'We're always a state that's not going to have a ton of water,' Valley Water offers water conservation rebates

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Despite the region's above normal rainfall this spring, which was great news for our water supply, officials in the South Bay are hoping home and business owners will continue their efforts to conserve.

"We're always a state that's not going to have a ton of water," Valley Water conservation specialist Ashley Shannon. "There's always a finite amount of resources, and so, I think that we all need to be responsible and do our part to make sure we're not using excess."

That's why Valley Water, formerly known as the Santa Clara Valley Water District, is offering rebates to customers who want to convert their lawns to low water-use landscaping. Those who qualify can receive up to one dollar per square foot.

In San Jose's Cambrian neighborhood, Christina Lee and her family took advantage of the program and received an $800 rebate.

RELATED: Program launched in Santa Clara County to help people adopt conservation lifestyle

"We wanted to just stop using the sprinklers, and be able to do more of a drip irrigation, and use plants that didn't really require a lot of water," Lee said.

Last month was actually one of the wettest Mays on record in Santa Clara County. Ten reservoirs are currently above 90-percent of restricted capacity. Groundwater aquifers are full.

"A lot of people don't realize our largest reservoir is actually beneath our feet, so managing groundwater is an important part of what we do," said Vanessa De La Piedra, manager of Valley Water's groundwater management program.

RELATED: Bay Area water conservation resources

As we head into the summer months, the water district hopes more customers will follow Lee's example, despite there no longer being a drought.

"I think it's something that's becoming a little more popular," Lee said. "And we've seen a couple of neighbors in the area kind of re-do their lawns as well, so maybe it will pick up a little bit more."

Here is a link to Valley Water's landscape rebate program.
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