Silicon Valley leaders push for plan of using wastewater to replenish drinking water

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Amid the state's historic drought, Governor Jerry Brown met with Silicon Valley leaders in San Jose on Friday.

He's praising the South Bay for doing its part to meet the state's water conservation goal.

"Suffice to say this part of California is doing better than most," said Governor Brown. "Conservation goals are being met. We are not at the level that we want to attain but we are doing very good."

In Santa Clara County, water district officials said latest numbers show the county met the state's goal of cutting water use by 25 percent. Brown said if necessary, he will fine cities and water districts that don't meet the state's target.

"The drought is serious and we have to take serious measures to respond," said Governor Brown.

One of the serious measures Silicon Valley leaders are pushing for is a controversial plan to use wastewater to replenish drinking water.

Right now, the county's purification center produces more than eight million gallons of water a day and the hope is to quadruple its capacity. It's a slow process. Governor Brown said he supports efforts to waive tedious environmental studies.

"Whatever we can do to facilitate reclaiming and reusing water," said Governor Brown. "We are for it. If we can help for more standardization, I will push for that very hard."

Governor Brown pushed a $17 billion project to build tunnels under the Delta to move water calling it crucial for Santa Clara Valley.

"If the tunnels project ensures we have a safe and reliable source of water here the South Bay," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "We can find a way to support it. I have a lot more work to do to understand the impact the project here locally but ultimately the decision is being made in Sacramento."