A reliable supply of safe, clean water is necessary for the social, economic and environmental well-being of Santa Clara County. As the population grows and the effects of climate change are felt, we must adapt to the changing demand for water. Valley Water is planning ahead and has a strategy for meeting the county’s future water needs through its Water Supply Master Plan.
While the county’s population saw a significant increase in the last 30 years, the overall demand for water decreased by 8%. This drop in overall water demand is due to investments in water-related technological advancements, conservation programs and behavior changes in water use.
Valley Water is actively working with cities and the county to adopt an ordinance that promotes water efficiency in new developments. The Model Water Efficient New Development Ordinance will add additional measures beyond what is currently mandatory to ensure new developments are not negatively impacting our water supply. New water efficiency measures will range from simple efforts such as requiring efficient water heaters, to new programs to facilitate the use of stormwater and recycled water.
In addition to ensuring new construction is water efficient, Valley Water is committed to helping residents reduce their home’s water use through our various rebates and programs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60% of the water used in a single-family home is used outdoors. Nearly half of that water is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or runoff. Valley Water offers residents and property owners up to $3,000 to replace their lawns with water-efficient plants and install efficient irrigation equipment. Valley Water also offers Santa Clara County residents free devices such as low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators through the online shopping cart.
A substantial rebate is also available for existing commercial and multi-family sites of five or more units to replace their lawns and pools with low water-use landscapes. Valley Water recently increased the rebate from $50,000 to $100,000.
Whether you’re a homeowner, renter or business owner, Valley Water is asking all Santa Clara County residents to say yes to saving water to help us reach our goal of a 15% reduction in water use.
While newer built properties use less water than older properties, it’s still important for everyone to do their part. Visit watersavings.org to learn more about our programs and rebates.