Photo of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Light Rail stop in downtown San Jose
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's Light Rail transit system

Key Issues

  • Assessment of multiple water supply and demand scenarios
  • Planning for drought
  • Assurance of long-term water supply reliability

Solutions

  • Four adopted SB 610 Water Supply Assessments
  • Successful coordination among multiple agencies

Water Supply Assessments for the City of San José,

Santa Clara County, California

The City — the largest in Silicon Valley — has addressed its planned growth with a series of Water Supply Assessments that document water supply and demand, and help ensure water supply reliability.
Todd Groundwater has prepared water supply assessments (WSA) for five City of San José Municipal Water System (SJMWS) projects: the North San José redevelopment project, Evergreen East Hills Vision Strategy, Coyote Valley Specific Plan, Gavilan College Coyote Campus, and Envision San José General Plan Update. These assessments were prepared in compliance with Senate Bill 610, which requires a water supply assessment for large developments. An SB 610 water supply assessment includes description of the service area, evaluation of water demands, and assessment of available water supply under normal rainfall and drought conditions. In all projects, the City’s assessments involved coordination among water agencies, including the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC), and others.

Vision North San José

The North San José project has involved extensive high-density redevelopment of North San José. The water supply assessment for North San José was completed within a very demanding schedule. Working with the SCVWD and other wholesale water suppliers, SJMWS was able to create a varied portfolio of water supply options including imported water, groundwater, water conservation, and recycled water, which allows flexibility in the event of short term or long term droughts.

Evergreen East Hills Visioning Strategy

The Evergreen East Hills Visioning Strategy included analysis of six potential scenarios of development, each with a unique blend of proposed land uses. The water demand of each scenario was met with a different mix of water supply based on the proposed needs and opportunities. In all cases, the use of recycled water and demand conservation was maximized to reduce demand during drought.

Coyote Valley Specific Plan

The Coyote Valley Specific Plan (CVSP) describes a self-contained community to integrate over 50,000 new, industry-driving jobs and 25,000 new residences. Todd Groundwater worked closely with stakeholders including SCVWD to develop a comprehensive WSA with three potential water supply scenarios to meet future needs of the CVSP. These scenarios examined potential sources of water supply including imported water, groundwater, and recycled water for both irrigation and industrial use, and demand conservation. The three scenarios of water supply allow for flexibility in water supply planning while still ensuring sufficient supply in the future. At this time, CVSP has not been approved for development.

Gavilan Coyote Campus

The Gavilan Joint Community College District, which serves students in San Benito and southern Santa Clara counties, plans to build a new campus in Coyote Valley. The Coyote Campus will include classrooms, office space, athletic fields, and other landscaping. The District contacted SJMWS as the water retailer and requested a water supply assessment. Todd Groundwater prepared a WSA that built on the water supply analysis performed for the CVSP WSA.

Envision San José General Plan Update

Lastly, the City of San José updated its General Plan through a process called Envision San José 2040. Todd Groundwater assisted San José Municipal Water System — one of three retailers identified to provide water supply — in preparing the WSA. Envision San José 2040 examined four scenarios containing different levels of job and housing growth. The WSA quantified the water demand for the homes and jobs for each of the four scenarios, distinguishing potable from non-potable demand (which could be satisfied with recycled water). Todd Groundwater quantified sources of water supply, addressed potential limits on supply (such as climate change), and provided a comparison of water supply and demand.
Panoramic photo of San Jose