in Valley Water’s many rebate and conservation programs.  More information about Valley Water’s rebate programs, conservation tips and water-saving tools can be found here.

For more information about the declaration, click here.