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John L. Varela to serve as Valley Water Chair Pro Tem

March 17, 2022
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Interim Chair John l. Varela
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SAN JOSE – On March 16, 2022, Valley Water Board Chair Gary Kremen delegated John L. Varela as the Chair Pro Tem.

The Valley Water Board of Directors affirmed that action through a 7-0 vote.

The Board of Directors also voted to begin an internal investigation into accusations made against Director Kremen, who represents District 7 and served as Board Chair since Jan. 11, 2022.

The Board Ethics and Conduct Ad Hoc Committee, consisting of Chair Pro Tem Varela and Directors Tony Estremera and Nai Hsueh, will guide the investigation. The committee will return to the Board with a recommendation on the scope and process of the investigation.

“While we wait for the results of this investigation, Valley Water’s Board of Directors is focused on our mission to provide safe, clean water, flood protection and environmental stewardship to Santa Clara County,” Chair Pro Tem Varela said. “We’re currently enduring the driest start of the year on record. This severe drought is threatening our water supply. The Board will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure we have enough water for Santa Clara County.”  

Chair Pro Tem Varela was appointed to the Valley Water Board of Directors in December 2015, representing District 1. He was elected by the voters in November 2016 and re-elected in 2018. Chair Pro Tem Varela is a former Morgan Hill city mayor and councilmember. 


Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 277 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.