Estremera: Valley Water offering grants for water bottle filling stations
Valley Water is accepting applications for grants to install water bottle filling stations. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

    One of the missions of Valley Water is to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean water to everyone in Santa Clara County. Valley Water has dozens of projects and programs to ensure we continue providing this critical service to all communities.

    Valley Water recently launched a new grant opportunity designed to increase access to drinking water and help reduce plastic bottle waste. We offer $5,000 for purchasing, installing and maintaining water bottle refill stations in Santa Clara County.

    Our agency is particularly interested in providing grants to organizations that serve historically underserved communities and school-age children and students. However, the following organizations are eligible to apply:

    • Public agencies, such as special districts, cities, towns and county agencies
    • Schools, community colleges or universities (public or nonprofit)
    • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
    • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) exempt status but can demonstrate they are an affiliate of a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status that acts as a fiscal sponsor
    • Organized community group with an established structure that can identify an individual responsible for signing the agreement and meeting insurance requirements
    • Private entity, such as a private water district/agency; school, community college or  university (private); or for-profit company

    Applicants that are not public agencies must show the public has access to the water filling station.

    Valley Water offered a similar grant opportunity to expand access to safe, clean drinking water in schools between fiscal years 2014 and 2018. During that time, Valley Water awarded $5,000 grants to 50 schools across Santa Clara County.

    For this fiscal year, we have $100,000 in grant funding and will award $5,000 per refill station. Groups can get the station of their choice—there are standalone and wall units. Some refill stations have a digital counter to show how many single-use plastic bottles of water have been saved.

    Applications are being accepted now, on a rolling basis, until the $100,000 is distributed through June 30, 2023.

    Funding for the program is made possible through the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, which Santa Clara County voters overwhelmingly approved in November 2020.

    If you are interested in learning more, Valley Water is hosting two online workshops on Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. and Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.

    Visit for more information about the program, applicant eligibility and application process.

    Together, we can make a difference for our community by expanding access to drinking water and reducing plastic waste.

    Tony Estremera is the Valley Water director for District 6 and is running for reelection.

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