Santa Clara County Residents Use Less Water After Drought Warning
It’s been two months since Santa Clara County’s water district declared a water shortage emergency. So far, preliminary data reveals that residents are heeding the warnings.
The county declared a drought emergency on June 9, mandating that local water retailers cut water use by 15 percent compared to 2019. Data collected through the end of June shows a downward trend of water usage.
In May 2021, Valley Water customers used nine percent more water than they did in 2019. However, by the end of June of this year, residents used the same amount of water they did in June 2019.
To meet the 15 percent reduction, the county regulates irrigation, limiting it to two days a week during specific hours. A Valley Water spokesperson said that if residents cut lawn irrigation in half without cutting showers or using other water saving devices, the county could easily reach its goal.
Another indication that residents are listening to calls for water conservation is their high response to Valley Water’s conservation programs and incentives. The landscape rebate program received 600 applications in July, which tripled since June and is 12 times higher than January. Even water waste complaints from residents increased in July to 200 reports, which is eight times higher than it was in July 2020.
The next drought data update will be in a month and will include water usage information from July.