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City of Santa Clara Proclaims Local Emergency for Extreme Drought Conditions

Due to extreme drought conditions throughout the Bay Area region and Santa Clara, City Manager Deanna J. Santana in her role as the Director of Emergency Services has declared a local drought emergency for the City of Santa Clara. The Santa Clara City Council ratified the emergency proclamation at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

On June 9, 2021, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) Board of Directors declared a water shortage emergency condition in Santa Clara County and called for a mandatory 15% reduction in water usage countywide. On June 22, 2021, The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution ratifying a June 15, 2021 proclamation by the County Director of Emergency Services for a local emergency related to extreme drought conditions. In addition, on July 8, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom extended his previous drought proclamation to include Santa Clara County.

“Together with County and State agencies, the City of Santa Clara proclamation further emphasizes the critical water shortage emergency facing our communities. The City of Santa Clara encourages our residents, businesses and water consumers to do everything possible to reduce water use, protect our water supplies and conserve this critical resource for all our communities,” stated Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor.


The emergency proclamation in Santa Clara requires the implementation of the City of Santa Clara Water Shortage Contingency Plan (Stage 2), with modifications. The City of Santa Clara will immediately implement the following water use prohibitions and continue to encourage the public to conserve water:

  • Expand a Public Information Campaign
  • Increase of water waste patrols and enforcement of Permanent Water Use Restriction Ordinance in Section 1C of the Water Service and Use Rules and Regulations (Municipal Code 13.15.080) which includes:(a) Wasting water, which includes but is not limited to, the flooding or runoff on City sidewalks, gutters, and streets.
    (b) Cleaning of sidewalks, driveways, patios, parking lots, or other paved or hard-surfaced areas.
    (c) Washing cars, buses, boats, trailers, or any vehicle by use of a hose unless that hose is fitted with an operating automatic shut-off valve.
    (d) Water waste due to broken or defective plumbing, fire system, irrigation system, or any appurtenance thereto; or to open or to leave open any stopcock or faucet so as to permit water waste.
    (e) Service of water by any restaurant unless requested by a patron.
    (f) Installation of a single-pass cooling system.
    (g) Installation of a non-recirculating, decorative fountain.
    (h) Construction of a non-recirculating conveyor car wash
    (i) Watering lawns during or within 48 hours after measurable precipitation.
    (j) Watering ornamental turf on public street medians.
    (k) Irrigation of landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development.
    (l) Irrigation between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Reduce system water loss
  • Decrease hydrant/ line flushing, unless for public health and safety
  • Prohibit filling of decorative water features except to sustain aquatic life and require those features use recirculating water
  • Require the water used for construction and dust control be recycled water when that water is available
  • Restrict new irrigation connections to those that use recycled water when that is available
  • Restrict irrigation on golf course to recycled water when that water is available
  • Restrict outdoor watering to a maximum of three (3) days per week for all customers with odd numbered addresses and sites with no addresses to watering on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and even numbered addresses watering on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
  • Hotels/motels shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily. Notice of this option shall be displayed prominently in each guestroom using easily understood terms and language.


To report water waste, complete the Water Waste Report available on the webpage and for water conservation tips.

For questions, email or call Water & Sewer Utilities at 408-615-2000.


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