Policy and Services Committee endorses new rules intended to reduce groundwater waste

Thank you to all who wrote letters, showed up and spoke up for reducing groundwater waste for construction purposes at the Policy and Services Committee on Dec.14th.  Thanks to your support and advocacy, together we changed the game!

It’s clear that the Policy and Services Committee and City Staff now understand that wasting water is the issue, and that it’s not acceptable politically.  Or morally.  Or for any city that thinks of itself as sustainable.  There’s a clear consensus on the direction – the challenge is to figure out the best and fastest way to get to the goal in a cost-effective manner – and for an ordinance to become enacted. Next, Staff will prepare recommendations and bring to the full Council for approval, most likely 3/7/ 2017, but this date may change.  

One of the highlights of the many presentations to the Policy and Services Committee was this 2-minute animated video   made by Cate A, a precocious 8-year old in 3rd grade.  The message is powerful – please share with your friends.


We’re far from victory, and need to work with staff, Council, the construction industry, water re-use companies and others to develop and demonstrate that our vision is not only “nice,” but practical.   Our challenge, should we choose to accept it, is for the 2018 ordinance to be simply “No groundwater wasted by underground construction.” Yes, an ordinance will take fancy words, and there might be some fine print, but what seemed impossible will eventually be seen as common sense.  Zero Zak, Cool Cities and the Sustainability communities will agree, and home and businesses will more highly value Palo Alto as a result.

Save Palo Alto’s Groundwater started about 16 months ago with 20 names from people on one block on a petition.  We are now a respected group in the City, and in the eyes of elected officials, and Staff.  Even the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) knows of us and refers concerned citizens our way.  We’ve moved from cracked windows and doors that wouldn’t open, and dried out trees to realizing that that solving the wasted water issue makes all of the other issues dry up.   Without community support and involvement, whining would go nowhere.  With your support, we’ve made progress.   Thanks again.

Please stay engaged.  Visions change, staff retire and elected officials term out.  We cannot assume anything will get done unless we all remain vigilant and involved.  If you haven’t done so, put your e-mail address into the “Subscribe” box and accept the confirmation e-mail.   You’ll then have a subscription to our occasional blog updates.

Thank you again and merry and healthy holidays to all!

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1 Response to Policy and Services Committee endorses new rules intended to reduce groundwater waste

  1. Maurice Druzin says:

    Stop this wasteful process now!
    I support immediate implementation of a requirement for the LDA

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