All water on the planet is reused, with the same amount of fresh water existing on Earth since the age of the dinosaurs. However, maintaining an available drinking supply of this precious resource is the new challenge we face today.
Valley Water recognizes the need to plan for a future sustainable water supply to prepare for the impacts of climate change – such as drought and reduced imported water supply from melted snow packs – and population growth.
In 2014, Valley Water built the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center to use state-of-the-art technology to produce up to 8 million gallons a day of advanced purified water – a new sustainable, reliable and locally controlled water supply that is good for our community and our environment. The facility cleans treated wastewater to a very high standard and ensures that the new water produced is safe and free of harmful chemicals and toxins.
The quality of advanced purified water has proven to meet or exceed strict California drinking water standards. With this in mind, Valley Water is planning to expand the amount of purified water produced in our county and how it’s used. In the future, we plan to use the advanced purified water to supplement our drinking water supplies in addition to its current function to enhance the quality of existing non-potable recycled water supplies.
To educate the public about future plans, Valley Water continues to implement new and improved methods to promote the benefits of advanced purified water through free public tours, social media campaigns, and other education outreach activities. In 2018, Valley Water held more than 70 tours of the purification center, hosted more than 1,650 visitors and provided more than 500 taste tests of advanced purified water. As a result of ongoing education efforts, we were awarded the 2018 Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award in Education.
Additionally, the tour visitor survey results demonstrate the power of experiencing the advanced technologies first hand. Of those who took a tour in 2018, 93.4 percent supported advanced purified water being used to replenish groundwater basins to supplement our drinking water supply and 85.5 percent supported advanced purified water being sent directly to a water treatment plant before being delivered to the taps. Visitors with little knowledge of the technology and process beforehand were sold on the concept after completing their tours. Many visitors even provided written or video testimonials stating their support of the project.
These outreach efforts to educate the public lay the groundwork for Valley Water to successfully gain the public support needed to continue to fast track efforts to expand the use of advanced purified water as an additional water supply source that, in the near future, could be tapped for everyday drinking water.
Through the Countywide Water Reuse Master Plan, Valley Water is exploring new recycled and purified water projects throughout Santa Clara County. We are focused on preparing for the future to ensure Santa Clara County’s 2 million residents have a reliable water supply no matter what extreme weather the changing climate brings. To make sure our water supply meets these future needs, we are making smart investments in new and innovative technologies like water recycling.
Check out the full report on our outreach and education activities and learn how you can get involved in spreading the word. Visit www.purewater4u.org to learn more about the purification center and sign up for a free public tour or schedule a private group tour today.