Where Does Our Water Come From?

In the Santa Clara County, the majority comes from our groundwater in the water basin and the Santa Clara Valley Water District is celebrating Groundwater Awareness Week with an open house tonight.

About 40 percent of our water every year is pumped from the ground, some years it's more than that.

And the water basin provides the nearly 1.8 million residents of the Santa Clara County with more water than all the reservoirs combined, says Santa Clara Valley Water District Spokesman Marty Grimes.

"It’s really our drought insurance policy," Grimes says.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is celebrating Groundwater Awareness week, from March 11-17 and is holding tonight, March 14 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the district's headquarters: 5750 Almaden Expressway, San Jose.

The district manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 miles of streams.

And Campbell plays a part in keeping that groundwater clean and ready to drink.

The in Campbell at , , Sunnyoaks and Budd all help filter both surface and ground water back into the water basin.

The reason there are so many recharge or "percolation" ponds in Campbell is due in part to its location within the county as well as its gravel-like soil. Campbell is part of the West Valley Watershed, which spans 85-square-miles.

"Because in old times the Los Gatos Creek bed was much wider, the flood plane was much wider the gravely soil found in the area makes for good soil for percolation," Grimes says. "Campbell is also close to the hillside instead of the middle of the valley, like San Jose."

One of the ways the district keeps the water basin useable is what Grimes calls a "conjunctive management system."

"A lot of people don't know that we are very fortunate to have a very useable water basin," he says. "Many cities do not and we are able to augment our ability to produce water for our residents through this as well as from the water we import from the (Sacramento-San Joaquin River) Delta."

When this imported water comes in, the district pumps it into Campbell's various recharge ponds to percolate it down to the water basin.

"It serves as a great source of water during dry years," Grimes says. "The purpose of groundwater awareness week is to build awareness to that fact."

The open house tonight will offer the community a chance to learn more about the importance of groundwater, water delivery, water treatment, water conservation, water supply, dam safety, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

The event is open to the public and is children friendly, with tours of the Los Alamitos percolation pond and Guadalupe River fish ladder as well as water magic and short demonstrations but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Light refreshments will be available. Parking is free and electric vehicle charge stations will be available. Please RSVP at rsvp@valleywater.org or call 408-265-2607, ext. 2880.


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