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Statement by Valley Water Board Chair John L. Varela on the Passing of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein

September 29, 2023
US Senator Dianne Feinstein at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge's Environmental Education Center.

“Dianne Feinstein was a true pioneer in American politics and a devoted public servant who championed many essential causes over her decades of service. For Santa Clara County and the Bay Area, her impact will be felt for generations to come.

At Valley Water, we always had a strong ally in Senator Feinstein to partner on our mission to supply safe, clean water, flood protection, and environmental stewardship. She led the charge in addressing critical water challenges in California, working across the aisle and with diverse stakeholders to achieve results.

Nowhere was her impact more strongly felt in Santa Clara County than in the protection and restoration of the South San Francisco Bay shoreline. She helped broker the sale of the Cargill salt ponds in 2003, laying the groundwork for Valley Water’s South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project and the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project – a critical sea level rise protection project and the largest wetlands restoration project on the West Coast. These projects will protect the people and environment in our region for generations.

She was a force to be reckoned with, and we will miss her. As we mourn her passing, let us reflect on her service to the people of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.”

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 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 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.