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February 11, 2011 > Water Words: Recognized for sustainability

Water Words: Recognized for sustainability

By Director Richard Santos, Santa Clara Valley Water District

To be sustainable means to have the capacity to endure. In today's age, this concept of endurance goes further, taking into account future generations and our energy, climate and resource and environmental efficiency goals. Sustainability is an important component of the work that we do at the Santa Clara Valley Water District, demonstrated by our mission for a healthy, safe and enhanced quality of living in Santa Clara County. This is achieved through watershed stewardship and comprehensive management of water resources in a practical, cost-effective and environmentally sensitive manner for current and future generations.

Santa Clara Valley Water District has been selected by the California Sustainability Alliance ("the alliance") for its 2010 Sustainability Showcase Award. Founded in 2006, the alliance was designed to help meet the State of California's aggressive energy, climate and resource and environmental goals by increasing and accelerating energy efficiency in combination with complementary green measures and strategies. The water district will be recognized for its greenhouse gas emissions reduction and water conservation and water recycling programs at a special ceremony later this month.

The alliance was particularly impressed with the district's strong framework for continuous improvements in fuel, energy and water use efficiency. The district has increased the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet and continues to meet part of its electricity needs with solar panels. In addition, water recycling and conservation efforts by district staff have produced quantifiable savings in energy and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting the need to use electricity to pump water long distances.

I'm particularly proud that the water district is being recognized for sustainability because I know how hard staff has worked to achieve these efficiencies both at the district and within the community.

Now in its third year, Sustainability Showcase Awards recognize successful sustainability policies, programs, practices and technologies implemented by leading organizations in four areas: commercial buildings, multifamily housing, local government and water agencies. The Sustainability Showcase highlights efforts of California organizations leading the way toward a sustainable future.

Winners in each category will be honored at the California Sustainability Alliance Showcase Awards Luncheon in February 2011. The alliance will feature winning organizations on the showcase award pages.

The other three 2010 award recipients are Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (Commercial Buildings), Eden Housing (Multifamily Housing), and City of Chula Vista (Local Government).

To learn more about the water district's mission and the work that we do, please visit

As always, I am available for questions or comments as your District 3 representative for the northern areas of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara; Alviso; Milpitas; and the north San Jose and Berryessa communities. Feel free to contact me at (408) 234-7707.

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