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Alameda Albany Antioch Belmont Berkeley Brentwood Burlingame Campbell Capitola Clayton Concord Cupertino Daly City Danville Dublin East Palo Alto El Cerrito Foster City Fremont Gilroy Greenfield Half Moon Bay Hayward Hercules Hillsborough Hollister King City Lafayette Livermore Los Altos Los Gatos Marina Martinez Menlo Park Millbrae Milpitas Monterey Moraga Morgan Hill Morro Bay Mountain View Newark Oakland Oakley Orinda Pacific Grove Pacifica Palo Alto Piedmont Pinole Pittsburg Pleasant Hill Pleasanton Redwood City Richmond Ridgecrest Salinas San Bruno San Carlos San Francisco San Jose San Leandro San Mateo San Pablo San Ramon Santa Clara Santa Cruz Saratoga Scotts Valley Seaside Soledad South San Francisco Sunnyvale Union City Walnut Creek Watsonville
About 30 percent of California's total annual water supply comes from groundwater in normal years, and up to 60 percent in drought years. Local communities' usage may be different; many areas rely exclusively on groundwater while others use only surface water supplies. Contrary to popular opinion, groundwater does not exist in underground lakes. Groundwater fills pores (spaces) between sand, gravel, silt and clay in water-bearing formations known as aquifers.
Local Streams and Reservoirs
Many cities rely on local water projects for all or a portion of their supplies. These projects typically were built and are operated by local public water districts, county water departments, city water departments or other special districts. Nearly 600 special purpose local agencies in California provide water to their areas through local development projects and imported supplies. A number of local agencies may also operate flood control and wastewater treatment facilities in addition to providing drinking water. Local water agencies usually are formed by a vote of the community, operate as public organizations, are governed by elected directors and fund their projects through bond issues.
In some communities, water is provided by private companies. Approximately 6 million Californians are served by these investor-owned utilities, which are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. The PUC monitors operations and service, sets water rates, and enforces water quality standards set by state and federal regulators.