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July 10, 2007 > Volunteers, reduce water use

Volunteers, reduce water use

Submitted By Richard Santos

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is stepping up its conservation program to help Santa Clara County residents and businesses achieve a 10 percent voluntary cut back in their water use.

The water district board of directors is urging the community to reduce their water use in the wake of a long dry winter, unusually small snow pack in the Sierra Nevada and the uncertainties created by the sudden reduction in water supply from the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta. Supplies through the Delta, which meets about half of the country's water needs, have been reduced to protect the Delta smelt, a tiny fish on the brink of extinction.

The remaining half of the county's water supplies come from local reservoirs and the underground aquifers, which are still in reasonably good shape thanks to the District's concerted efforts over the past few years to replenish the groundwater basin.

However, continued depletion of groundwater reduces our ability to successfully manage future droughts or any other emergency. By conserving today, we will ensure that we have enough water in the future.

It will take a concerted effort by all to meet this 10 percent voluntary reduction goal. The water district can help through its conservation programs, services and rebates. These include:

Water-Wise House Call Program - A trained technician will visit your home or your apartment complex and survey your sprinklers, showerheads, toilets etc. to show you where you can cut back. This service is offered at no charge.

Landscape Programs -- We offer rebates and incentives on innovative technologies to make your irrigation systems more efficient. More than 50 percent of water-use in an average home is for landscaping. These programs are for residents and businesses. Participate in our free Water-Wise House Call program and you may qualify for a rebate of up to $1,000 for new irrigation hardware.

High-efficiency Clothes Washers - We offer rebates ranging from $100-$400 for new water-saving residential and commercial clothes washers.

High-efficiency Toilets - We offer up to $125 per toilet for replacing old, high water-use toilets that use 3.5 gallons per flush or more, with a new High Efficiency Toilet from our approved toilet list.

Educational Programs - The water district provides publications and CDs on low-water use plants and various other landscape related items.

Conservation Hotline - To reach a team of experts to find out more about our programs or get tips on how to use water wisely, call the water district's water-conservation hotline (408) 265-2607, ext. 2554, or visit our website

As always, I am available for questions or comments as your District 3 representative for Sunnyvale, Alviso, Milpitas, Berryessa/Alum Rock communities, east of Highway 101 to the Evergreen community area. Feel free to contact me at (408) 234-7707.

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