County Conservation Efforts
Concerned about the statewide drought, the County of Santa Clara is looking at drought conditions in the valley, examining water conservation measures in place at County facilities, working with local and regional partners, and identifying future strategies to reduce water use over the next few months. Following the State’s declaration of a statewide drought emergency, the County is expanding its efforts to install efficient water devices and to educate employees.
The County has large institutional facilities, such as a hospital and jails, so is continually examining its water usage. The County’s ongoing water efficiency project identifies opportunities to use less water and implements necessary improvements, including changing turf to xeriscape, putting in low flow toilets and most recently converting all the showers in the jails to low flow. At Elmwood Correctional Facility, water usage has decreased by 25% since 2009, a savings of 32,545 CCF (hundred cubic feet) or 24 million gallons. In 2013, the County was named the 2013 winner of the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award in the Government category for ongoing reductions, including saving 20 million gallons annually through the turf-replacement projects. The County’s Green Building Policy has stringent requirements for water efficiency in new buildings, which focuses attention on reducing water usage as each new project is developed.
County staff will report to the Board’s Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee monthly to outline current and future water conservation strategies.
Thank you for helping to conserve water. Together we can preserve this valuable resource.