How Dry is Our Drought?
In 2013, California experienced the driest year on record and current conditions suggest we may experience the same in 2014. As of April 2nd, Cupertino received just 5.68” of rain this season, just 40% of normal levels. This rain is typically captured in our local reservoirs, serving as our primary source of fresh drinking water. Less rain means lower reservoirs and a search for drinking water elsewhere. In fact, the City’s main reservoir, the Stevens Creek Reservoir, was at 13% capacity this April. You can keep track of our reservoir here: http://www.valleywater.org/WaterTracker.aspx.
The Worth of Water
Things are looking pretty dry here in California, but do we know the worth of water? A safe and reliable water supply promotes our high quality of life in Cupertino by:
- Protecting public health
- Accommodating firefighting needs
- Bolstering economic prosperity
- And much more!
How much are these benefits worth to you? How about your daily shower or drinking water? Think about how many times you come in contact with water throughout your day. It’s a pretty incredible resource. Let’s start recognizing water’s value and don’t waste a drop!
Call to Conserve Water
California State Governor Brown recognized the value of water when he declared a drought State of Emergency and called all Californian’s to reduce water usage by 20%. The Santa Clara Valley Water District answered this call by adopting a mandatory 20% water use reduction target by December 31, 2014 and alerted cities in its service territory in March 2014 that it will only provide 80% of treated drinking water requested for the rest of the year. Water utilities and communities will need to mindfully conserve water to make up for this shortfall, or increase their supply by pumping more groundwater. To that end, San Jose Water Company has adopted several conservation rules to help reduce water demand by 20%.
Your Water Saving City
The City’s longstanding water conservation efforts within our facilities and among our parks, fields and medians have primed our community to respond to the 20% reduction target. Some of the water-wise actions the City has implemented in the past few years include planting water efficient landscaping (think drought tolerant plants!), installing water efficient irrigation (evapotranspirative, say that 5x fast!), and upgrading to water efficient fixtures (toilets, showerheads, faucets). You can learn more about our water-saving work here: www.cupertino.org/savewater.Get drought-info on City of Cupertino webpage (www.cupertino.org/savewater.