Priority A: Ensuring a safe, reliable water supply
One thing the residents and businesses of Santa Clara County have been able to count on is the ability of Valley Water to keep the taps flowing with clean water. It’s hard work that has many moving parts, but ensuring a supply of safe, reliable water is of the greatest importance to the community and us.
Some of the work that helps us do that involves upgrading aging infrastructure, working with partners to develop conservation programs and helping schools provide access to clean water for children.
Storing the water we get in wet years for use in dry years or for emergencies will also support our continued efforts to provide clean, reliable water to Santa Clara County.
Main and Madrone Pipeline Restoration
Restoring the Main and Madrone Pipeline allowed Valley Water to improve our water supply infrastructure while reducing our energy use and operating costs.
The Main and Madrone Pipeline Restoration Project involved installing 2.7 miles of pipeline that allows Valley Water to refill the Main Avenue percolation ponds and Madrone Channel with untreated water from Anderson Reservoir.
The original pipeline, which was built 65 years ago, had suffered damage that made it unusable. To fill the ponds that percolate into the groundwater basin in South Santa Clara County, Valley Water had to pump water from San Luis Reservoir, 40 miles away.
With a functioning pipeline in place, we have been able to improve the efficiency of our operations and lower our carbon footprint by reducing the need to pump water from San Luis Reservoir.
Through $250,000 in grants, Valley Water, in collaboration with First 5 Santa Clara and the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, provided drinking water dispensers and other potable water devices for students at 50 Santa Clara County schools. These Water-to-Go stations helped public schools comply with California Senate Bill 1413, which requires that schools provide access to free, fresh drinking water during mealtimes in food service areas.
Now Valley Water is considering the expansion of Water-to-Go station installations beyond schools and into public spaces.
Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project
This project would expand the existing Pacheco Reservoir, providing a more reliable supply of safe, clean drinking water in the face of climate change, including reducing the frequency and severity of water shortages during droughts. It will also protect our drinking water supply and infrastructure and improve habitat for fish and other species.
The proposed project would increase the reservoir capacity from 5,500 acre-feet to 140,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot is enough water to supply two families of five for a year, and the expansion would help supply up to 1.4 million people with water for a year in an emergency. This project is a collaboration between Valley Water, the San Benito County Water District and the Pacheco Pass Water District.