Drought Update

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Following the 2016-2017 winter season, which brought record levels of rain and snow, Governor Brown lifted the drought state of emergency in most California counties, including Santa Clara County. Though the statewide drought emergency may be over, Governor Brown noted that the next drought could be right around the corner and that conservation must remain a way of life in California.

Since August 2014, the City’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) has set water reduction targets ranging from 20%-30% calling upon the City’s residents and businesses to save water by reducing outdoor irrigation days and times, utilizing water-efficient practices, and discouraging wasteful uses of water. Residents and businesses collectively answered the call day in and day out, achieving water savings of over 30% in a single month during the peak of the drought.

On July 18, 2017 due to improvements in water supply conditions and Governor Brown lifting the statewide drought emergency, Santa Clara City Council adopted a Resolution discontinuing the WSCP and approving updates to Section 1.C of the City’s Water Service and Use Rules and Regulations, Water Use Restrictions and Prohibitions. The City’s Water Use Restrictions and Prohibitions section remain in effect at all times and continue to discourage wasteful uses of water:

  • Wasting water, which includes but is not limited to, the flooding or runoff on City sidewalks, gutters, and streets.
  • Cleaning of sidewalks, driveways, patios, parking lots, or other paved or hard-surfaced areas.
  • Washing cars, buses, boats, trailers, or any vehicle by use of a hose unless that hose is fitted with an operating automatic shut-off valve.
  • Water waste due to broken or defective plumbing, fire system, irrigation system, or any appurtenance thereto; or to open or to leave open any stopcock or faucet so as to permit water waste.
  • Service of water by any restaurant unless requested by a patron.
  • Installation of a single-pass cooling system.
  • Installation and/or use of a non-recirculating, decorative fountain.
  • Construction of a non-recirculating conveyor car wash.
  • Watering lawns during or within 48 hours after measurable precipitation.
  • Irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians
  • Irrigation of landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development.
  • Irrigation between the hours of 9AM and 6PM

In addition to the above water use prohibitions and to promote efficient water use, hotels/motels shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily. Notice of this option shall be displayed prominently in each guestroom using easily understood terms and  language.

To report water waste, please complete a Water Waste report.

To help conserve water you can visit the Conservation page, save20gallons.org, and saveourwater.com for water saving tips. Sign up for the free Water Wise Survey Program from the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Qualify and apply for Rebates on water saving fixtures and appliances.

To receive automatic e-mail updates on drought conditions and water conservation in the City, please sign up for e-Notify.

Thank you for your efforts to conserve water and use water wisely. 

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