Could wastewater be the solution to our drought problems? Valley Water thinks so and they are doubling down on it by expanding their North San Jose advanced water purification center and planning on building a new plant in Los Atos to produce millions of gallons of purified drinking water. In the heart of Silicon Valley, Valley Water is technology to lead the county out of the drought.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District has been lowering the water level on the Anderson Dam since Oct. 1 to keep the region safe from potentially catastrophic flooding in the event of a major earthquake.
The Anderson Reservoir can hold up to 90,000 acre-feet of water and is now at three percent capacity, which is the lowest feasible level given the position of the existing outlet tunnel. At its current level, even a heavy rainy season would not pose dam failure and flooding risk; keeping some water in the reservoir helps preserve some wildlife habitat. Beyond immediate safety, one of the main reasons for lowering the water level is to allow for construction to begin on a major seismic retrofit project for the dam. The reservoir has been closed for recreational use since October and is expected to remain shuttered for the duration of the project.
With a global pandemic, a catastrophic economic recession, and record-high unemployment numbers, one would think the state has enough issues to tackle. But proponents of a state water grab that I have been fighting since the day I was sworn into office in 2012 disagree. Where others see turmoil and anguish, they see opportunity. Apparently, they believe in the adage, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”