The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a long history of planning for water supply reliability. Planning in the early 1900s led to the construction of six dams in the 1930s and two in 1950s. Planning in the second half of the 1900s led to construction of three drinking water treatment plants and the development of imported water supplies. Santa Clara County’s current water system is a complex mix of water supply sources and infrastructure.
The district operates and maintains ten reservoirs and dams, dozens of groundwater recharge basins, almost 150 miles of pipelines, three treatment plants, and three pump stations. Water supplies include local surface water and groundwater, imported water, and recycled water. Water conservation is also an important part of the of the water supply mix because it offsets water demands. The district’s ongoing planning efforts are designed to protect the existing water supply system, as well as identify the new supplies and infrastructure that will be needed to meet Santa Clara County’s future water needs.
2012 Water Supply and Infrastructure Master Plan
The Santa Clara Valley Water District is currently developing a Water Supply and Infrastructure Master Plan (Water Master Plan). The purpose of the Water Master Plan is to identify the supplies, infrastructure, and operational approaches needed to achieve long-term water supply reliability through 2035. In the summer of 2012, a final plan will be presented to the district board of directors for adoption. The plan will include an analysis of future water supplies and demands, a range of components included in a strategy for meeting future demands, benefits and costs associated with this strategy, and an implementation timeline.
The 2012 Water Master Plan will build upon previous district water supply planning efforts, including its Integrated Water Resources Plans (IWRP). Water resource agencies use integrated planning processes to develop flexible, long-term water supply plans that meet the needs of the agencies and communities they serve. Key elements of the IWRP are community outreach and involvement, and flexibility to respond to changing water supply conditions.
The district developed its initial IWRP in 1996 and updated it in 2003. You can download copies of these reports from the list at the right.