A watershed is an area of land that acts like a giant sponge, absorbing rainfall and melting snow and drains the accumulated water into surrounding streams and downstream reservoirs. Pristine watersheds provide a natural system of water absorption, filtering and storage, and allow for groundwater recharge and natural flood protection. Check out how the water cycle works.
Rapid urbanization has caused loss of undeveloped floodplains and groundwater recharge areas. Demand for water in the Bay Area will increase by 22% between 2013-2035 given the projected population growth (SPUR 2013). Climate change will add even more stress and unpredictability to regional water supplies.
The Authority is partnering with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to explore how land conservation can address these challenges, including the role of Coyote Valley as the City of San Jose's 'natural infrastructure' that provides essential flood control services.