(Mountain View, Calif.) — On May 23, the Mountain View City Council will consider transferring 1 million gallons per day (MGD) of water supply assurance to the City of East Palo Alto for a one-time payment of $5 million. The consideration and negotiation between the two cities is in response to East Palo Alto’s water shortage, which has resulted in a moratorium on new development, including affordable housing.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) supplies 85 percent of Mountain View’s potable water for its 78,000 residents and has an agreement that entitles the City of Mountain View to purchase a maximum of 13.46 MGD. The SFPUC also supplies 100 percent of potable water for East Palo Alto’s 30,000 residents up to a maximum of only 1.963 MGD. The shortage in water supply has resulted in East Palo Alto placing a moratorium on much-needed City projects including construction of a school, affordable housing and two commercial developments.
The same agreement requires the City of Mountain View to purchase a minimum of 8.93 MGD or pay a penalty for unused water, which the City has paid twice in the past ten years. Although the minimum-use requirement was waived during the state’s drought emergency, the SFPUC has notified Mountain View the requirement will be reinstated starting July 1, 2017.
“Helping our neighbors so they can complete important projects like adding schools and increasing the region’s supply of affordable housing, is in line with our City’s priorities,” said City of Mountain View Mayor, Ken Rosenberg. “And the $5 million will help Mountain View offset the SFPUC penalties we expect to incur in the future.”
Over the past several years, Mountain View has reduced its overall potable water consumption due to water conservation efforts and policies, such as greater use of recycled water, requiring water-efficient technologies in new developments and providing water-saving programs to commercial and residential customers . Mountain View’s staff expects this trend to continue, and project the City water use will remain under the reduced allocation for decades.
The Mountain View City Council will be considering the transfer during the May 23, 2017, Council Meeting to be held at the Mountain View City Hall (500 Castro St.). The agenda, including the staff report and recommendations for the water transfer agreement, will be available for public review on Friday, May 19 on the City website at www.MountainView.gov.
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Shonda Ranson, Communications Coordinator
(650) 903-6302, SRanson@mountainview.gov