Valley Water Joins Bay Area Water Agencies to Launch Regional "Water Saving Hero" Water Conservation Campaign Amidst Statewide Drought

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The Santa Clara Valley Water District today joined other Bay Area and statewide water agencies to launch an unprecedented regional public education campaign aimed at reminding residents and businesses to curb water use this summer and fall.

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After two of the driest winters in our state's history and with climate change upon us, every Bay Area resident and every Bay Area city has a responsibility to save water and help fight this drought

The Santa Clara Valley Water District today joined other Bay Area and statewide water agencies to launch an unprecedented regional public education campaign aimed at reminding residents and businesses to curb water use this summer and fall.

The "Water Saving Hero" campaign features ordinary people adopting simple water conservation practices in their everyday lives, and will soon blanket radio and television airwaves, billboards, transit stations, buses, trains and websites throughout the region.

The effort also features a new website http://www.WaterSavingHero.com, where Bay Area residents can link directly to their local water agency's conservation tips and cash rebate information. The effort comes as California faces its first statewide drought in 16 years and amidst growing concerns about the future of water supplies that flow through the Delta.

"After two of the driest winters in our state's history and with climate change upon us, every Bay Area resident and every Bay Area city has a responsibility to save water and help fight this drought," said Valley Water CEO Olga Martin Steele.

"From San Jose to Santa Rosa, Bay Area residents have taken real steps to save water, but we have to keep it up. Fighting this drought is a job for every Bay Area resident and business."

Santa Clara County receives almost half of its water supply from the Sierra Nevada and the other half from local rainfall. For the last two years, both the Sierra Nevada snowpack and the local rainfall have been well below normal levels.

The situation has been further aggravated by last year's court ruling to reduce pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which delivers the snowmelt from Sierra Nevada. The ruling can decrease water supplies by up to 30 percent.

Although Valley Water groundwater supplies are ample and our reservoir levels remain on average at approximately 63 percent of capacity, another dry year could drastically change our condition. As a result, Valley Water is calling for at least 10 percent voluntary cut back in water use. Conservation is needed now in to help reduce the likelihood of mandatory reductions next year!

Valley Water offers nearly 20 different conservation programs, offering a mix of incentives and rebates, free devices installation and one-on-one home visits to reduce water consumption in homes, businesses and agriculture.

The more than $1 million "Water Saving Hero" campaign is a partnership among eleven Bay Area water agencies and organizations from the nine Bay Area counties, including the Alameda County Water District (ACWD), Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD), City of Napa, Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water), San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Solano County Water Agency, Sonoma County Water Agency and Zone 7 of the Alameda County Flood Control & Water Conservation District. The campaign is funded by Bay Area water agencies, but will be reimbursed by a grant from the California Department of Water Resources.

"Drought, struggling ecosystems, aging infrastructure and the effects of climate change are converging to create the most serious water crisis we've seen in 50 years," said Timothy Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). "The Bay Area is affected just as much as every other part of the state. Regional efforts like the 'Water Saving Hero' campaign and other local initiatives to reduce water use show we can make conservation a way of life without sacrificing our quality of life. Whether you live in San Francisco or San Diego or anywhere in between, taking these steps to reduce water use will make a real difference."

The campaign ads and billboards will run at least through the summer and early fall 2008. The campaign aims to make Bay Area residents think about short and long-terms steps they can take to reduce water use in their home or business. To learn more about the "Water Saving Hero" campaign, view the ads or link directly to your local water agency's conservation tips and cash rebates, visit http://www.WaterSavingHero.com.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages wholesale drinking water resources and provides stewardship for the county's five watersheds, including 10 reservoirs, hundreds of miles of streams and groundwater basins. Valley Water also provides flood protection throughout Santa Clara County.    

Contact: Meenakshi Ganjoo
Office:    (408) 265-2607, ext. 2295
Mobile: (408) 205-3064

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Meenakshi Ganjoo


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