The numbers are in! Despite an extremely rainy winter last year, community members continued their patterns of water conservation, cutting water use in 2017 by a cumulative 21 percent over 2013 levels.

This is important as we exit a mostly dry winter, and, despite some rain, the remainder of the year could still be dry.

Because we don’t know what the coming weather will be like, the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District has kept up a call for a 20 percent reduction in water use over 2013 levels, the baseline used to measure water conservation during the drought.

The biggest percent reduction in water use in 2017 came between February and May, with April seeing the most water use reduction at 37 percent. The rest of the year ranged from 15 percent to 24 percent.

The community’s response, plus careful management of our water resources and a rainy winter last year, have left us in a good position this year, with our groundwater levels expected to remain in the “normal” range throughout 2018.

However, beyond 2018, groundwater levels could change, and so we encourage everyone to make conservation a way of life. To help residents and businesses do that, the water district offers a variety of programs including:

  • The Water Wise Outdoor Survey, in which a water district technician will evaluate your irrigation system for free and make recommendations to improve it;
  • The free Do-It-Yourself Water Wise Indoor Survey kit that helps you evaluate your indoor water use;
  • Rebates for certain commercial water-saving efforts, such as installing submeters; and
  • Rebates for installing a graywater “laundry-to-landscape” system, for certain water-efficient irrigation equipment, and for exchanging high-water-using turf for drought-tolerant or native plants, and more!

It’s important to keep up the good habits that make saving water a way of life, such as taking shorter showers, running only full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine, and watering landscapes no more than three days a week. Continuing the water-saving practices many have adopted during the drought will help save water and set up the community to be better able to handle future dry periods.

Learn more about the assistance the water district offers for saving water at watersavings.org.

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