Your WaterFlood and Stream ManagementWatershed and Environment

annv-banner1On June 18, 1957, Livermore-Amador Valley voters overwhelmingly approved creation of Zone 7 in order to place under local control, through a locally elected board of directors, the vital matters of flood protection and water resource management in eastern Alameda County.

Scroll through a timeline of Zone 7's history.

Check out our history book covering the first 50 years of Zone 7 and our supplemental 60th anniversary flyer covering the subsequent decade from 2007 to 2017. In addition, view our 60th anniversary booklet covering the first 60 years of Zone 7.

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Enjoy audio/video excerpts from our 50th anniversary celebration.  

(photo on right: Zone 7 float appeared in June at the Livermore Rodeo Parade, and two weeks later at the Alameda County Fair Parade in Pleasanton, as part of the Agency's 50th anniversary festivities)

 

THE BIRTH OF A WATER AGENCY 

z7 brown-jpeg1In 1961, four years after Valley voters approved formation of the Zone 7 Water Agency, Alameda County and Zone 7 officials took part in contract signing for State Water Project water from the South Bay Aqueduct with then-Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown. Brown is at right with William Warne, director of the state Department of Water Resources, pointing out contract details.

(Photo courtesy of the Livermore Heritage Guild)

 

 

  

A STEP BACK IN TIME

 

In 1957, Elvis Presley was shaking his hips -- and proper society. There was economic prosperity, the Baby Boom, and the debut of Leave it to Beaver. The Cold War with the Soviet Union had made the Livermore Valley home to two national laboratories working on nuclear weapons. President Dwight Eisenhower had signed legislation approving the Interstate Highway system. Meanwhile, Alameda County's population approached 841,000 -- about four times larger than at the turn of the century.


And Zone 7 of the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District was approved by voters in the Livermore-Amador Valley to address inadequate flood protection and water supply.

 

 

VALLEY WATER NEEDS ARE DEEPLY ROOTED

 

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An early 1900s

well-drilling operation

near Livermore.

 

(Photo courtesy of

Livermore Heriage Guild)

 

 

 

 

 

 

artisianzone71

 

Since long before Zone 7 was created, the critical issues of water supply, water quality and flood protection have shaped the region's ability to prosper either agriculturally or as a thriving Bay Area suburb. Although the Valley was far less populated during the first half of the 20th Century than it is today, a declining groundwater table and periods of drought back then had local farmers, vintners and residents alike worried about their livelihoods, according to reports published in 1948. And there was frequent flooding, particularly in northern Pleasanton, where Hacienda Business Park is now located.

 

CHALLENGES AHEAD

 

Zone 7 -- established in 1957 by local voters demanding local control over local water-resource planning and financing -- has taken the Valley a long way to resolving many of its most pressing water-supply, water-quality and flood-protection problems. The seven-member Board of Directors has continually formulated and implemented needed programs for flood protection and water-resource management, incorporating recreational and environmental benefits where feasible.

 

But many issues have persisted over the decades, and their implications on local land use, local control and local financing continue to surface. Indeed, they are alive and well today as Zone 7 works to improve water reliability and quality, along with flood protection, in the most economical and environmentally sound ways possible, and to accommodate new development being approved by Valley cities at no cost or harm to existing residents.

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With reliable water supplies key to agriculture, well-known Valley vintners Karl Wente and Joseph Conannon were early members of the Zone 7 Board of Directors. Wente, the board's very first chairman, served from 1957 to 1970, and Concannon from 1970 to 1978.

 

Wente's son, Philip Wente, served on the board from 1978 to 1994 and Concannon's brother, James Concannon, served from 1984 until 2008.

 

For a complete listing of board members from 1957 to present, click here.

Rethink Your Landscape

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Check out our Water-Wise Gardening website, based on climate and other factors specific to the Tri-Valley region. The site will help you design your landscape and includes photographs, a searchable plant database, water-saving tips and more!

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rescape california logoRescape California (formerly Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition) is a is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing waste and pollution, conserving natural resources, and creating vibrant landscapes and gardens. 

Learn how to sheet mulch from this brochure by StopWaste.    

Guidelines for Landscaping and Irrigating Wisely

In the average California home, about half the water used goes to gardens -- which most people overwater by 20-40 percent! If we design our landscape with water conservation in mind, and then water those plants wisely, we would make a serious dent in water demand -- and still have beautiful gardens to enjoy.

Find out about the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather station at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, which can help people refine the amount of water used for local irrigation.  The data is available online at www.cimis.water.ca.gov.

Fundamentals of Water Conservation in the Yard

(These tips are adapted from Sunset Magazine's "Water Wise Gardening for California" and information from the California Association of Nurserymen)

  • Use water-conserving plants in your landscape (examples listed below).
  • Choose plants that are naturally adapted to your area's climate.
  • Group plants wisely. Place thirsty plants together and drought-resistant plants elsewhere. This practice is known as hydro-zoning.
  • Limit turf areas. Lawns need more water than most other types of plants. Consider hard-scapes like patios and decks or use groundcovers to supplement grassy areas.
  • Where possible, use permeable paving, such as gravel or flagstones with space between them, so water can run off and be more available to nearby plants.
  • Improve your soil. Cultivate it regularly, and add organic matter to help the soil resist evaporation and better retain moisture.
  • Mulch to slow erosion, retain moisture, and reduce weeds. Weeds steal water from other desirable plants. A 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch spread beneath the canopy of a plant is ideal.
  • Keep plants healthy. They'll be better able to withstand dry periods and pests.
  • Care for container plants by grouping them to shade one another. Keep them as shaded as they'll tolerate to reduce moisture loss.
  • Aerate (punch holes) in the lawn and de-thatch (rake) to remove dead grass. Spread organic material in holes to draw water down to root zone. This will also help reduce runoff.
  • Set the mower height higher during the hot season to allow grass to grow 2 to 3 inches long. Longer grass cools the surface and reduces evaporation.
  • Keep lawn well fertilized with a well-balanced mix that encourages deep roots. Nitrogen-only products stimulate thirsty, new growth.


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Community volunteers tend to Granada Native Gardens, located near Stanley and Murrieta boulevards in Livermore, which features many drought-tolerant plants.

 

 

 

 

Choosing Plants Wisely

Some plants are better suited to California's arid climate than others. By choosing plants that can survive on minimal water once established, you will reduce your long-term demand significantly. Listed below are dozens of groundccovers, shrubs, flowers, trees and grasses that  require only minimal amounts of water. 

The drought-tolerant plants below were photographed right here in Livermore, Pleasanton & Dublin!       

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ceanothus1_kasa 

 Orange Sticky Monkey

 Ceanothus

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Douglas Iris Dudleya Cymosa

Ground covers

  • Yarrow
  • Manzanita
  • Snow in Summer
  • Chamomile
  • Indian Strawberry
  • Fleabane
  • Sulfer Flower
  • Coral Bells
  • Spreading Juniper
  • Evening Primrose
  • Lavendar Cotton
  • Santolina
  • Thyme

Shrubs

  • Manzanita
  • Strawberry Tree
  • Sandhill Sage
  • Dusty Miller
  • Ceanothus
  • Rock Rose
  • Sunrose
  • Juniper
  • Mountain Mahogany
  • Smoke Tree
  • Oregon Grape
  • Toyon-Christmas Berry
  • Coffee Berry

Perennials/Annuals
/Bulbs

  • Allium
  • Alyssum
  • Windflower
  • Thrift (Sea Pink)
  • Cosmos
  • Foxglove
  • Blanket Flower
  • Daylily
  • Iris
  • Daffodil
  • California Poppy
  • Rose Moss
  • Lamb's Ear

Trees

  • Maidenhair
  • Golden Rain
  • Crape Myrte
  • Holly Oak
  • Locust
  • Hackberry
  • Japanese Pagoda
  • Chinese Flame
  • Chinese Pistache
  • Western Redbud
  • Incense Cedar

Grasses

  • Tall Fescues
  • Hybrid Bermudas
  • Zoysia 

Ways to Reduce Irrigation Water Waste

It is quite possible to maintain beautiful yards with green grassy areas, lush floral beds and wonderful shade trees, without using tons of water. The trick is to use water judiciously. Here are some tips for irrigating your garden efficiently:

  • Only water when plants are dry. Push a finger down in the soil an inch or two to check.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun is not hot and the winds are low. This will minimize evaporation, which wastes water and deposits salts and minerals in the soil.
  • Water deeply to improve roots growth, which will help plants and trees survive drought periods better.
  • Study your soil and watch to see if it drains well or not. If you have clay soil you can avoid wasteful run-off by pulse-irrigating, which means watering the lawn in short intervals allowing for a break in between so water can soak in. This works well on slopes, too.
  • Build basins around trees and shrubs to minimize run-off. This is also especially important on slopes.
  • Adjust watering schedules with the season and the weather. Don't let your auto-sprinkler system stay on one schedule year round, and don't let it go off on a rainy day.
  • Water only the target areas. Adjust sprinkler heads to avoid driveways and sidewalks or the sides of the house.
  • Keep your sprinkler system is good shape. Check it regularly for leaks, clogs or misdirected emitters and heads.

To view Zone 7's water conservation page,click here.

Zone 7 treats surface water imported from outside the Valley, along with runoff collected in Del Valle Reservoir, at one of three facilities to make it ready for drinking before distribution. These plants are strategically located in the eastern and southern portions of the Valley because that's where elevation is higher and gravity helps distribute the water to customers without high pumping costs.  

Del Valle Water Treatment Plant

  • Where: Southern Livermore
  • Capacity: 36 million gallons per day
  • Features: Houses Zone 7's Water Quality Laboratory

Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant

  • Where: Eastern Livermore
  • Capacity: 12 million gallons per day

Patterson Pass Ultrafiltration Water Treatment Plant

  • Where: Eastern Livermore
  • Capacity:  8 million gallons per day

 About Groundwater

Some treatment occurs naturally as imported water percolates into the groundwater basin and is filtered by the soils over a very long travel time. This process actually removes all surface contaminants and biodegrades most pollutants, making groundwater from deep production wells one of the safest water supplies available. As water percolates through the soils, it also picks up naturally occurring minerals, including calcium and magnesium, that can make the water hard. ”As with treated surface water, chloramines are added to groundwater to maintain distribution-system disinfectant. To get information on our Mocho Groundwater Demineralization Plant, click here.

Water-Efficient
Lawn Conversion

Weather-Based
Irrigation Controllers
High-Efficiency
Clothes Washers
 

Zone 7 offers several rebate programs in cooperation with its water retailers (the City of Livermore, the City of Pleasanton and the Dublin San Ramon Services District (serving Dublin and the Dougherty Valley portion of San Ramon). For more information, call 925-454-5065.

Check Your Rebate Status

Rebate applications take six to eight weeks to process. Please contact your water utility on your rebate status. You will be contacted only if there is an issue with your application.

Below is a list of the water retailers in the Valley:

California Water Service Company – Livermore

Attn: Kyle Ramey
2632 West 237th Street
Torrance, CA  90505
Phone: 650-558-7815
Email: kramey@calwater.com

Cal Water customers must contact Cal Water directly.

 

City of Pleasanton

Attn: Jessica Swenson
PO Box 520
Pleasanton, CA  94566-0802
Phone: 925.931.5531
Email: jswenson@cityofpleasantonca.gov

City of Livermore

Attn: John Cruz
1052 S. Livermore Avenue
Livermore, CA  94550
Phone: 925-960-4324
Email: jpcruz@cityoflivermore.net

Angela Sipp – Lawn Conversion Program
Phone: 925-960-8120
Email: adsipp@cityoflivermore.net

 

 

Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD)

7051 Dublin Boulevard
Dublin, CA  94568-3018
Stefanie Olson
Phone: 925-875-2245
Email: olsons@dsrsd.com

Florence Khaw
Phone: 925-875-2238
Email: khaw@dsrsd.com

 


Funding for all conservation programs is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Program guidelines will be updated as needed.

To view Zone 7's water conservation page, click here