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Water: Residential Water Use

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Why is this a Climate Smart indicator?

  • One of our Bold Goals is to reduce residential water consumption per person by 30 percent from 2009 levels by 2030. 
  • Reducing water usage helps ensure that we have a reliable water supply. 
  • In Santa Clara County, about half our water comes from far away sources such as the Sierra Nevada and the Sacramento Delta. If we use less water, we can import less, keeping more water in streams, rivers and lakes. 
  • Reducing water usage reduces energy used for pumping and treating water. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reducing residential water usage cuts household water bills.

What is the City doing to make progress on this indicator?


In Progress / Ongoing

  • Support legislative and regulatory items that further the City’s water conservation efforts 
  • Collaborate with local water retailers to evaluate Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technologies to allow residents to access real-time, cloud-based water usage data 
  • Lead a multiple vendor AMI Pilot Study to evaluate different AMI technologies 
  • Participate in a Leak Detection Pilot Study to characterize the typical water savings that residents experience following installation of a next-generation leak detection device 
  • Promote Valley Water’s Do-It-Yourself water audit kits 



Develop new municipal codes that further residential water conservation efforts 

About the data


Actual values for residential water use were calculated using data from the 2010 and 2015 Urban Water Management Plans for the three water retailers that serve San José residents: San José Municipal Water System, San Jose Water Company (SJWC) and Great Oaks Water Company. The amount of water sold in total by San Jose Water Company to residential customers was multiplied by 80 percent to calculate the amount of water supplied by SJWC within San José because approximately 80 percent of SJWC’s customers are within San José city limits. The total amount of water sold by all three retailers to residential customers in San José per year was divided by the number of residents in San José and the number of days in a year to calculate residential water use per capita per day.

Data for residential water use for 2016 through 2018 from SJWC and Great Oaks Water Company are not yet available. Residential water use for these years was estimated using trends in residential water use data from the San José Municipal Water System.


Precise data on the number of SJWC customers located within San José city limits are not available.

Actual water consumption figures for SJWC and Great Oaks Water Company are only available for every fifth year because water companies are only required to prepare Urban Water Management Plans every five years, and these plans do not provide consumption data for intervening years. 

Last updated

September 2019