Drought Watch: Record Number of Water Waste Complaints Submitted to Santa Clara Valley Water District - NBC Bay Area
Bay Area Drought Watch

Bay Area Drought Watch

Coverage of California's looming water problem

Drought Watch: Record Number of Water Waste Complaints Submitted to Santa Clara Valley Water District

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    In the battle to save a precious resource a record number of people in the Bay Area are reporting their water-wasting neighbors. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Tuesday, June 2, 2015)

    In the battle to save a precious resource a record number of people in the Bay Area are reporting their water-wasting neighbors.

    The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a program where residents can anonymously report water waste. In April, 900 people reported water wasters. It was the highest number since the district's program to conserve water by reporting water waste started last summer.

    Residents are able to report water waste through e-mail, phone or using the district's water app.

    "It's extremely helpful," said Jerry De La Piedra of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. "Often people don't realize they have a leak and they are grateful that we pointed it out."

    On Monday, someone used the app to report water running down the street at a commercial building in San Jose.

    Once the district received a report of a possible water waste it sends out an inspector within 24 hours to check it out and educate the property owner.

    "I think it's a good idea," Mountain View-resident Ric Ferras said. "We are in a drought and no one can really watch our neighbors except for us."

    But not everyone is in favor of the program. Some residents said the reporting program goes too far.

    "I think it's important everybody does their best to conserve water, but I don't think it's a good idea to do it this way," Palo Alto-resident Jeff Hacker said. "It just makes an enemy out of your neighbor."

    District leaders said the water watchfulness is paying off.

    In April, when it received the highest number of reports from the public ever, it also saw the highest conservation rates since 2013.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android