Due to the extreme drought in California, a water shortage emergency has been declared in Santa Clara County.


Due to the extreme drought in California, a water shortage emergency has been declared in Santa Clara County.

The board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District in California declared a water shortage emergency in Santa Clara County on Wednesday, citing the area’s “severe drought” during a historic dry season.

According to Valley Water’s head of the board, Tony Estremera, the emergency designation permits the company to collaborate with local governments and companies to “impose limits and limitations on the delivery and consumption of water.”

As supplies are threatened across the state, the district, which manages the water resources system for the county’s 2 million residents, has called for a mandatory 15 percent reduction in water use compared to 2019 levels (which equates to a 33 percent reduction from 2013 water levels), as well as other water restrictions, according to the statement.

Santa Clara County is in its second straight year of drought, according to a Valley Water board agenda item, and the U.S. Drought Monitor Report from May 25 says it is in “extreme drought.”

The memorandum stated that “the year 2021 is the third driest on record and the driest since 1977,” and that “the combination of 2020 and 2021 is the second driest back-to-back pair of years on record.”

The board also recommended that Santa Clara County proclaim a local emergency to emphasize “the gravity of the danger posed by the unprecedented drought,” according to Estremera.

“Santa Clara County is in severe drought,” he explained.

Because of the exceptional dry season, our imported water supplies are dwindling.

“About half of our water originates from outside our county, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack depletion has resulted in a considerable drop in the amount of imported water we will receive this year,” he continued.

The first six months of water year 2021 were the fourth driest on record, according to the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), and California Governor Gavin Newsom previously declared a drought emergency in 41 of 58 state counties, according to the Santa Clara city government website.

What kind of water limitations may there be?

Valley Water has advocated for a variety of water usage restrictions. One of them, according to an attachment to the board, is limiting “outdoor watering of decorative landscapes or lawns using potable water [drinking water]to a maximum of three days a week.” This is a condensed version of the information.


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