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Valley Water Board Chair John L. Varela statement on increased State Water Project allocation

January 27, 2023
snow in mountains (photo courtesy DWR)

Valley Water thanks the Department of Water Resources for increasing the State Water Project allocation. This increase follows the nine atmospheric rivers in early January that helped fill reservoirs and dramatically increase the Sierra Nevada snowpack. If this allocation holds through the end of the rainy season, Valley Water's allocation from the State Water Project would be 30,000 acre-feet for this year.

This boost in imported water is impactful for Santa Clara County. While construction is happening at Anderson Dam over the next 10 years, Valley Water will rely more on water imported from outside the county. That’s one reason why snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada, which are currently well above average for this time of year, are so important. Half the water used in our county originates in the Sierra Nevada, and our reliance is even more in drought years.

While our water supply conditions have improved, it’s important to note the U.S. Drought Monitor still lists Santa Clara County as being in a “moderate” drought. Even when this drought ends, we know another one will impact us in the future. That’s why we encourage everyone in Santa Clara County to make water conservation a way of life.

In addition to promoting conservation, Valley Water is working to diversify its water supply by investing in locally reliable, sustainable, and drought-proof supplies such as recycled and purified water.

Every Santa Clara County resident who helped us achieve our goal of a 15% reduction in water use over the past few months should be commended. We thank you for your efforts and ask that you continue to do your part. Residents, businesses and farms can take advantage of Valley Water’s robust conservation programs by visiting

Say yes to saving water and make a difference in your community.

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.